I found this quiz on the internet recently. Take it and see how well you do:

  • Name the last six Super Bowl winners.
  • Name the three wealthiest people in the world.
  • Who were the last four Academy Award winning movies?
  • The last five Nobel Prize winners?

How did you do? Not good? Me neither. With the exception of a few trivia nuts, none of us remember the achievements of yesterday too well. And the achievements listed in this quiz are certainly not second-rate. If we want to make a difference, maybe great accomplishments is not the best answer.

I think all of us yearn for something more permanent. Do you want to make a difference? Then you must look beyond your achievements. God has something else in mind.

Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: “That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.” If we live by believing, then we must look past the achievements of today for something else. Verse 9 has the answer: “So our aim is to please him always…” That is where we look to make a difference. We concentrate our creative energy in pleasing God, not in satisfying our own personal goals.

Pleasing God is a good goal, right? The question is: How do we do that?”

Paul gives us the answer again in verse 11, “It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we try to work so hard to persuade others.” The word “fear” in this case refers more to loving respect than terror. So if we want to make a difference, Paul gives us two steps to follow:

  • Work on “fearing” or developing a closer relationship with God.
  • Try to persuade others or influence them in a Christian way.

Let’s look at another quiz. See how you do on this one:

  • Think of three people you enjoy spending time with.
  • Name 5 friends who helped you through a difficult time.
  • List two churches that made a difference in someone’s life.
  • List three teachers who influenced your education.

Easier? It was for me, too. In our church, “making a difference” means many things for many people:

  • Sharon felt called to lead a group of youth in ministry.
  • Dan came out of retirement to visit our sick and shut-ins.
  • Donna organizes and maintains hundreds of people on our church prayer list.
  • Mary started our Parish Nurse program.
  • Terrell is helping to build a church for the poor in Jamaica.

Do you still want to make a difference?

  • Work to improve your personal relationship with God through prayer.
  • Join a Bible Study or small group and grow stronger in faith together.
  • Look around you and ask God to help you see who is hurting.
  • Don’t depend on others; actively help where you see a need.
  • Say something encouraging to at least one person daily.
  • When others gossip…walk away or change the subject.
  • When someone asks you for prayer…pray with them…now!
  • Remember you are called to be involved in your church, your community and your world.

This list is not meant to be everything you need but it’s a good start. Maybe together with God’s guidance we can work to make a difference with friends, family, employees, our church, community, and especially a needy world! What a relief. I can’t even remember this year’s super bowl champion.

Categories: Devotions