Devotional - Make a difference today!

By Pastor Von John Sanchez

I have heard it many times from clergies, teachers, administrators, politicians and businessmen: Make a difference! It’s an idiom for impacting positive change. However, making a difference isn’t just for the sake of change but a Christian business. Amidst the moral and spiritual corruption of the 21st  century, God challenges us to make a difference in the lives of other people today.

 

Each of us has our own mental picture of what making a difference is. However, the greatest challenge we need to address today are things that consist in internals: the mind, heart, soul, and spirit.

 

Making a difference is our moral and spiritual burden for the world. It is influencing sinners to righteousness, corruption to wholeness, weakness to power, feebleness to vitality, chaos to order, and
darkness to light. Indeed, it is every Christian’s battle. Make a difference is easier said than done. Habits, cultures and beliefs that permeate from generation to generation are strong barriers for  change. Every individual who wishes to impact change should consider cultural differences and habits as the great hindrances to our message.

 

Making a difference must be intentional. True impact of change must begin on a personal level of  understanding of the core purpose of our message. Christ’s example shows us that the key to influencing other people is to live the core purpose of our existence. To make a difference is to present God in His pure and true essence. God is Love. Jesus told His disciples: “…The world will know that indeed you are my disciples if you love one another.”

 

Making a difference is first to be different. It is conveyed in the sermon on the mount found in  Matthew chapter 5. The beatitudes are encapsulated in the word “Love”. While the world is fostering pride, dominance, superiority, rivalry, vengeance and treachery, Christians ought to show love to the world.

 

The command to love one another should not exclude enemies. Surprisingly, Matthew 5: 43-45 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Godlikeness is expressed in impartiality; “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

 

The word perfection has been misunderstood by many Christians. For many, it is defined as not committing sin. It is obedience to “Thou shalt not.” For as long as they do not do wrong, then they are perfect. Yet, the true intention of the Law is action, intentional and proactive. Today, we are confronted by false spiritual revivals that emphasize spiritual forms rather than the heart of true religion. Making a difference is most impactful when we start to live up to the real requirements of life. To reach the highest possible life of excellence is “to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly before God.” (Micah 6:8) “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

 

Making a difference is an action phrase. We, as God’s people, must understand that unless we purposely mingle, we cannot bring about change. Loving others is willingness to pay the price of being vulnerable. To mingle no matter how diverse their actions, practices and habits in order to let them see the grace of God in us. The world doesn’t care so much about the spoken truth; they are looking for an embodied truth. So “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) As Catherine of Siena says, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

 

Making a difference doesn’t call you to be a superman. Make the best of what you have been given. God has given each of us Spiritual Gifts for ministry and mission. Each gift has the potential to impress, motivate, enlighten, and transform the hearts of the world. Each of us should have a living vision to conquer the world. As Ken Blanchard conveys, “Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.” Each one must have a burden to rescue the worlds’ languishing souls. If we rally together to the true banner of Christ character of love, great change is achieved.

 

As Ellen G. White airs out that “the strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and loveable Christian.” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 100) She further emphasized that “If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tenderhearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one.” ( Testimonies to the Church, Vol. 9, p. 189) The acknowledgment of human pains and struggles and the embracing of their existence make our argument of the truth a difference for today.

 

And finally Paul stresses, “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” (Hebrews 13:16)

 

 

About the writer:
Pastor Von John Sanchez is the youth director of Central Philippine Union Conference, Cebu City.

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