SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2011
OUR LABOUR OF LOVE SHALL BE REWARDED
‘So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless’ I Cor. 15v58.
THE great Apostle Paul in first Corinthians 15 dwelt extensively on the issue of resurrection. Three great truths emerge: firstly, Christ died for our sins. His death was not an accident or interpolation of thought. It was part of God’s eternal plan of salvation for believers. The scripture says: ‘But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners’ Rom. 5v8. To a people doomed, Jesus died for us.
Secondly, he was buried. Many polemical writers have tried to disproof or discredit this, but Jesus did die and he was buried in a tomb.
Thirdly, he was raised from the dead on the third day. Christ was raised permanently, forever. His father raised Him from the dead ‘on the third day’.
And so based on the fact of resurrection, Paul in concluding his statement to the believers says: ‘nothing we do for the Lord is ever useless’.
When we give our time, talents and resources, it is good to do so enthusiastically. God is the custodian of all we have. Sometimes people are discouraged about the work of the Lord. The reasons may not be farfetched. If some people feel that they are not being applauded well enough or noticed, they tend to faint.
They equate labour with applause or recognition, and when they fail to get them, they feel disappointed. There are instances where some who felt this way made their congregation uncomfortable and ungovernable. There are others who, as it were, stormed out, thinking their exit would cause such congregations to stumble or go on their knees and plead for their return.
In our little corners, let us do the work of God. There is always a great and priceless reward that follows. (Read Rev. 22v12; Gen. 15v1; Ps. 58v11, Isa. 62v11)
The Lord of the Church genuinely rewards those who serve him diligently. Human beings may forget but the Lord of the Church does not forget.
We need to watch our motives: are they God-driven or man-centred? Whatever we do in support of God’s work with good motives has a reward and is never ever useless. God places value in our work and labours of love.
We need to find where God needs us most in his work. Where we are needed might tally with our gifts in God’s vineyard. St. Paul says:
‘In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Rom. 12v6-8.
Time has come for believers to ask help from the Holy Spirit of God for his leading. The spirit leads us into all truth. The work of the Lord is enormous and nothing we do to support is ever useless. Act your part well; there honour lies.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.