What will your verse be?
One of my heroes is J. I. Packer, who had been declared one of the "25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" by Time Magazine in 2005.
He helped introduce me to the Puritans (e.g., A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life) in general and in particular to John Owen, the subject of my studies at Oxford. He wrote Knowing God, an essential and one of my all time favorites and on my short list of books I've read multiple times. His list of accomplishments are great in many ways, but I often find it interesting to hear from the individual what he or she thinks is his/her greatest accomplishment.
Luther thought his greatest book was The Bondage of the Will, another classic, and I think he's right. But, perhaps the greatest thing he did was translate the Bible into German so the commoners could read it and not only the clergy. This was great in the Protestant tradition of Sola Scriptura, but also in the standardization and development of the English language. Something similar could be said for the King James Version of the Bible.
What about J. I. Packer?
Some might herald his introduction to John Owen's Death of Death in the Death of Christ as his greatest production. It's accessible to the common man and, though pithy, it's packed with rich theological insight.
What about Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God? It helps to show that the slanderous & libelous accusation that "Calvinism kills evangelism" is a non sequitor.
According to Dr. Packer himself (audio clip), it seems that his work as general editor of the English Standard Version (ESV) is probably his greatest contribution to the kingdom.
I find myself suspecting very strongly that this was the most important thing that I have done for the Kingdom and that the product of our labors is perhaps the biggest milestone in Bible translation in the past fifty years or more.
As a sola Scripturian, it's hard to top giving the people a Bible that's readable and faithful to the Hebrew & Greek manuscripts. What an honor & privilege that must have been for him.
We use the ESV at Providence Church and I'd recommend it (as have others). Personally, I think debate over Bible versions can be petty and counter-productive, so don't take my commendation as a condemnation of every other version.
Contrary to what you might if you use anything other than the ESV (or KJV in some circles), the terrorists have not already won. However, if you're in the market for another translation or would like a good study Bible, the ESV is the choice of The Reformation Study Bible, which I heartily recommend.
Walt Whitman wrote:
'O me! O life!...of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless...of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here...that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.'That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
God is not only the great story teller, but He is the greatest story writer, writing the glorious story of a King and His Kingdom.
You get to play a part in that drama. What will be your role in glorifying God through the advancement of His kingdom? What will your greatest contribution be?
What will your verse be?