A devotional is an in-depth Bible study. A typical devotional should take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete. Download and print a PDF version of this devotional for yourself, or use it with a friend to create an engaging discussion.
How are you meant to change your neighborhood or community?
The idea of making a difference in the lives of other people inspires me. But in practice, as I go about my life, I tend to focus on the next personal challenge for me or my family – not how I can help others. What I am learning is that God uses what we are going through to give us the opportunity to build relationships and it is up to us to accept that lesson. We need to believe that God puts us right where we need to be. As I have grown in my faith in God’s plan, I am starting to see opportunities to help other people.
God’s Plan Includes You
Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”Esther 4:13-14 NLT
God has a plan and we are a part of it. We can be deceived into thinking that the place, position, and challenges we have in life are simply for us when they are actually part of God’s plan to use our influence to change the world.
After writing out a list of experiences and qualities my family and I have, I recognized how many different kinds of people we can connect and relate to. Praying about those built my confidence and redirected my focus to think about what God is doing, not just what I have to do.
How about you? Make a list of experiences and qualities you have. If you put your whole heart into building relationships with people, how many new connections could you make?
“Help us to remember that our days are numbered, and help us to interpret our lives correctly. Set your wisdom deeply in our hearts so that we may accept your correction.”Psalm 90:12 TPT
Do you believe your life matters? Or do you let insecurity, doubt, unbelief, or selfishness make you live small?
It is easy to think of my life as being small because I do not think of my part in God’s plan. What challenges have you been going through? Have you considered that you can actually help change others because of them?
Only when you understand that God has a plan and you are a part of it, are you able to interpret your life correctly. Your weakness, sins, pains, talents, and resources are all important for you to live your part of God’s plan.
God’s Plan is About Impact
“Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for.”Psalm 90:16 TPT
God’s plan always includes new people knowing him throughout history. When we live to advance our own life we miss the point of why we are here which is to inspire others about God.
- Who helped (or is helping) you build faith in God? God has used them to impact you and you can do the same for others.
- God wants other people to understand who he is. How can you help other people understand God (his character, his love, his forgiveness, etc.)?
“But I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do. And that work is to tell the good news about God’s great kindness.”Acts 20:24 CEV
Your focus matters. Are you focused on the work God gives you to do? Or a different kind of work? If the work that’s most important to us is work for ourselves (our own success, comfort, or achievement), we will live lives with small impact.
- When you focus on what you feel is important, you miss out on God’s plan for you to impact others.
- Do you understand how important you are in God’s plan?
God’s Plan is for the Good
“God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing.”Ephesians 2:10 NCV
- Do you believe God made you what you are and that is for the best?
- One way God plans for us to impact others is to do good with our lives. In what ways could you do good in your community if you made time?
“God planned that those he had chosen would become like his Son. In that way, Christ will be the first and most honored among many brothers and sisters.”Romans 8:29 NIrV
You will have amazing impact with your life as you change to be more and more like Jesus. God doesn’t promise an easy life, as his priorities are different than ours. Many of the challenges we face are so we can change to be more and more like Jesus.
- When you read your Bible, start reflecting on how Jesus lived and how you could imitate him in your life.
- What actions can you take this week to love the people around you like Jesus would have?