In a recent discussion with some friends, I was reminded of these words from the Apostle Paul and N.T. Wright that I read in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement for Global Ministry class more than a month ago. This quote leaped off the page at me because it put words to some thoughts and concepts that had been brewing in my mind for years. Don’t you love when authors seem to take the very things you have been thinking and put them nicely into words for you when you were unable to verbalize them yourself? Of all the things I have read here at Faith Builders (and I’ve read thousands of pages), this is among the best:
“‘Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.’ By this [Paul] means that what you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly or a little more bearable until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom. By such labors you are not oiling the wheels of a machine that is about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a 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 become in due course part of God’s new world. What you do in the Lord is not in vain.”
Do you believe it? Do you believe that when you plant a flower, mop the floor, mow the lawn, or paint the fence, you are doing something important that will last for eternity? That nothing done with a heart of love and service is ever futile? We all know what futility feels like. But nothing is ever lost or wasted or futile with God. All things done in the name of Jesus are building blocks in the kingdom and will be part of God’s new world.