God can make a difference in our lives by changing our hearts. And as God changes our hearts, He begins to work powerfully in our lives. Notice that in both steps, God is the One who does the heavy lifting. He has been making a difference through all of history. He desires to change the world more than you ever will. The good news is that He uses us to make a difference.
God uses His people to bring His will “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). We’re here to tell others about Jesus and to lead the people around us to see the incalculable worth of our God. That task seems huge! How do we do it? It happens as we connect with God and live according to His purpose.
As we move into the world to make a difference, how do we stay connected to this history-shaping, world-changing God? The answer is so simple that it may surprise you: read the Bible. The God who changed our hearts continues to change our hearts through His Word.
God has given His Scriptures to His people so that they can know Him. The Bible is a perfect testimony of who God is and what He’s like. It “is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). Through His, Word God has given us “everything required for life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). Some of the psalms are devoted to expressing the value of God’s Word:
The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. The precepts of the Lord are right making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. They are more desirable than gold—than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. In addition, your servant is warned by them, and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.
Psalm 19 begins by describing ways God has revealed Himself in creation (see vv. 1-6). However, in verse 7 the psalmist shifted from creation to God’s decrees and commands in Scripture. When the psalmist used words like instruction, testimony, precepts, command, and ordinances, he was referring to the words of Scripture. Although creation is sufficient to give us an awareness of God, we need Scripture to tell us who He is.
The psalmist believed the Bible is “perfect” (v. 7), “trustworthy” (v. 7), “radiant” (v. 8), “pure” (v. 9), and “reliable” (v. 9). He believed Scripture was “more desirable than gold” (v. 10) and “sweeter than honey” (v. 10). Scripture wasn’t an added detail to his life but something he returned to again and again to refine and redirect his heart. We don’t read the Bible as merely a religious exercise. We read the Bible because we believe it will change our lives.
To be difference makers, first and foremost we have to understand and believe that the power to make a difference isn’t found in us; it’s found in God. He makes a difference in us as we read His Word and apply it to our lives. Scripture has unique power because it communicates God’s thoughts to us. It tells us who He is, what He’s like, and how we’re to relate to Him. Scripture has an authority we don’t have. Going to the Bible puts us in contact with God. When we read the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, encourages us in our pursuit of the Lord, and changes us from the inside out. If we don’t listen to God through His Word, we won’t be the kind of people who make a difference.
Planting God’s Word in Your Heart
There’s nothing magical about setting a time and a place, but it’s essential to make time for the priorities that are important to us. If we want to know God better, we need to make time to listen to Him through His Word. In our attempts to leave a history-changing, difference-making, life-giving, Spirit-empowered legacy, we must start here. If we don’t have the Word of God, we have nothing, and our attempts to make a difference will end in failure because we’ll be striving in our own strength instead of being transformed by God’s work in our lives. Transformation happens as we read God’s Word and commit to doing what it says.
We should read God’s Word. We should submit to it. We should believe it. We should memorize it. We should meditate on it. We should come to know it so well that it permeates our hearts and minds, finds its way into our conversations, and forms the content of our prayers. We should start with the Word and pray to the Lord, “Father, confirm Your Word with Your Holy Spirit. Confirm Your word with Your people. Give us wise counsel from Your Word to move out in ministry. Help us, through Your Word, to be difference makers.”
This content is a partial excerpt from Gregg Matte’s Difference Makers Bible study. Find out more about the study.
When you look at the needs in the world around you, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But you were created for more than watching. You have a history-changing, difference-making, life-giving, Spirit-empowered legacy to leave. Difference Makers, a six-session Bible study, will motivate and equip you to get off the sidelines and into the thick of ministry with Jesus. As He works through you, you will learn to pray, go, and give of yourself to make an eternal difference.