Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Backdrop (Youth Worker)

The Backdrop

Steve Jobs. Ludwig van Beethoven. Lebron James.

Recognize those names? I'm thinking so.

How about Julius Lilienfeld? Bartolomeo Cristofori? James Naismith? Recognize those names?

I'm thinking not so much.

However, without the second set, you would not recognize the names of the first. Julius Lilienfeld patented the capacitor, which led to the transistor, which led to the personal computer (and all things "i"—iPhone, iTouch, iPad, etc.). Bartolomeo Cristorfori invented the piano (as an improvement over the plucky harpsichord). James Naismith invented basketball (to solve the problem of needing a non-contact indoor game in the winter at a YMCA). Jobs, Beethoven and James seem to have been created specifically for their trades, trades that were created decades before they each came along.

The same is true for you. Something has been created for you to do, and you have been specifically created to do it.

The What

Check this out:

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Eph. 2:10).

The So What

You have been brought into this world for a special purpose. Sure, the purpose might include building, discovering or performing something that makes you world-famous; but God actually has prepped something for you for an even greater impact and higher calling: "to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [you] to do."

So, what are these good works?

First, these are not good works we do to earn salvation. They are good works we do because of salvation. Beyond that, Bible scholars have a lot of fun (in a Bible scholar sort of way) trying to figure out what these good works might be. Here is a very simplified boil-down: reflecting God's character on this earth, which (when you think about it) is a pretty cool life mission: to reflect God's character on this earth.

This truth leads to this question: Do you want to do what you were created to do?

If so, then as you commit to reflect God's character on this earth, you will be led to things that will have impact similar to Jobs, Beethoven and James. You might not be famous for it (or you might, who knows?) but you will touch lives...deeply, profoundly.

Seal the Deal

Spend time praying about the good works God has prepared for you to do. Do you want to reflect God's character in your circles of relationships more effectively? Each question below is directed toward a particular circle (including you) and is accompanied by some verses to help you experience God-sized impact. Read these verses and let God's Spirit teach you through His Word.

What adjustments do you need to make to be more Christ-like with your family?

Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossians 3:20; Exodus 20:12

How can you better reflect the image of Christ to your friends?

John 15:13-17; Proverb 17:17; Proverb 18:24

How can you be a representative of the gospel message in your youth ministry?

Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 4:25; Ephesians 5:21

What changes can you make to better love the unlovable and the least of these?

Matthew 5:43-48; Matthew 25:37-40

What adjustments do you need to make internally to reflect God more accurately in your thinking?

Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 2:5-11; Philippians 4:8

One final thought:
You are God's handiwork.
Go do what you've been created to do.

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