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Our Labor Is Not In Vain

Our Labor Is Not In Vain
Getting A Great Return On Your Investment

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV)

I've done a lot of physical work in my life - both in the professional world, as well as at my home.  I actually like to work hard because it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and I always seem to sleep very well at night because I am just plain tired from putting a solid effort into the projects that I have taken on.

As I look back on the various things that I have labored for earlier in my life I can find myself being disappointed though in how I used a lot of my time, talent and money.  For instance, I use to spend a lot of time practicing riding motorcycles in preparation to race them on the weekend.  I literally spent thousands of hours, miles and dollars dedicated to getting myself ready to compete at the highest level of off-road racing.

My work life was out of balance as well as I worked a full-time job and then worked overtime on side jobs to gain extra money so I could buy new 4x4 trucks, more motorcycles, and other toys.  My passion for my hobby was so out of balance that I soon stopped working construction and started to work in the motorcycle industry to work at the very hobby I lived for and loved, figuring that it would bring me satisfaction.  15 years later I had gained ownership in several companies, and the time, effort, and hours that were spent were consuming to say the least.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36 (NKJV)

All of the trophies that were earned in racing have long since been thrown in the trash.   My back, knees, shoulders and virtually every joint have paid the price from the abuse and often remind me of the many mistakes made along the path.  And the houses that we've spent so many hours tearing down and rebuilding - they've been sold and replaced with more projects.  

I've thought about all of these things and the effort put forth to accomplish what many would consider success, and I can actually feel very sad for the time, energy, and resources I've squandered attempting to enjoy this world.  To be truthful, it will be a poor return on the investment.   I am not trying to be pessimistic, just truthful, because everything will one day be put to the test of fire, and all that will last is what we have done for the Glory of Him who died for us, Jesus Christ.

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NKJV)

Let me be clear on this - having a nice home, working hard, or participating in activities such as racing is not evil -  this is not what I am trying to convey.  Putting them as a priority and loving them more than the things of God is where the problem starts.  I desire now to choose to try and put my efforts toward the Kingdom of God knowing in my heart that every good work done is being done unto Him (Col. 3:17, 23) and will last for eternity.  I want to remember that every thing I allow God to do through me may very well have an effect on somebody's eternal destination, and this has a huge impact on my willingness to put forth an effort that will matter.

When you think about it - it really doesn't matter whether we put up chairs at church, or sing in the choir, or speak from the pulpit -  it doesn't matter whether we work for payroll, or work for free, helping a neighbor or someone in need; we all share in the glory and we are all rewarded equally.  Nothing we do for the Lord is in vain.  What matters is that your heart is right before God as you labor for Him.  What matters is you were willing to be used by Him, and this is what counts - simply being willing.

Hey Christian, there is nothing in this world that is worth our soul.  We get to choose what we will place our effort into, and that does matter.

STUDY QUESTION: What should we give ourselves fully too?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you look back into your life and see where effort was misplaced for temporary satisfaction?

APPLICATION:  Simply choose today to labor for God.  Whether it is at work, home, or in your neighborhood, work as if you are working unto the Lord, and know that it is for eternal rewards and it is not in vain.

Father, I pray that You will show me when to place effort into something and also to guide me to do it in a way that causes others to know You.  May my labor be done today for Your glory, and that of our Son, for it is in His name that I ask these things, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000