Sep 2, 2019

Your Labor is Not in Vain

On this Labor Day, I am reminded of a great promise God has made to us.  Here it is.

"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. Sometimes, we can feel that the sacrifices we make for the Lord are a waste of time."
1 Corinthians 15:58 

God has made a promise to you.  When you labor (work) for Him you are guaranteed to make a difference.

When you rock babies in the nursery, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you greet guests and help them get connected, you are guaranteed to make a difference.

When you help families get checked in, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you help preschoolers put crafts together, you are guaranteed to make a difference.  

When you teach second-graders about Jesus, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you lead kids in worship, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you help kids step across the line of faith, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you help a child find a verse in the Bible, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you lead a small group, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you help preschoolers put their crafts together, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you help VBS happen, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you pray with a pre-teeen, you are guaranteed to make a difference. 

When you help a new child feel welcome, you are guaranteed to make a difference.

Because our labor makes a big difference, the verse goes on to say we should be STEADFAST.  Steadfast means you are fixed or established.  Not fickle or wavering.  Constant.  Firm. Resolute, steady.  The impact you are is having now and will have in the future, should compel you to be steadfast.

And because we are making a difference, the verse goes on to say that we should be IMMOVABLE.  Immovable means you are stable, anchored and set firm.  Discouragement can't take you away from your mission.  Hurt can't take you away from your mission.  Disappointment can't take you away from  your mission.  You are anchored to your calling and you are determined to go the distance. 

The verse says we should always be abounding in the work assignment God has given us.  Because we are empowered by God for our mission, we should go with a sense of victory,  When God gives you an assignment, you can rest assured He will give you everything you need to complete the assignment.  

The key words in the verse are stated next - knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  The time, treasure and talent you are investing into the ministry right now is making an impact.  Some of the impact you will see know.  And some of the impact you will see years and even decades from now. 

The last part of the verse is straight talk.  It says...

"Sometimes, we can feel that the sacrifices we make for the Lord are a waste of time."

Ever feel that way?  Like all the time you put into the ministry is just a waste of time?  Those weekends when you pull out of the church parking lot wondering if the kids heard anything you said.  The event you planned for a 100 kids that ends up with only a small handful of kids.  The parenting class you worked so hard to prepare flops.  The take home paper you created ends up on the ground in the parking lot.  

If you are like me,  you've wondered at times if it is really worth all the effort you put into it.

When you experience those moments, go back to the promise God has given you in this verse - YOUR LABOR IS NOT IN VAIN.     

If you will remain steadfast, unmoveable and abounding in the work of the Lord, you will see fruit now and later down the road.  Some of the seeds you are sowing will immediately pop up with fruit.  Other seeds will blossom years and even decades from now.  

I created a video for our children's ministry team that is a reminder that your labor is not in vain.  I got the idea from a commercial I saw.  The commercial showed a president and then zooms backwards through his life, showing the people who invested in him.  The rewind ends up at the time when his parents meet on the subway.  

The video we created shows sometime in the future when there is a person who is a pastor.  The video then rewinds back through his life and shows some of the people who invested in him.  It goes all the way back to him as a baby being rocked in the church nursery by a caring volunteer.  

You can see the video here and use it for your ministry as well.  

Your labor is not in vain! 

Your labor is not in vain!

Your labor is not in vain!  

You are a difference maker.  Lift up your head when you wonder about the impact you are making. 

Keep laboring.  Stay the course.  Don't let anything stop you from walking in God's call upon your life to reach the next generation. 

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