Happy Wednesday! You're in for a treat. Today, my friend Laura Hepp popped over to the blog to dig into Paul's words and encourage us about how we were designed by God. I met Laura just over three years ago when she was finishing up her freshmen year at University of Delaware (Blue Hens for life!) and have absolutely loved seeing how she's grown as a person, and more importantly, as a follower of Jesus in the last few years. She's a talented writer, a marathon runner in the making, an amazing actress, and a sweet friend. I hope you enjoy her words today...
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Observation: Paul reminds his fellow believers of the Good News. Referencing his own dark past, he shares the powerful life-change he experienced after putting his faith in Jesus and receiving God’s favor.
Application: Have you ever tried to be exactly what someone else is looking for? Match a certain vision, check off all of the boxes, bust out of preconceived labels, and blow some socks off?
I have. Many, many times. It's called theatre...which has been a treasured hobby of mine since childhood. With theatre, exceeding expectations is the name of the game.
Before you ever get to step on stage or hear a single clap from an audience member, you have to plow through a painful process called auditioning. Don’t be fooled -- this part is far from fun or glamorous. In a desperate attempt to be cast as a certain character in a certain show, you update your resume, prepare a short section of a song, and (perhaps most importantly) select an outfit that will guarantee your success.
Do you wear sneakers and skinny jeans to try to resemble the rebellious teenage role you’re trying to land? Or steal your sister’s skirt to appear older, classier, and more princess-like to be cast as the show’s leading lady?
Ultimately, you’re trying to fit a mold. You’re trying to become someone else...how a director imagines a character to be. And you do this all to win favor.
But regardless of how things pan out at this audition, one very important thing remains constant -- none of it really matters in the long run. You’ve already been cast as the greatest role imaginable. You’ve forever been cast as a child of God.
We haven't been cast based on our resume or on our looks, but out of love and with a price we could never repay. We were born to play a role that was specifically written for us and cannot be played by anyone else. We don’t need to pretend to be someone we aren’t or work to outshine anyone else -- that isn’t God’s plan for us. Instead, we simply need to put our faith in Jesus, submit our lives to him, and accept the roles he has given us. From there, he will begin to direct us, mold us, and shape us into the person he always intended for us to be -- the beautifully crafted character he created to love, serve, and make a difference in our own unique way.
“But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.” (verse 10)
All we need to do is follow his direction and trust the plot he has mapped out for our lives. All we need to is take our purpose off his page and live it out on our world’s stage. God has already written all of our stories -- they are all interwoven to create one large masterpiece to glorify him. You have a part to play. You have a purpose. You have an exciting lifelong performance ahead of you. You just need to follow his lead. And when everything is said and done, when we take our bows at the end of our lives, we can all expect an award far greater than a Tony.
Prayer: God, I praise you today for the role you have given me. Despite my fears, doubts, and insecurities, I can find great strength and confidence knowing that you have designed me with a purpose and a part. I may not know where you will lead me in my story, God, but I know you have far greater things in store for me than I could ever imagine. I pray to glorify you through every act and every scene of my life -- today and every day. Amen.