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Making a Difference

• Scott Boren

Even though the Borens are leaving Woodland Hills this week, their messages will continue to live on. In this sermon, Scott says farewell but also has a message of making a difference in this world. By bearing good fruit, we leave a footprint in this world.

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We all want to know God’s will for our lives. Whether it’s specific issues that we want to know his will, or a general knowing of God’s will, we all have questions. Are we in the right job? Should we buy this house? What school should I go to? Who should I marry? These are just some of the questions that we face and would love to know God’s will. However, it’s more important that we know Who we are. Then, the specific Do parts of our lives will be easier to hear.

In Colossians, we are told that being filled with God’s will leads to bearing fruit in every good work. Bearing fruit is a great Christia-neze term that not many people understand outside of Christianity (which is odd because it was understood by most people when Colossians was first written). Bearing fruit comes from growing things. When a tree is planted, watered and taken care of, then it bears good fruit. When God’s will is planted in us, attended to and taken care of, then we bear good fruit.

For Paul, the Gospel placed the seed in early believers. But what is Gospel? We’ve probably heard it so many times that we, again, make it a strictly Christian term that means a variety of things to a variety of people. However, when Colossians was written, Gospel meant “good news.” It was the word that was used for any sort of public pronouncement. Whether it was a battle that was won or no taxes for five years (don’t we wish?), gospel was simply the word that meant good news.

Which is why we understand the good news of Jesus. Some people can get caught up in the future, thinking that the good news is that God will one day be making a difference in this world. However, the good news of Jesus is for this moment in time. It meant the coming of God’s Kingdom. It meant the expansion of God’s goodness to the gentiles (that’s us). It meant life as life should have been. It meant the beginning of the righting of creation. It meant that God was making a difference in the here and now.

This gospel should be reflected in our lives. We should put our weight into the advancement of the gospel to others, allowing our lives to make a difference in this world. We don’t have to be missionaries, preachers, pastors or any other type of super saint to make a difference in this world. Rather, we recognize the Who of God’s will, and then God makes the difference through us.

God is the one making the difference. It’s not about our agendas. Rather, we join God in his work, and he’s at work all around us. The spirit is moving, and when we faithfully follow, we bear good fruit. We get to participate in the biggest building project of all time, and all it requires of us is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is the very basic, but very potent, act of living out God’s will. When we live like this, we bear good fruit no matter our situation.

Our existence leaves footprints everywhere in this world. Just like a carbon footprint, where using a car leaves a mark on this earth, our lives and fruit leave a footprint. Just by being alive and following the Spirit, we make profound differences in the lives of those around us. Grand ideas are not the only game-changers in this world. We don’t have to picket or start a not-for-profit. Rather, it takes a radical view of living our lives in love.

In the mundane, everyday happenings of this world is where God would have us start bearing fruit. The drive to work, the annoying co-worker or taking care of the kids are all times of making a Kingdom impact. These things may bug you, frustrate or even exhaust you, but God is right there making a difference. We need only know Who we are in him to begin the process of doing God’s will in our lives.

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Topics: God's Will, Identity in Christ, Kingdom of God


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Focus Scripture:

  • Colossians 1:9-10

    For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

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2 thoughts on “Making a Difference

    Teresa says: Friday August 5, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Thanks Scott.

    Such important distinctions.
    It’s all about what is GOD doing…. not what do “I” want to do…or even where can “I’ make a big impact. It’s about where God is calling us individually and corporately.

    We have to learn to listen and follow His voice. As you and Shawna both shared.

    God is working through us – we are not the church on our own. That’s why we dont get to decide what’s next, or who is in or out of our lives.

    God is the Head of the church body. He builds the church. …and the most insignificant parts are often the most important parts. Your sermon reminds me of this from 1 cor 12

    “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be.

    If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

    The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

    Also

    John 15:5

    Thanks again for sharing. Blessings on your next chapter!

    Reply
    kevin says: Friday August 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I love the sermon; i just never caught the “phrases that are repeated” thing he mentioned…..bearing fruit in every good work. what’s the connection? any insight?

    Reply

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