Christianity That Makes a Difference
You make a difference by focusing on what God can do through you, not on what you can’t do. Your weakness doesn’t limit God. It glorifies Him better than your strength does (2 Corinthians 12:9).
We naturally seek to be comfortable. We take aspirin for headaches and cold medicine for the sniffles. We use air conditioners when it’s hot and heaters when it’s cold. But the unsettling truth is that we must endure discomfort to make a difference. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12, NIV). Christianity that doesn’t make a difference is “Christianity” without Christ.
Living like those who don’t know Christ while professing to follow Him makes no sense. It’s selfish “Christianity” that doesn’t affect our values, goals and life-direction. Saving faith and the new birth bring a concern for the wellbeing of those outside of Christ. That concern significantly changes how we use our time, energy, talents, and finances.
We make a difference by concentrating on God’s mission and the grace he gives to fulfill it. A bee continually flies toward the daylight in a bottle with its base against a window. Meanwhile, the neck of the bottle is open. The bee only needs to turnaround to find freedom. Same with us. Gods’ grace waits. We must turn around and receive it with the open hand of faith to make a difference.
Paul and Barnabas quickly forgot peoples’ adverse reactions when they preached the gospel. Persecutions in Antioch and Pisidia didn’t stop them. They moved on to Iconium to a mixed response of acceptance and rejection (verses 1–2).
They continued on to Lystra, preached the gospel, and healed a man crippled since birth (verse 7–10). At first, they were worshipped as gods. Opinion quickly turned against them. Their enemies stoned Paul and left him for dead. He miraculously recovered. The next day they left to preach in Derbe (verse 21).
Rejection didn’t derail Paul and Barnabas. In verse 27, they talked about the fruit they’d seen through preaching the gospel, not about all they suffered to bear that fruit. They made a difference because they focused on their mission and the grace God gave to fulfill it despite opposition. They counted their fruit, not their critics.
Rejection is hard to handle. It’s a splinter in our pride. We make a difference when we’re more concerned about saving the lost than saving our pride.
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