But 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. This brings us back to 1 Corinthian 15:58 once more: 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 become in due course part of God’s new world.
Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness;
every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation;
every minute spent teaching a severely handicapped child to read or to walk [interceding for exploited young women and children in Cambodia];
every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow non human creatures;
and of course every PRAYER,
all Spirit-led TEACHINGS,
every DEED that spreads the gospel,
every DEED that builds up the CHURCH,
embraces and embodies HOLINESS rather than corruption, and
makes the NAME OF JESUS honoured in the world
— all of this will find its way, through the resurrecting power of God, in the new creation that God will one day make.
This is the logic of mission of God.
Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright