Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
— 1 Corinthians 15:58
I know that you face many demands, but today I want to remind you that God has watched what you have done for His work, and He will reward you. All the time, effort, and finances you have sown into the advancement of the Gospel are before His face — and He is faithful to remember and to reward you for what you have done. In First Corinthians 15:58, Paul wrote, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Notice especially the last part of the verse that declares your labor is not in vain in the Lord. The word “labor” is the Greek word kopos, which can refer to the most exhausting kind of work or effort. Because this word is used in this context, it tells us that sometimes it is not easy to obey what the Lord tells us to do; sometimes it is very difficult to obey Him. In fact, there are times when it requires great effort to walk in obedience. But this verse promises that our labor has not been in vain!
*[If you started reading this from your email, begin reading here.]
I think of all the times the Lord has asked me to do something that was very difficult. Yet because I have always wanted to obey the Lord, I have done my best to follow His instructions, regardless of how hard it was or how much it required of me or of my family. Building our work in Russia has not been an easy task. But God called us to do it, so Denise and I and our sons have given 100 percent of our lives to this divine mandate. Since that is what God has asked of us, that is what we decided we were going to do.
Regardless of where you live or what you believe God has asked you to do, it is important that you give your whole heart and soul to your divine assignment. Even if it is difficult sometimes, you must keep pressing forward toward your God-given goal in obedience to the Lord. And whenever the way of obedience seems difficult, you need to remind yourself once again of His promise that “your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
The word “vain” is the Greek word kenos, and it depicts something that is empty, void, or wasted. This is God’s promise that anything you do for Him is never a waste! When the devil tempts you to think that no one is noticing what you are doing or that no one appreciates what you do — that is the moment for you to remember that nothing done for the Lord is ever a waste! Every effort, every deed, everything you have ever done in obedience to Him will be credited to your heavenly record!
Don’t let the devil discourage you. Dig in your heels and remind him that you are standing in faith on God’s promises! Declare with confidence that God is going to be faithful to meet every need in your life because you have faithfully sown your time, effort, and finances. And never forget: Nothing you ever do for the Lord is a waste!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I am grateful for this reminder that You pay attention to my response to Your assignment for my life. You are very aware of where I am in life, and You see what I do to express faithfulness to You. Thank You for strengthening me with Your might in those times when I felt discouraged and wondered if my labor was in vain. I rejoice in Your all-sufficient grace that never fails to cover me in the midst of the difficulties and hardships I may encounter while obeying You. Lord, I ask You to help me be conformed more fully to Your faithful ways, so when my heavenly record is read before You, I will receive a crown to place at Your feet on that day.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I declare that I am steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because I know that my labor in the Lord is not wasted. God is aware of all that I say and do for His glory. He openly sees my heart’s motivation for what I have said and done, and He will reward me accordingly. I do not live my life for the praises of man. The prize I seek is God’s approval. Therefore, I set my focus daily to live a life that will matter for eternity as I labor to see the will of God done on earth as it is in heaven.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you think of an area where you have labored especially hard for the Lord, and you’ve been tempted to think that it is all in vain? How did today’s Sparkling Gem encourage you to keep going?
- Would you describe your position of faith as being immovable, or have you been up and down in your walk of faith? What changes do you think you need to implement in your spiritual life to become more stable and enduring?
- Do you have anyone who can stand in faith with you and encourage you as you wait for God’s plan to come to pass in your life? Are they people who can pray with you and encourage you to dig your heels in deep until you see God’s reward?