Monday, February 17, 2014

Give Yourself Fully to the Work of the Lord

56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I Corinthians 15

The words that stood out to me was 'work' and 'labor'.

I guess it's something I have not heard preached very often in churches. I hear how 'easy' life should be because of God's promises. Now don't get me wrong, there are lot's of promises and by faith and prayer we will see them answered. However, it's not a sit and pray, you just relax and here you go Santa kind of life in Christ either. We are called to go into all the world and that can truly be work!
So in verse 58 we are told to stand firm, let NOTHING move you. ALWAYS give yourselves FULLY to the work......because you know that YOUR labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Fully is Abounding in the KJV – in the concordance it means – be in excess...superabound or better...increase

Sounds to me like we are to go above and beyond, get out of our comfort zone, out of our home, out of our church building. We are to be so full of God and His Word; His Love, His Mercy, His Forgiveness, His Joy and His Peace - these are the works of God (Isaiah 32:17NKJV) that overflow in us and we should be displaying them in our workplace, in the grocery store, where we volunteer, etc.

Now let's look at 'work' in Strong's – task, employment, a deed, action, that which is wrought or made, a work. #2041 érgon from ergō, "to work, accomplish") – a work or worker who accomplishes something..

Employment – this is necessary to survive today. Men need to have jobs, employment so they can provide for their wives, their families, their parents as they age. Singles need employment so they can move out of their parents homes and begin their lives. Employment is not a BAD word, God expects it of us and where He puts us can be a mission field.

So, if we are to – we need to quit complaining and making excuses .God will not ask us to do anything He won't equip us for - then we need to make sure we are doing the Works of God (Isaiah 32:17) People should see a difference in us,not 'preaching' but actually 'living' the Word.
When you put yourself on God's throne, ….you are so good because blah blah blah ...and throw God's name in here and there, you talk about prayers that were answered with a pride of how God favors YOU – yet you do not admit when your prayers are not answered the way you have prayed them (at least not yet) and how are you treating your spouse, your parents, your employers and employees with honor – seeing others as better than yourselves ( Phil 2:3) These are things you need to go before the Lord with, to make sure you are 'working' according to God's will.

When I work or volunteer I need to make sure I'm focused on God and not on self. I can tell you, that when I get focused on self it can lead to listening to gossip and sometimes joining in, It can lead to focusing on a pain here or there and my thoughts take a wrong path.

I have been told they wish they had more volunteers like me. Do you know what they are really saying? They wish they had more volunteers that do their work as unto the Lord. Because when you do that you aren't focused on building yourself up but your focus is on honoring God and I believe you do better work.

The word 'labor' is toil #2873 - laborious toil, involving weariness and fatigue.

We are to give it our all for the Lord. He will renew our strength and He will give us the rest we need. I don't know about you, but when I'm working for the Lord, it is a labor of love, I want to touch people, through the work I'm doing, for the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe this 'labor' is not a bad weariness (one where we are doing things for self) but it's one where you are so full of the joy of the Lord and you are shining for Him, that you really have no idea how tired you are until you finish your work. Once your work is finished you feel great but are looking forward to resting at home. You have a sense of accomplishment and are thanking God for the day and now for your time to relax. This is kind of hard for me to explain, but a weariness from doing God's work is not the same as the weariness from doing things for selfish reasons. My husband summed it up for me this way - you have a clear conscience at bed time.

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