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Beliefnet is pleased to present an inspirational devotional from the gifted Christian author Brian McLaren. This is week 7 of the 8 week-long devotional. If you missed the previous entries, stay subscribed to this feed to start over.
God’s people today live in hope of a day when the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea, when wars cease, when people realize that Jesus’ message was true and from God after all. As we look ahead, the horizon of history in this world fuses with a more distant horizon that we can hardly imagine–when truth and justice, mercy and grace prevail, and when God’s desires for creation come true. That horizon doesn’t mean the end, but rather a new beginning, as all of creation, purged from evil and united with God, rejoices in God’s never-ending story of love. This hope is like the light of a new day, giving us courage and determination to live well today.

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” (Matthew 25:21)
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58)

JOURNALING PROMPTS:
21. If you knew that every risk and sacrifice would be worth it, what would you do to make a difference in the world? What specific injustice or problem would you address? What fledgling project for good would you launch?
22. Think of some small thing, a random act of kindness, that you could do today as an expression of “the work of the Lord”–the kind of thing about which you would hear God say, “Well done.” Do it, then come back here and write the story of your experience. (If you’ve been in an experience like this recently, go ahead and write about it now.)
23. Think of a big thing–an injustice, a problem, a global crisis–that matters to you. Imagine that you gather a group of friends to tackle this injustice. Write a paragraph or two that might be written in your obituary if you actually fulfilled this wild dream of doing good.
24. Many people think the biblical story is consummated with individuals going to heaven after death, or history ending so an eternal state can begin after history. They have no hope for human history and creation itself. But what if that is a misguided understanding? Imagine the world a thousand years from today if, instead, the biblical story consummates in God’s will being done on earth–heaven coming to earth to save creation instead of disembodied souls going to heaven. What would the earth look like if that process made progress in the next thousand years? How can this kind of “sanctified speculation” affect our lives today in contrast to a less hopeful scenario?
–Brian McLaren

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