It’s an interesting time of year for me. Around this time of year, the teenagers in our youth ministry are trained on how to share the Gospel, and they are then sent out into our community to lead backyard Bible clubs. At our church, we allow 6th-12th graders to participate. At first, this might seem like a terrible idea. Middle schoolers have a long history of being immature and childlike while wanting more autonomy. High schoolers, likewise, are known for their bad attitudes and even worse decision making skills. Yet, every single summer, these students amaze me with their energy, passion, and ability. Some of the best gospel presentations I’ve ever seen have come from teenagers with virtually no experience speaking in front of a crowd.
While it’s so easy to come up with 1,000 reasons why any given high schooler will do a terrible job at presenting the Gospel, the reality is that they have incredible potential to do eternal things…and so do you!
You Have Incredible Potential…
With the risk of sounding too much like a motivational speaker, if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you have incredible potential!
We live in a world which bases value and worth on standards that are literally unachievable. When we think about our potential for achievement or beauty, we’re bombarded by magazine covers featuring photoshopped celebrities promising impossible results.
If you measure your potential based on the world’s expectations, you will likely find yourself discouraged. But, your potential was never meant to be judged based on comparisons and superficial standards.
You were fearfully and wonderfully made to be you, and here are three reasons you have incredible potential:
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
#1 | You Are Made in the Image of God
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Of all the creatures on land…
Of all the species within the sea…
Of all of God’s creations…
Only mankind is created in God’s image!
It’s easy to dismiss the power of knowing you’re created in the Image of God because we tend to compare ourselves to others, and all other people are also created in the Image of God. No matter how many other people are in the Image of God, that doesn’t take away from you.
You bear the image of God. When God wanted to create a self-portrait of Himself, He created mankind. He created you!
This should radically transform how you view yourself and others. This should transform the way you judge others and yourself.
Don’t look to others to determine your worth. Look to the one who created you in His image.
It’s so easy to jump to judging people based on superficial standards. Working with teenagers I would frequently make assumptions about students based on their age. The reality is no matter what they’re age, they are made in the image of God. When they move in a godward direction, they are a picture of what God intended us to be. Each Summer they set an example to our entire church of what we should all strive to me.
#2 | You Are Empowered by the Holy Spirit
27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
29 That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Depending on what church circles you run in, the Holy Spirit is potentially never brought up, or brought up an awkwardly large amount. Whichever circles you run in, the important thing is that you realize the Holy Spirit is within you. God the Father created the universe. Jesus the Son emptied Himself, lived a perfect life, died for our sins, and conquered sin and death. Now the Holy Spirit dwells inside of everyone who put’s their faith in Christ.
You have the potential for good.
You have the potential to identify evil.
You have the potential to minister.
You have the potential to serve.
You have the potential to change.
You have the potential to make a difference.
This isn’t because of you, but because of the one inside of you. You have the power of the creator of the universe working inside of you. Never forget that. Never get overwhelmed by your failures. Never think that God can’t use you.
You have incredible potential!
Before we take students to lead the backyard Bible clubs, we train them on how to share the gospel. One of the first years I was helping train students for the clubs I was evaluating a 7th grade girl. She had never taught taught in front of a crowd before, and this was literally her first day ever being trained on this material. When she presented her lesson it was incredible. She was young. She was inexperienced, and she might have presented it better than the trainer.
Obviously seeing someone that young do so well subverts our expectations, but should it in these situations? If the Bible is true, and believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t we expect to see the incredible from Christ’s followers?
#3 | God Created You With a Plan For Your Life
6 I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 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.
God made you to be you!
Whenever you start to question your value and potential, remember who made you. God doesn’t make mistakes, and He didn’t make a mistake when He made you.
God knew you when He was creating you.
God created you with a plan in mind.
God saved you to serve!
I often find it interesting the way we end up at different places in life. My sister is four years older than me, and majored in elementary education in college. So because of our age gap, we were both seniors about to graduate at the same time. I specifically remember sitting in physics class my senior year wondering why my sister or anyone else would ever want to be a teacher. There
wasn’t a single thing that seemed enjoyable teaching.
…within four years I’d applied to Bible college as an education major. That certainly wasn’t my plan for my life. Through the many twists and turns of life, God had a plan for where I was supposed to be. Jump forward to today, I’ve preached some 500 sermons.
If you drift towards self doubt or questioning your potential, find ways to daily remind yourself that you were fearfully and wonderfully made in the Image of God, and you are filled with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill the good works God planned for you.
You have incredible potential!
I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, and most precious thing in all thinking.