As I was going through my t-shirts the other day and I noticed one I hadn’t worn in a while. My “W’s” t-shirt. Now if you don’t know who the “W’s” are, you missed out. They were a ska/swing band back in the late ‘90s when Christian ska was at its height with the Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy. But that’s not the point of the story. I remember exactly where I was when I got this t-shirt. It was a Christian music festival called Kingdom Bound held at Six Flags Over Darien Lake. I haven’t been there since 2000. That makes this t-shirt at least 17 years only. That’s absolutely incredible to me. I’ve worn this shirt to the beach, played soccer
and basketball in it, I’ve worn it to class, worn it on dates, and probably used it to clean up a mess or two. The screen print is starting to fade and peel, it’s not quite as soft as it once was, but it’s still wearable and it doesn’t have a single hole (other than the neck, arms, and waiste of course)!
It’s got me thinking, why do so few things hold up? Why is it so hard to create things that last? People spend lifetimes building what won’t last. Mass fortunes are squandered in a generation. Companies are mismanaged and fall into bankruptcy. I don’t know about you but I have a burden to build something that will last.
1 Corinthians 3 says:
“9 For we are God’s coworkers. You are God’s field, God’s building. 10 According to God’s grace that was given to me, I have laid a foundation as a skilled master builder, and another builds on it. But each one must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward.”
I read a lot of hope into this passage. The God of all creation, who created you and me in his image, has called us coworkers and called us to build and create as he pours out his Spirit on us. But again, how do we know it’s something that will last and not just another heap of garbage? We start with the foundation of Jesus and we choose our materials wisely. The way to build something that will last is through Jesus, isn’t that why he told us to pray “Your Kingdom come, your will be done? Then on top of that foundation, you build with things that hold up against the fire like truth, justice, and wisdom.
Go out and get building the Kingdom!
Brian and his wife Anna serve in the metro Atlanta area, home to people from more than 761 different people groups. They work with refugees and urban poor with Envision Atlanta. Brian has helped Envision Atlanta start two businesses, a window cleaning company, and a mobile thrift store. One of the goals of each business is to provide job training and livable wages to its workers. Brian and Anna are required to raise their own support to pay their salary. You can give here. Search for Brian and Anna Baldwin where it says, “type name of worker or project”. Envision is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance and your gifts are all tax deductible. Every gift is valuable for advancing the work being done. You can also sign up for Brian and Anna’s newsletter here (outside link FYI).