God is acting in history for the salvation of the world – Ben Mays

“…God is acting in history for the salvation of the world.”

While preparing lectures for our LIFE Leadership College students a few months back, I came across this quote. It’s from Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen’s book The Drama of Scripture, a great read that shows how the whole Bible is really one storyline.

I haven’t been able to get this thought out of my mind.

I love stories. Whether it’s a captivating film, an insight into history or sitting down with someone and piecing together the events of their lives, I never get tired of seeing the impact that one life can have. I discovered the musical Hamilton last year, which focuses on the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the USA’s Founding Fathers, and I have bored my friends senseless with talk about it. I can’t help myself – it’s the story of someone who, for better and for worse, was desperate to make a difference and brought about a global change. Who wouldn’t be fascinated by that?!

As a church, we have just come out of a series focused on Legacy and the opportunity we have to sow into the future of our church, our cities and our world. As part of this, we were able to visit our new Central site, which is very much in the early days of construction. As I stood there, making sure traffic flowed smoothly, I was so energised to see our Auckland church family, in all its diversity, add their names in permanent marker to the walls of our building. It was symbolic and significant.

See, God acts in history for the salvation of the world. And he does this by working through people.

I am not the most adventurous person. A recent high-ropes course confirmed that – I’ve never been so focused on an end point in all my life! Yet when it comes to the adventure of God’s story, I want in. I want to make a difference. I want to make my life count. I want to see what He has planned. I want to leave a legacy.

The book of Ecclesiastes uses the world “meaningless” (NIV) a whopping 30 times in describing life. It’s actually the Hebrew word hebel, which is better translated as vapour or breath. We also see this idea in the New Testament (James 4:14). It doesn’t mean that this life is pointless but that it is brief and difficult to hold on to and protect. Thank God that this life is not the end!

So what better to do with this mist, this smoke, this vapour, then to direct it towards God’s eternal plans? By sowing our lives into his unshakeable Kingdom, we not only find purpose beyond ourselves, but we help others to do the same.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking: can my life really make a difference? How? The answer is yes. History has been made by people being in the right place at the right time. Yet it is often years of soul-searching, conviction, dedication and discipline that prepared them for that moment. What’s the pattern of your life? What are you prioritising? Where do you have opportunity, every week, to bring value and hope to humanity?

God has not finished. He’s still acting in history for the salvation of the world. Join the story!

Ben Mays
LIFE Leadership College

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