Formerly he was useless . . ., but now he has become useful.
Devotion based on Philemon 1:11
See series: Devotions
Author John Gardner tells of a pleasant, elderly man he used to know. As pleasant as this elderly man was, however, he loved to ask a particular question that many people found unsettling. The question was this: “What have you done that you passionately believe in?”
Many found this question unsettling because it forced them to rethink their lives on the spot. For years they had been comfortable making conversation about what they did for a living, how busy they were, the trips they had taken, the restaurants and movies they enjoyed. But suddenly, here was this gentle, gracious old man who asked them something for which they did not have an immediate answer.
How about you? What is your answer? What have you done that you passionately believe in?
Of course, one could answer that question in all kinds of ways—from making a difference at your place of work to teaching the lonely child next door how to make cookies. However, if you see your life through the lens of Christianity, sooner or later, you’re going to conclude that the most satisfying actions in your life are the ones connected to Jesus Christ.
Apart from Jesus Christ, every ability I use and every deed I do has no permanent value. Even if I manage to make a noticeable impact on this world, it’s on a world that’s cracked, broken, and fading away.
But in Jesus, everything is different. His work as my substitute has washed me clean of my sinful self-absorption. His Holy Spirit has also bonded me to things that are lasting and real. This means that everything I do, no matter how involved, no matter how simple—everything I do to the glory of my Savior is a priceless fruit of faith that has positive, eternal consequences in the hands of my Heavenly Father, who is the everlasting God of all.
So go ahead and answer the question. Our answers will vary in specifics, of course. What matters is the connection they have to our Savior from sin.
Lord Jesus, by your Holy Spirit, fill me with the joy of knowing that even the simplest things I do to your glory are vital and profound in your sight. Amen.
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