Jesus-Centered Life youth devotion no.07

Attachment Trumps Talent

What kinds of people change the world? Well, we assume it’s the really smart ones—the highly talented, most widely connected, best-educated, and most-driven people have what it takes. From Steve Jobs to Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg to LeBron James to Mother Teresa, world-changing people always have some kind of transcendent ability that’s a difference-maker.

So how do we explain the ragtag group of nobodies Jesus chose as his closest disciples and confidants—the mostly uneducated blue-collar grunts who ended up changing the world so profoundly that everyone everywhere is impacted by what they did? The simple reason these often clueless first-century men and women upended the world is because their “movement” was attached to the present force of the person of Jesus. They weren’t the greatest tips-and-techniques people who ever walked the earth. They weren’t skilled at strategy or structure. But they were ruined for Jesus, and that attachment changed everything they touched.

In his book Who Is This Man? pastor John Ortberg sums it up well: “Normally when someone dies, their impact on the world immediately begins to recede. But… Jesus’ impact was greater a hundred years after his death than during his life; it was greater still after five hundred years; after a thousand years his legacy laid the foundation for much of Europe; after two thousand years he has more followers in more places than ever.”

Real impact in the world isn’t ultimately tied to our gifts and abilities; it’s tied to Jesus’ gifts and abilities empowering us to move mountains.

That’s some stuff worth thinking about.

Living It Out

Question #1: What are some of the things you are really good at? And have you ever thought about the “elephant in the living room”—-that Jesus gave you your abilities and talents? That’s the reason you love the things you love—he’s wired you that way from the very beginning.

Question #2: Did you know that Jesus is still in the business of looking for young men and women who are willing to go “all in” for him, just as the original disciples did?

Question #3: Have you ever thought about what a difference you could make in the people around you, and maybe even the world, if you spent your life doing something you love and you’re good at, treating it as your “spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1)? It’s an attitude that says: “Jesus, I’m all in! You wired me the way you did so I can make a lasting difference in the world… Let’s do this thing!”