Change the World with Jesus
FREE 4 week online bible study
You are invited to Change the World with Jesus. We are His Bride, His Body–His image bearers on earth. Each of us has a significant contribution to what He is doing to change the world. During this study, you’ll learn to identify more specifically how Jesus has designed you to change the world with Him through your work and life.
This FREE bible study includes:
- An 8-10 minute teaching delivered to your inbox each week
- A downloadable participant manual for you follow along with daily
We are invited to change the world with Jesus. We are His Bride, His Body–His image bearers on earth. Each of us has a significant contribution to what He is doing to change the world. During this study, you’ll learn to identify more specifically how Jesus has designed you to change the world with Him through your work and life.
Tim Hoerr is the CEO of Serra Ventures, LLC, Managing Partner of Serra Capital, and the author of Thank God it’s Monday and Risking It: An Intersection of Faith and Work. He aims to help others apply faith principles in the marketplace through his work at Serra, his writing, and his speaking.
The Big Story
The scriptures say that we are made in God’s image and that we
are designed to be co-creators with Him. In Genesis 1:26-28, God instructed us to fill the Earth and take charge of it – to join Him in His grand purpose for all of creation. This – the cultural mandate, as it has been called – is an exciting challenge. And it is one made much more difficult in light of human corruption, selfishness and lack of proper stewardship. Shortly after these verses in scripture we see the “fall,” when sin entered the human race, complicating and in many ways opposing the implementation of the cultural mandate.
But God has not been caught unaware. He has been acting throughout history to “set things right” as we see in this passage, one of dozens of similar scriptures. “He will steadily and firmly set things right. He won’t be stopped until He finishes His work to set things right on the Earth” (Isaiah 42:1-4). The larger narrative of scripture is that God has always been at work, with the ultimate goal of redeeming, restoring and renewing His whole creation.
In the message, The Big Story, we learned of God’s plan to redeem, restore and renew His entire creation. We also learned that God has intended for each one of us to participate in that wonderful plan.
He calls us to Himself, He saves us through the person and work of Christ, and He gives us a new identity as sons and daughters. From this awesome position and relationship, He invites us to take charge over some unique part of creation, to bring the Kingdom right where we are.
As Dallas Willard shared in The Divine Conspiracy, “We are, all of us, never-ceasing spiritual beings with a unique eternal calling to count for good in God’s great universe…in creating human beings God made them to rule, to reign, to have dominion in a limited sphere. Only
so can they be persons.” That is incredible news – and an awesome challenge!
Interestingly, you don’t have to look too far to discover the piece of creation over which you’re called to have dominion, as Willard says, or to take charge as Genesis says. Most of us will find it right where we already are! God is the Lord of your past, present and future. He’s led you to this point, put you in certain spheres of influence with others, and gifted you with a very unique personality and gifts. So, the clues to your calling are all around you.
It might be easier for you to think of it this way:
Let me tell you why you’re here, You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this Earth…
Here’s another way to put it:
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world (Matt. 5:13-14).
Taking charge can be as simple as thinking of ourselves as either salt seasoning bringing out a particular God-flavor, or as light, bringing out a particular God-color in the world. The notions of flavor and color denote infinite possibilities, really. Which means that it will take billions of unique individuals to ultimately get the whole job done! This should give us great hope that there truly is a unique “take charge calling” for everyone.
Jesus said in John 6:40 “This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who He is and what He does and then aligns with Him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.” There are over 20 similar references to real life in the gospel of John. Jesus clearly desires for us to enter into and experience real life – right here, right now!
To do this, He invites us to align our individual story with His Big Story. As we’ve seen in the previous segments of this series, God intentionally placed us on the Earth to fulfill the cultural mandate of taking charge of the creation in a godly, loving way. He intentionally called us to be co-creators with Him. The profound truth is that each of us does indeed have a story – and a meaningful, irreplaceable one at that.
Seeing our individual stories as part of God’s big story opens up some new ways of thinking and some big possibilities. At the center of our stories is an individual calling or purpose that is uniquely ours.
How do we discover it, develop it and live it out? Most likely, you already have a pretty good idea through these clues:
- Talents, Competencies, Expertise – Each of us has natural and acquired gifts and experiences. These are often a key part of what God has purposed us to do on the Earth.
- Passions and Interests – God is a passionate God – and He’s made us in His image with passions and interests. What are yours?
- Spheres of Influence – Each of us enjoys a variety of relationships – family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. In which relationships has God given you influence? Who has been a key influencer on you?
- Personal History – Our personal histories are completely unique to us. And they often hold clues to our present purpose. The Lord can redeem negative circumstances from our past – and He can use what we’ve learned in powerful ways.
- Personality and Temperament – The way you process decisions, think and feel, relate to others – basically, how you do life – are what make up your personality and temperament.Through the above clues, God has likely shown you your unique purpose, or at least revealed part of it to you. Of course, He’s always inviting us to be more intentional about discovering and living out our purpose. After all, He wants us to experience real, abundant lifeFinally, and importantly, our stories are meant to integrate with, support, and impact the stories of those around us. That’s the beauty of God’s design for authentic community – that each of us “get to play” in His bigger story, as we connect with and love on others.
Take the Risk
Through the taking of risks – ranging from the small and simple
to the large and looming – our individual stories can come alive, become more tangible and more vibrant. Ultimately we can better align our personal story with God’s far bigger story. There are a few things about risk that are helpful to know. First, at its most basic level, risk taking is faith in action. Second, the outcome of risk taking is not guaranteed. Finally, through risks taken in faith, what we’re really doing is expressing our worship of the King. Let’s unpack each of these points.
At its most basic level, risk taking is faith in action. John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, Vineyard movement, was very fond of saying “Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.” On one hand, this might be interpreted to mean expressing one’s faith through overtly spiritual acts like praying for someone, offering spiritual counsel to a small group member or tithing. It does indeed mean each of those things. But Wimber’s admonition is just as applicable to situations that aren’t so obviously “spiritual.” It applies to the everyday, ordinary, work-a-day decisions we face. Some of these decisions represent opportunities to leave our comfort zones and step into something
that is difficult, potentially scary, or uncomfortable. From scripture, we recall the story of Peter in the boat in the midst of a storm. Jesus came toward the boat, walking on the water. At the behest of Jesus to “not be afraid,” Peter summoned the courage to step out of the boat and onto the water. He was actively expressing his faith, as his heart, mind and body engaged in the act of risk-taking. Indeed, when we take a risk, we are expressing our faith in a very real, tangible way.
The specific outcome of your risk taking is not guaranteed (but His faithfulness is!). God is whispering to us on a pretty consistent
basis – and His whispers are often invitations to take a risk. As we wrestle with his promptings, we’re trying to determine whether the voice we’re hearing really is God’s or not. Even for those with years of practice in listening for God’s voice, this can be a difficult exercise. And if we do indeed decide to move forward with a particular risk, it’s important to remember that doing so does not necessarily guarantee the specific outcome we envision. God’s purpose in inviting us into the risk may be different than the purpose that
we have in mind. One thing we can be sure of, though, and that
is his faithfulness to see us through the process. Regardless of the outcome, He promises to be with us, to encourage and strengthen us in the process of stepping out.
Through risks taken in faith, what we’re really doing is expressing our worship of the King. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of risk
is that it is ultimately an expression of worship. When we think of worship, we usually think of a Sunday morning service; listening to Christian radio; praying quietly in our home – and those are all forms of worship. But wait, there’s more! Take a look at our key scripture below. From this scripture, we see that risk-taking and worship are vitally linked – two ways of saying the same thing, in fact. Risk- taking in each day’s course of events is one of the most fundamental ways we express worship to the King. What we are really saying to God in this process is, “I love you. I trust you. I worship you.”