Download Audio (8.4MB)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.—Margaret Mead
This world is not our permanent home
Paul taught us that “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”1 “Citizenship” (politeuma) is derived from polis, the Greek city-state. The territory of Greece is so mountainous that such population centers evolved, each independent and distinct from all others.
Paul’s assertion shows that our home, the place and people where we belong, is “in heaven.” His statement also means that our salvation is not from earth, since “we await a Savior” from heaven.
As a result, “this world is not our permanent home.”2 Why, then, does our Lord leave us here? He sent his Son to die so we could live with him in paradise.3 Why would he pay such a price for us to be in heaven and then leave us on earth?
The answer I learned during my first years as a Christian was simple: he wants me to win as many people to Jesus as I can. I was told that God may ask me in heaven, “Who did you bring with you?” He saves us and leaves us on earth so he can use us to save others.
This is true, of course. But there’s even more to the story.
If God cares only about our souls, his Son would not have healed so many bodies. … He would not command us to care so personally for the hungry, the impoverished, the sick, and the imprisoned.4
We are to engage in the issues of our culture because God cares about every dimension of our culture. We can save babies through pro-life ministries. We can feed the hungry and care for the sick and serve the imprisoned. We can make a difference on earth that is celebrated in heaven.—From the Denison Forum
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.—Mahatma Gandhi
Change your part of the world
If sometimes you’re discouraged with the world and the way it is, don’t give up! We read that usually governments, armies, wars, and great powers, great empires, change history and the face of the earth. So sometimes we’re discouraged and think, “Well, who am I? What can I do?” It all seems so hopeless and impossible! It looks like there’s nothing that one person can do to change things for the better, so what’s the use of trying; what’s the use of doing anything? And we’re tempted to just give up.
We may not be able to change the whole country—maybe we’ll not even be able to change our town, and certainly not all its citizens—but I know one thing: Day after day and year after year we have been planting the seeds of truth and God’s love in the hearts of others, and some of it is bound to spring forth into new lives.
We may not have changed the whole city or the whole country, much less the whole world, but we’ve changed a part of it. If you have changed one life, you have changed a part of the world, and you have proven that there is hope that it all can be changed! If one life can be changed, it shows that there’s a possibility that more lives can be changed and many lives can be changed and whole areas can be redeemed and the world can be changed, starting even with one person, just one person—maybe you!
You say you can’t change the world? Well, why don’t you try changing your part of the world. Change your world, the world of your own life—your family, your home, your neighbors, your town—and let’s just see what might happen.
You say, “What’s the use? I can’t do anything; I’m just one person. Who am I?”
Let me tell you, you can begin today to change the world! Some of you already have. Some of you have already changed a great deal of the world, the world of your own life, your own family, your own home, the lives and families and homes of others around you, your community, your town, and the countries to which you have gone.
You can’t change the world? Oh yes you can! And if you’re faithful, God is going to reward you one of these days when you finally come to your reward. He’s going to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of the Lord!”5
“Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not.”6
Start today! Change your own life, change your home, change your town, change your country! Change the world!—David Brandt Berg
I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark places of this world—into the black places in the hearts of men—and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.—Alexander Papaderous
Published on Anchor February 2020. Read by Reuben Ruchevsky.
Music by Michael Dooley.