There’s a hymn by Isaac Watts that begins:
Sweet is the work, my God, my King,
To praise Thy Name, give thanks and sing,
To show Thy love by morning light
And talk of all Thy truth at night.
On this Lord’s day, let us consider the “sweetness” of the work of the Lord, the delightful privilege that is ours to be His servants. The Word of God discusses the nature and motivation for our service in the following passage.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).
- Therefore–because we know God will give the ultimate victory through Christ (vs. 57).
- My beloved brethren–my dear fellow-Christians. In the body of Christ we are part of a loving family relationship with other believers.
- In the work of the Lord–doing the will of God. Jesus said, “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). We assist Him in that work as we call others to faith in Christ (evangelism), and build them up in the faith (edification). It is also a part of our calling to praise and worship God (exaltation).
- Be steadfast–it’s in a continuous tense in the Greek language Paul used: keep on being steadfast (firm, settled, strong in purpose).
- Be…immovable–a continuous tense again: keep on being firmly persistent, standing your ground.
- Be…always abounding–overflowing, exceeding the bare minimum, excelling in what you do for Christ.
- Knowing that your labour [your service] is not in vain [not empty or purposeless, never wasted or futile] in the Lord [in the cause of Christ].
Sticking at it is sometimes difficult, especially if we take too short-sighted a view. We need an eternal perspective which involves a belief in the resurrection (Paul’s theme in First Corinthians 15). Our labours might sometimes appear to be “in vain” within temporal limits. But let’s ask the Lord to help us see the Big Picture, so we can begin to understand how what we do for Him contributes to the eternal purposes of God.