(Excerpt by N. T. Wright, from his DVD Group Study Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church.)
It is easy to look at our life and the small contribution one person can offer and wonder if we can make a difference. Like one stone in a large cathedral, we can seem small and inconsequential, to ourselves and sometimes to others. But God does not see us this way. In the heart of God, we are partners in bringing his hope to the world.
Like one stone in a large cathedral, we can seem small and inconsequential… [But] in the heart of God, we are partners in bringing his hope to the world.
It is not up to us to build the kingdom, but we can build for the kingdom.
It is not up to us to build the kingdom, but we can build for the kingdom. As resurrection people who know that heaven and earth overlap, we can become agents of God's beauty in a world that needs a song, a beautiful painting, a new dance, or a heart-touching poem. We can also stand for justice in a world where injustice seems to have a vise grip on so many people.
But isn't our hope in Jesus's return?
The resurrection of Jesus does not move us to a passive and sedentary life of waiting for God to show up some day in the distant future. The hope of the resurrection inspires and empowers Christians to stand strong, work hard, pray more fervently, and live with compassion. As the power of the resurrection fills our hearts, homes, and churches, we stand firm, we let nothing move us, we always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because we know our labor is not in vain! [See 1 Corinthians 15:58] …
What we can and must do in the present, if we are obedient to the gospel, if we are following Jesus, and if we are indwelt, energized, and directed by the Spirit, is to build for the kingdom…
Where can I start?
God does not call us to do everything. But he does expect us to do our particular part in his work in this world. What is one way God has gifted and made you so that you can contribute to his plan for the church and this world?
- N.T. Wright
Question for Discussion: Which of these activities can be part of building for God's kingdom?
(A) Praying for justice
(B) Showing compassion
(C) Writing a poem
(D) Cultivating a garden
(E) Sharing the story of Jesus
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment on this post.
- Adam Forrest, Zondervan
More Posts You May Like
- King Jesus, His Gospel, and Us – N.T. Wright on how we're tempted to mishear the gospel.
- Scared to share your faith? 4 Good Reads on Evangelism
(Images, headers, & some styling above are web-exclusive features not included in the text of Surprised… Image attribution: stone from David's Cathdral via Wikimedia Commons; Canterbury Cathedral via paradoxplace.com. This post does not represent the views of Zondervan or any of its representatives. The writer's personal opinions are shared only for information purposes. To receive new Zondervan Blog posts in your reader or email inbox, subscribe to Zondervan Blog.)