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Do you want your life to be significant?


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Happy New Year!  


Do you want to make this year matter? Do you want your life to be significant?


I remember the moment I started to feel insignificant compared to people around me. My dad has his PhD, so growing up, academics were highly valued in my family. In late elementary school, my older brother achieved a high IQ score. It’s safe to say there was great rejoicing when my mom announced his results! 


I wanted great rejoicing over my score too. Instead, the response I remember when I asked about my score was “let’s not talk about that.” 


Interpretation of an 11-year-old boy? “I must not be very bright.”


But that didn’t stop me from wanting to be significant. I tried excelling in sports. I played soccer, wrestled, and ran track. Sure enough, I set some records and achieved athlete of the week a few times! Sad to say, the principal did not know me, so some guy named Don Stud got the credit. 


However, to be honest, I didn’t receive significance through my achievements. Seriously, how many of you remember the accomplishments of a Junior High boy? None. Ok, maybe one… my wife knows about them because my trophies take up some space in a back corner of the basement.  


Yet we often continue this pursuit into adult life. How many others remember your GPA, sales awards, or other achievements that this world deems significant? One time, a woman in a running group was working really hard. Another woman said jokingly, “What are you, an Olympic athlete?”  Her response was, “I wasn’t going to say anything…” She seriously had been an Olympic athlete! But even that had not brought her significance.


So, what really determines significance?  


The apostle Paul put it this way: “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15, ESV) 


Significance is measured by time. How long does something last? The longer lasting, the more significant.  I spent years trying hard to achieve significance by my performance, only to see those things fade quickly into memory (and only into my own memory!). Compare that to when I found a Bible from my junior high years.  In it was a note that said, “Pray for Paris until he comes to Christ.” Paris was a friend of mine who didn’t believe in God. But the Lord gave me a heart for his salvation. Years later, I learned that he had trusted Christ as Savior and was taking his family to church. Obviously, the Lord used others in Paris’ life, but I pray that my witness and prayers played a small part in changing his, and his whole family’s, eternal destination.  

Or compare it to a meeting I had on a normal day a few years ago. A couple came into my office for a counseling appointment. The woman wanted to get me on her side and prove others wrong. I prayed to start the meeting and asked the Lord to direct the conversation. At one point, I remember thinking, “You can’t want me to ask that Lord… it feels rude!” But it was crystal clear, so I asked her.


These are her words recounting that meeting: “I was sure to be vindicated because I was ‘right’ in my position about the sins of others… what I had not realized until that moment of grace was that Satan deceived me on so many levels… When Dan spoke the truth in love to me, God’s grace flooded my soul, and continues to overflow almost every day when I consider the awesomeness of the Father’s love.” 


Later, the woman told me that my question confronted her with her own hypocrisy and failure to personally submit her life to Christ. She says that was the moment of her salvation. Praise God!


In John 15, Jesus tells His disciples that He is the Vine, and they are the branches. Jesus goes on to say that as we stay connected to Him, He will produce fruit through us, fruit that will last. (See John 15)


The product of your life will be significant throughout eternity when you abide in Christ and produce fruit that will last. 

So whether Jesus leads you to ask a question or pray for someone—or if in Jesus’ name you provide hospitality, care, clothing or a visit (see Matthew 25:31-40) —your words and actions can make an eternal difference. 


Dear Saints, where do you look for significance? What is it from your life that will endure the fire of judgment day? Will your possessions or accomplishments or appearance? Just like my athletic achievements in Junior High are no longer remembered, our achievements and stuff in this world won’t last either.


In the coming weeks, we will look at the specifics of how Christ has given us the foundation of significance.  

Let’s make this year count for Christ.

Dan Studt
Freedom in Christ Ministries, President


Only Jesus!

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