– Catherine Booth
Talk about disturbing the present. Being a witness for Christ will do that, but we are called to “disturb the present,” “to better the future” of those who are lost but then can be saved (Matt. 28:19-20). Is there anything that would have a greater impact on the future than pointing people to Christ that they might be saved? I can’t think of anything.
Just as God tells us that “all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11), we know that disciplining children while they are young “yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness,” too, at least for those children who “have been trained by it.” God disciplines us out of love and so should parents because “what son is there whom his father does not discipline” (Heb. 12:7b). Parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go” in the hopes that “even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov .22:6). That can be part of a better world for those who will be around your children.
Appointed for Good Works
When I understood that God has foreordained good works for me to do, I just couldn’t believe it. I know we’re not saved by works, but we’re saved for works. We are the work of God’s hands, which He created in order to do good works for others, as Paul wrote, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Since God “prepared beforehand” good works, we should certainly “walk in them,” or we’ll have no impact on the future.
When Catherine Booth said if we’re to better the future we must disturb the present, maybe she had in mind that we could disturb the present for the purpose of rescuing the perishing. We know that we can improve those in our own world, like our children and grandchildren, and make it better for those around them, that is if we train them up in the ways of the Lord. And finally, we can impact the future by doing good works today that God’s appointed for us to do, which will impact both today and tomorrow.