Bible Reading: John 15:14-16 I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last. John 15:16
MEET DREW, the swimmer. Drew joined her first swim team in third grade and never looked back. She won nearly every event she entered-freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and relays. In high school she won titles at state and junior national competitions. Two years into a brilliant college career, she qualified for the Olympic team. Next summer Drew will compete in her first Olympics.
Meet Pete, the Christian. Pete is a talented individual, especially in theater. He loves to sing, act, and perform. In high school he won the lead in several plays and musicals. He was also a featured performer in his church’s drama ministry. Everyone who knows Pete expects to see him on Broadway or in the movies someday. He was offered a full scholarship to a prestigious acting school in New York, but he turned it down to attend missionary training school. In six months he will be traveling to the Philippines on an evangelistic drama team.
Two students, two totally different goals. For Drew, personal achievement is the focus of life. Everything centers on excelling and winning. Pete is different. He also has special skills, high goals, and notable achievements. But unlike Drew, Pete’s accomplishments don’t define Pete. He isn’t Pete the actor or Pete the musician; he is Pete the Christian who acts and sings. To Pete, serving Christ is more important than his personal goals. He sees his gifts and talents as instruments for serving Christ, and his choices confirm his beliefs.
No matter what skills and talents you possess, God’s first call on your life is to use those skills and talents to “produce fruit that will last. ” In the Bible, fruit refers both to your inner character qualities and to the impact of those qualities on the watching world. Pete’s first goal is to be the person Christ wants him to be so his life will bring others to Christ. He knows that fame and fortune won’t last forever, but people who trust Christ through the witness of his character and message will.
So does that mean that a Christian can’t be an Olympic athlete or a Broadway actor? Absolutely not. Just don’t let your identity be defined by these pursuits. If you have trusted Christ, you are a Christian first, last, and always. Anything else you do and anything else you achieve is temporary at best. Be filled with the living Christ. Be focused on his purposes for your life. Then go do your best at anything and everything he has gifted you to be.
REFLECT: Have you let your talents-rather than your faith in Christ define your life? How might God want to reshape your priorities and goals?
PRAY: God, I put you first. Help me focus first on your purposes for my life.