Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Because we have been made in the image and likeness of God, we have been made to make a durable difference in the world around us. So the question before you and me today is this:
Are we truly making a difference that is durable?
To be sure, there are many things that get in the way of making a durable difference in the world around us. One of those things is our tendency to be more focused on pleasing men than on pleasing God. Make no mistake, people pleasers do not make a durable difference in the world! They find their deepest satisfaction when others are pleased and accepting of them. But this was not the life for the apostle Paul:
I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24 ESV)
These are the sentiments of a man who made a durable difference in the world. Now, it was not that the apostle despaired of life itself; rather, he despised the thought of living life without Christ at the center and circumference of it. And he was willing to set all other things aside—indeed, he considered them “rubbish” (Philippians 3:8)—in order to pursue the faithful and fruitful service of his Lord. Paul made no account of his life apart from the life that the Lord Jesus had called him to live when He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus.
Paul’s goal was to accomplish or finish his course or race. He knew a durable difference would only be made when he crossed the finish line of life having given all he had and all he was as a testimony to the Gospel of the grace of God. Paul purposed to live a life for something bigger than just his life; he lived for His Savior. He refused to shrink the size of his life down to the size of his life. Paul lived to please God, not man, and in doing so, he made a durable difference as a disciple of Jesus.
Can the same be said of you today? Are you making a durable difference by the life you are living? Your answer can be a resounding “Yes!” . . . if you are living your life for the glory of God and the good of others. It matters not what your station in life is; what matters is who you are living for in your current station. When you are living for Jesus and pouring yourself out for the advancement of His kingdom, you can know in no uncertain terms that the life you are living is making a durable difference—even an eternal difference—in the world around you.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!