Saturday, March 29, 2014
What’s It Like Working for the Lord?
1Cor. 15:58 ¶ Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Paul was faithfully serving the Lord, day in and day out. He had just finished sharing with the Corinthian church about the resurrection. He was firm in his faith in Jesus Christ and in the resurrection of the dead. He knew that Christ had been resurrected and that we too, as God’s followers, would also be raised again from the dead. That is why he could be steadfast and immovable! The foundation of faith on which his life was built was firm. Nothing would shake him from his understanding of the life-giving gospel found in Christ!
Paul was moved with passion for those who were lost; for those who would not experience the resurrection. Yes, God’s prevenient grace is reaching out to the entire world but there will come a day of judgement. There will be a resurrection and Paul wanted to make sure that he was a faithful laborer in the kingdom. He wanted to work hard for the Lord so that those who had no faith in the resurrection could find themselves steadfast and immovable. Laboring for the Lord is never in vain. The gift of the gospel message is life — eternal life. This means more than anything that people can encounter here on this earth. Paul knew that there had to be a commitment to working, laboring, for the Lord.
This was not the time to retire! For Paul, working for the Lord was everything. He worked tirelessly from morning until night. Words of Christ came from his tongue wherever he may have found himself — whether in his secular job — or preaching in front of a large crowd. Paul’s reward was an eternal one, knowing that sometime in the resurrection he would see the fruit of his labors.
Paul’s labor for the Lord was not always easy and yet he had a passion to serve Christ every single day. Last night I met up with a team of individuals who had been out in the northern reaches of Kenya for ministry. They had been in a town that has been experiencing famine and the result is women who have been abused in the midst of it all. They traveled three hours by land-rover over, through, and around pot-hole ridden roads to get to a refugee camp in the middle of no-where. Here they saw where 150,000 displaced individuals are living; a struggling group of humanity not seeing any end to the drought and famine which has hit their home country. And the group was praying and brain-storming over ways in which they could labor for the Lord to make a difference in this corner of the world. They arrived back into Nairobi tired and dirty — but rejoicing in the opportunities of ministering for the Lord.
If only we would open our eyes we would see the needs around us on a daily basis. There is an entire world that needs to know Jesus and he is looking for laborers who are willing to suffer hardships for the sake of the Gospel. Laboring in this way is not in vain, but it is hard work. Working for God was never meant to be easy. Nor was it meant to be something static — an activity that we do day in and day out. Working for God means that we are always working to excel “in the work of the Lord.” We are to give him everything that we have — all our talents, energy and faith. Our faith must be firm. Just like Paul we must know that we are immovable in knowing him. Then, we must work to excel in our service to him. This means that we give God the best — not the left-overs. And then, we trust God for the results. Why? Because the work isn’t ours. This is God’s work and the results are up to him.
What’s it like working for the Lord? Sometimes it’s a lot of work with long hours, dirt, flies and unrecognizable food. But we press on for this is our calling. To trust in him, give him our best — and leave the results to him. It’s all worth it and it’s not in vain. Someday we will see it all clearly and we will realize that we have made a difference by being faithful and laboring for him.
Lord, thank you for the blessed opportunity we have to serve you. Amen.