What you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that’s shortly going to be thrown on the fire. You are not planting roses in a garden that’s about to be dug up for a building site. You are- strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself- accomplishing something that will be come in due course part of God’s new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art of music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of creation; every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read of to walk; every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world – all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make. That is the logic of the mission of God. God’s recreation of his wonderful world, which began with the resurrection of Jesus and continues mysteriously as God’s people live in the risen Christ and in the power of his Spirit, means that what we do in Christ and by the Spirit in the present is not wasted. It will last all the way into God’s new world. in face, it will be enhanced there. Surprised by Hope – N.T. Wright
Sometimes I wonder how we would live “in light of God’s restoration of all things” rather than with a view toward “all things burning up” viewpoint.
The Re-Creation of a new heavens and new earth has at it’s root the promise of a New Eden, a “New Heaven and New Earth.” Many Christians do not have a complete view of what God will Re-Create after Christ’s return. Many have have considered images of angels and harps and think we spend eternity in heavenly cloud like spaces! When scripture points to a Heavenly City (Revelation 21:1-14) that connects both the New Heaven and New Earth.
We will be part of a new creation that will reflect the glory of God. The very things in this life that we have pursued and created that reflect God’s glory will last! Wright says, “all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make.”
As N.T. Wright points out in the quote what we do here does have eternal impact. This includes creating great artwork, writing great music, teaching children to read and grasp the wonder of this world, helping the needy, bringing hope to those who are hopeless, caring for others and a multitude of other things.
We just finished celebrating Easter. The Resurrection is about new birth. It is about the power of God over death and destruction. When I consider the impact of Jesus’ Resurrection, I must also consider that he finishes his time here on earth promising to give power for all believers to proclaim the Good News and continue the mission.
We live in light of the power of the risen Christ, in us by the ministry of the Holy Spirit that Jesus also promised.
So what does this mean for me today, this week, this month? I look at the moments ahead and seek to honor God by worshipping Him in my calling!
I do my work to the glory of God. I love my family to the Glory of God. I talk to my neighbor about the glory of God! I live with a different set of rules than the rest of society that they would see the glory of God!
Each moment here is not to be wasted! It has value! I don’t do lousy work thinking it will all burn up anyway! I don’t destroy the creation of God or mistreat its creatures because all that matters are the souls of those who truth in Jesus. Our calling in this life is to live by the power of God in light of the Resurrection.
“God’s recreation of his wonderful world, which began with the resurrection of Jesus and continues mysteriously as God’s people live in the risen Christ and in the power of his Spirit, means that what we do in Christ and by the Spirit in the present is not wasted.”
We can live with expectation of Jesus return but we also have to be faithful doing what our master has left us to do! So go out there and live in such a way that others see Jesus! They look at your work and go wow! They wonder why you live with such a humble and yet bold spirit. Sure, we look eagerly for the Lord’s return and live with urgency and prayer for Revival and for many to come to Christ. We cannot however let a view of end times lead us to a place of apathy about our lives and work here and now!
What if people who lived in the last few centuries had exclaimed, “Oh well, Jesus is going to return; all things are gonna burn up; there is no need for Colleges, Universities, Hospitals and other great institutions.” No they wanted to see a better world here! We need to live fully today with hope for our future! We don’t know when Jesus is returning! So build, play, write, sing, create, work, have families, build schools, and do many noble things! Create new ways to make the world a better place! Free the millions in slavery! Find a way to provide clean water! Discover a new way to provide clean energy! Find a way to communicate the gospel to places now closed to the gospel! We have great work to do!
Jesus Resurrection and Ascention hasn’t just left us here peering at the sky wondering what to do next. The call is pretty clear.
- Go, make Disciples,
- Go, live is such a way so that others see Jesus!
- Go, bring people into gospel community as followers of Christ.
- Go, teaching believers how to mature in Christ and help others grow as well!
Your work and life are not in vain! You have purpose! That means following the mission of God into a life that leaves a lasting impact. Full of good things that will not burn up and be destroyed point to the glory of God!
Read more about God’s Calling in “The Call” by Os Guinness
Editors Note: This article was originally posted as Why Bother Creating? It’s all Gonna Burn! by Buddy Eades at www.atlantaartsnetwork.com For more information about Atlanta Arts Network check out our ministry page here at disciplebuilding.org or visit www.atlantaartsnetwork.com