Grand Slams

The extraordinary gifts He has given us, when used for His purposes, don’t allow for an ordinary life.  Just go out there and do your art. Make something. And do it not just for you…but for the glory of God.
– Makoto Fujimura, Japanese Christian artist
In this weekend’s service, you heard the story of Eric Ward, a Northwest Ohio fourth grade teacher, husband and dad to three children. Eric also loves photography and, several years ago, began taking pictures (mostly of his children and nature) with an iPhone and sharing them on Instagram, the app...
that has become a worldwide social photography platform.

Using the name @littlecoal, Eric gained a few followers who were captivated by his stunning composition and trademark silhouettes. Over the last three years, those “few” followers have grown to nearly 270,000 and more than half are located outside of the United States. This small town school teacher has been featured in the Columbus Museum of Art, Mashable online, and the cover of “Shooter” magazine as well as countless online interviews. Eric even won a brand new car by submitting one of his photos in an Instagram contest.

Even with such a public recognition for his individual talent, Eric has been quick to thank his mom for letting him take and develop so many photos as a child and he hasn’t shied away from sharing his faith throughout the journey either. Many of his posts point people directly to God and he has been quoted in interviews saying, “My biggest inspirations are my children and the beauty of His creation whichsurrounds us every day in so many different ways.”

From editing photos from his living room to finding influence with hundreds of thousands of people, God has taken something ordinary and made it extraordinary. As Kevin Myers shares, “God invites us to live larger. If the only thing you live for on earth is yourself, you will be disappointed.”

READ and THINK… What does the Bible say?
We are all uniquely designed by God to accomplish something very specific. In this verse, Jesus is praying to God about his own purpose on earth. Jesus had a very specific calling.
Question: Even though Jesus was fully divine, he came to earth to bring God glory. How did Jesus glorify God with his (Jesus’) life?

John 17:4 (New Living Translation)

I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

In Ephesians, Paul writes about our connection to Jesus as the head of the church. God views us as His masterpiece and we should not take our talents for granted. Our relationship with Jesus allows us to live out our God-ordained purpose.

Question: What does God have planned for those who are new in Christ?

Ephesians 2:10 (New Living Translation)

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

It is easy for us to limit our God-given talents when we don’t see the possibility God has intended for us. In this verse, Paul reminds us that we should never limit what God can do in our lives.

Question: Who gets the glory when we accomplish extraordinary things, even things that we have never dreamed about or prayed for?

Ephesians 3:20 (New Living Translation)

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

LIVE… What will you do now?

What talents and gifts has God given you to use at home, work or as a hobby? How have you used those gifts in a way that gave glory to God and blessed others?

Like Eric Ward, your life could be more extraordinary than ordinary when you allow God to work through your giftedness. Perhaps you’ve already experienced that. When was the last time God “showed off” in your life? Share a time where God’s plan was more than you expected or dreamed.

THINK ABOUT THIS! When we live the Home Run Life, we shouldn’t be surprised when God does something big in us or through us to impact those close to us or to impact a broader audience. Do you ever think that God could do something HUGE through you? Would you consider praying about it and telling a friend?

PRAY… God, what do you want me to know and do?

Thank God for the unique talents He has given you and ask Him to develop them and provide opportunities to share your faith while using them. Ask for help to encourage other people’s gifts while appreciating your own. Give God glory for the work He has already done in your life and pray for the dreams you have.
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

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