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, breast-stroke, 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 loves to sing, act, and perform. In high school he won the starring role in several plays and musicals. He was also the lead performer in his church’s drama ministry. Everyone who knows Pete expects to see him in the movies someday. He was offered a full scholarship to a well-known 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.
Talk about it: What do you want to accomplish right now? How about when you’re in high school? Or after?
Two students, two totally different goals. For Drew, personal achievement is the focus of her 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 bigger and better than his personal goals. He sees his gifts and talents as ways to serve Christ, and his choices confirm his beliefs.
No matter what your skills and talents, the first job God gives you is to use your gifts to “produce fruit that will last.” In the Bible, fruit stands for both your inner character and the impact you make on your 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 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 grow up to be an Olympic athlete or 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. Be focused on God’s goals for your life. Then go do your best at anything and everything he’s gifted you to be.
TALK: How can you use your talents and skills to glorify God?
PRAY: God, we want to put you first in everything we do. Help us focus first on your purposes for our life.
ACT: Make a plan as a family to keep doing devotions after today!