by Canon Mark A. Pearson
So many followers of Jesus deem their work for the Lord as “insignificant.” They thank God for the famous and gifted evangelists, missionaries, minis-ters of healing and teachers of the faith. “Those people have a ministry,” they assert, “but not me.”
My word to you who think this is, “Don’t be so sure!” A Scripture verse that has meant a lot to me over the years is 1 Corinthians 15:58:
Therefore … be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
We could well understand it if this verse had been written about an apostle. He does major work for the Lord so, of course, his work is not in vain. No! This verse was written by an apostle for plain, ordinary Christians in Corinth, Paul’s “beloved brethren.” Their work — the work of people just like you and me — is never in vain.
Two Contemporary Examples
Let me give you two examples of people helping our ministry.
*First, there’s Debbie, Linda, Mike, Jordan, Sarah, Dail — our regular Newsletter stuffers — assisted from time to time by others. What do they do? Several times a year they insert items — newsletters, response cards, return envelopes, flyers — into business size envelopes so this Newsletter can go out to you and thousands of others.
They might conclude, “I’m glad to help but how much help is it really?” Over the thirty year history of the Newsletter countless people have written or called to say that something in the Newsletter — an article, a testimony, even a letter from a reader — had significant, lasting impact on their lives. How could the Newsletter have done that if the faithful “Stuffing Crew” was not about their business preparing it for mailing?
*Second, numerous volunteers have worked on the chapel by the pond at the far end of our property. Benches are being placed on a terraced surface looking at a stone altar behind which is the pond. The volunteers might ask, “What’s so spiritual about using shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows and other tools, and terracing land, placing stones in concrete and fastening a marble slab on top?”
We might add regarding the person who made a most generous financial donation to this outdoor chapel project, “What is so spiritual about working hard at one’s company to make money to buy the various materials needed for this chapel?”
The answer is, “Let’s watch what God does as His people gather at this outdoor chapel. Let’s see whose lives are transformed, none of which would have been possible without the hard grunt work and the sacrificial financial giving.”
A Few Biblical Examples
Scripture is full of people whose names are not even recorded but had a part in something significant. Here’s just two:
*Jesus’ first miracle occurred when unnamed servants filled with water six large stone jars, ladled out some of it and took it to the steward of the wedding feast. We don’t know their names and their part in the story was small but God used it (John 2:1-11).
*Jesus needed to feed five thousand people who had just been hearing Him teach. Present was a young lad who had five barley loaves and two fish. From this Jesus worked a miracle of feeding. This unnamed young man did not work the miracle but he played a part in what Jesus did (John 6:1-14).
How to Serve
1. With confidence. Never think that what you do for the Lord is insignificant.
2. With quality. Give it your best, whatever it is. God deserves that.
3. With devotion. Serve so that God gets the glory and His Name is uplifted.
4. With caring. Work so that others are truly helped and loved.
So, beloved, be always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. +