While others are doubting … Believe.
While others are playing … Plan.
While others are sleeping … Study.
While others are delaying … Decide.
While others are daydreaming … Prepare.
While others are procrastinating … Begin.
While others are wishing … Work.
While others are talking … Listen.
While others are pouting … Smile.
While are others are criticizing … Commend.
While others are quitting … Persist.
best correspondents for Life magazine were sent all over the world to
ask the question, “What is the meaning of life?” They talked to philosophers
and children, taxi drivers and Nile River boatmen. More than 100 premier
photographers provided images.
dramatic photograph of a lighthouse off the Brittany Coast caught my eye. A
huge Atlantic storm had sent gigantic waves around the mammoth brick structure,
nearly swallowing it up. But on the sheltered side, literally surrounded by
frothing, boiling waves, stood the lighthouse keeper. He was looking casually
toward shore, his hands stuck nonchalantly in his pockets, as enormous waves
crashed around him.
powerful illustration reminded me of the many fierce storms of trial we face in
life. And I was grateful for the promise that in God we are as safe as that
lighthouse keeper. The words of Isaiah 25:4 are true for every believer: God is
our refuge during the storms of physical affliction, emotional turmoil, and
spiritual attack. With His protection we can endure any trial with the calm
assurance that He who shields us cannot be moved. And that gives us peace no
matter how turbulent our circumstances.
trust in God, I know He cares for me
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea;
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul;
My heavenly Father watches over me.
The Lord may calm the
storm around you, but more often He’ll calm the storm within you.
young student once asked his old teacher, 'Teacher, what is the true measure of
greatness?' The teacher looked far away into the mountains and gave the
Some measure greatness
in height and weight, but great people are never so tall as when they
stoop to talk to a child or bend their knees to help a hurting friend.
greatness in physical strength, but great people are never so strong as
when they shoulder the burden of the downtrodden stranger.
greatness in terms of financial gain, but those who show generosity to
their family and friends, they are the ones who are truly rich.
greatness in applause and accolades, but those who seek opportunity to
serve in the quiet places of the world, theirs is the higher reward.
greatness in commitment to achieving in material ways, but those who spur
others on to reach their goals is great indeed.
have vision and do not keep the truth to themselves.
have passion for life and are not ashamed to show it.
expect the best from others and give the best of themselves.
know how to work and how to play, how to laugh and how to cry, how to give
and how to receive, how to love and how to be loved.
are many people who are by the world called great, but those who bear honour in
their hearts, who can, in the evening hours, lie upon their beds and peacefully
close their eyes, knowing that they have done all that is within their power to
live their lives fully, faithfully, and fruitfully, those are truly great
small stone from David slew the giant Goliath who was in full battle gear. We,
too, have stones with which to slay the giants harassing and intimidating us in
our lives. Stones that still kill giants — each stone a reminder from the
Spirit of biblical principles we can apply in our lives.
1. For the Giant GUILT, you need the stone that says,
YOU ARE CLEAN.
Satan's job is to accuse and hurl charges against us. He makes us carry the
heavy yoke of guilt to drag us down. When we get stained by sin, we need to
humble ourselves and plead guilty before God. Jesus comes to our defense, with
a show of hands as evidence that He bore the punishment we deserved. By
Christ's blood, we have been washed clean.
been justified by Christ, the verdict reads: “NOT GUILTY,” just as it is
written: “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were
sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in
the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). These words are from, “Jesus the
faithful witness....to Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own
blood...” (Revelation 1:6). And this silences our accuser.
2. For the Giant COMPROMISE, you need the stone that
says, SEEK HIM FIRST.
There are voices other than the Holy Spirit that would seek to direct our
lives. And to take up that giant of compromise we need the stone that says put
Jesus first. So as not to fall into the same pattern as the unbelievers do, we
need to remind ourselves that we are in the world but not of the world.
are soldiers in Christ's service and therefore, our duty is to please our
Commanding Officer (2 Timothy 2:4). When we put God above all else and put to
death those desires that cause us to compromise, God will satisfy our
legitimate needs, including wants that are aligned to His will. “But seek first
His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you”
(Matthew 6:33). “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires
of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).
3. For the Giant CONFUSION, you need the stone that
says, GOOD AND HARD.
Many end up confused and disillusioned because they thought life would be
problem-free once they become Christians. No one said it was going to be easy.
Not even Christ promised that. Rather, we are told, “Beloved, do not be
surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing,
as though some strange thing were happening to you...” (1 Peter 4:12).
must accept the reality that, yes, there are joys, but there are also sorrows.
There are good times, and there are also hard times. There are battles, but
there is victory. Having Christ in our lives does not mean the absence of
storms, but it means having Christ with us in the midst of the storms.
good and bad blend together in harmony toward what God wants to accomplish in
and through us. What seems like adversity can become a blessing for the glory
of God. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to
those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans
4. For the Giant FAILURE, you need the stone that says,
DON'T LOOK BACK.
The past has a way of paralyzing us. We must learn from the past but not be
controlled by the past. We must leave the past behind, and move on. Past
failures, past successes, past grief, past glory – these are things that need
to be removed from our memory bank. So goes an Irish saying, “Never forget what
is worth remembering and never remember what is best forgotten.”
our eyes on Jesus will get us past yesterday's failures and set our sights
ahead toward a glorious future. As Paul said, “Brethren, I do not regard myself
as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind
and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the
upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
5. For the Giant DISCOURAGEMENT, you need the stone
that says... NEVER GIVE UP!
The fierce battles and disheartening situations can take their toll on us. They
can weaken and bring us to the point of weariness and despair.
God will give us the strength to keep going, as Isaiah 40:30-31 encourages:
“Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet
those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with
wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not
can cling tightly to God's hand and hold firmly to His promise that He will
never leave us nor forsake us. Following Jesus' example, we must endure the
hardships in life, never giving in to the pressures and never giving up on our
purpose. As long as we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will carry us through the race
till the finish line.
us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the
right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1a-2).
Christ is what we must keep on doing even in the most trying times.
God is for us, who can be against us? Like David, we may be outsized and be
carrying nothing more than stones into the battlefield, but these are the very
stones that will strike our enemy down. Use them we must!
should not make us mad when people say we are fools for Christ. But when we
hear derogatory remarks like, “Why is he like that? Isn't he a born-again
Christian?” then it may be that we have a part in giving Christianity a bad
advertising, the “before and after” technique is used to show the effects of a
product as its selling point. But if a dirty shirt, after being washed by what
is promoted as a “powerful” detergent, does not look any different, would
consumers buy that detergent?
the same way, when people look at our lives, do they see the difference that
Jesus makes? Will they be attracted to the Savior we speak of? Is there a
difference that people can clearly see?
need to allow the Holy Spirit to examine our lives and ask, “Lord, is there
something that is getting in the way of my being a witness for You?” It is the
Holy Spirit that makes us M.A.D. -- that stands for “MAKE A DIFFERENCE”. We are
in this world to make a difference for the glory of God, and it is the Holy
Spirit who will empower us to do it. We can make a difference because:
1. We are APPOINTED to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. “This is to My Father's glory, that
you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples…You did not choose
Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will
last” (John 15:8, 16).
said we are appointed to make a difference. He called us to be the salt of the
earth and as such we are to give people a taste of who Jesus is and what He is
like through our lives, through our witness, and through our testimony. He said
that we are the light of the world, and as such we are to radiate the character
of Jesus in our lives (Matthew 5:13-16). Hence, the distinction that sets us
apart as God's appointees is a transformed life that makes a positive influence
is more than just avoiding sins or going through life quietly. It is about
creating an impact by our wise ways and kind, gracious speech, through which
Christ is properly represented, thus giving justice to our assignment as His
ambassadors. “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making
His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God”
(2 Corinthians 5:20).
people see how we make decisions, how we behave wherever we are, at work or at
home, do we make a difference? Are we able to make an impact even in seemingly
2. We are EMPOWERED to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The wonderful thing about the
Christian life is that not only does the Lord say, “Go out and make a
difference, make disciples and share the gospel”, He gives us the power to do
so. He does not leave us on our own because He knows, like sheep, we are
helpless without Him.
sinful flesh is in constant conflict with the Spirit in us. We lust for things
that are not in harmony with what the Holy Spirit wants (Galatians 5:16-17).
Hence, we need to live by the Spirit, to be led by the Spirit moment-by-moment,
to keep us from gratifying the desires of our sinful nature. By constantly
seeking God's direction and wisdom, by praying without ceasing on every
occasion, and making confession and repentance as part of our daily
conversations with God, we are placing ourselves under the power of the Holy
Spirit who empowers us to make a difference in this world.
3. We are PRIVILEGED to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Having the fruit of the Spirit -
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
self-control - is one reason we are privileged as Christians.
we experience times of pain and difficulty and yet by the power of the Holy
Spirit, we manifest the fruit of the Spirit in response, then clearly we make a
difference for the glory of God. Christian living does not mean the absence or
the removal of problems from life. It means the experience of the fruit of the
Spirit in spite of difficult circumstances that may come our way.
we successfully cope sends a powerful message about Christianity, making others
want what we have. The Gospel is, therefore, advanced, and Christ is made
being a Christian was a crime, would there be enough evidence in your life for
a conviction?” We are in the world to MAKE A DIFFERENCE for the glory of God,
and it is the Holy Spirit who will make it happen. How can we, in our own
lives, counter the negative impressions about Christians and create a positive
impact for Christ?
exhorts, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every
opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).