Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was once quoted as saying, “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”

I don’t know who “they” are that he is referring to, but I am confident that this statement applies to the transforming power of Christ.

The apostle Paul said to the church in Philippi, ”I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

The Word, and our relationship with God, should inspire us to greatness, never settling for less than what he wants us to achieve and become through him.

One simple trait that many people considered as “great” share is that people matter to them. They have each made a lifestyle of building up others — even others who can’t offer much in return.

Paul again echoes this sentiment in his words to the church at Rome, when he writes, ”Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” (Romans 15:2)

For his good, Paul said. In our quid-pro-quo culture, someone who is strengthening others with no strings attached will stand head and shoulders above the rest.

This week I’d like to challenge you to strive to build up others, not for your or my own interests, and not in order to further our goals or selfish aspirations, but rather for the good of others. From a practical standpoint, doing this may not increase your bottom line in life, but from a spiritual standpoint, it will make a difference for all eternity.

God started something in you when you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and he won’t quit until the job is done. He is, the Bible teaches, transforming us into the image of his son, so that we may be found sincere and blameless on the day of Christ. It’s a lifelong work, but if a diamond can be made from a chunk of coal, if a pearl can come from an oyster and if penicillin can be made from moldy bread, God can complete his work in you.

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