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View Full Version : What Is The One Thing Worth Laboring For!



breadfirst
Nov 1st 2014, 09:00 AM
Over the years of hearing the word of God repeatedly I have come to a realization that the only thing that is of any value worth one's labor is the Lord's church. One can argue family, marriage, maybe a job, some good hobbies, charitable efforts are valuable but those precious gifts are really visible markers along the highway of a broader destination that is the preparation towards a final wedding of Jesus with His perfect bride. A day I am unable to fully understand.

To get a better sense on this let's begin by reading a portion of Ephesians 5:25 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A25&version=NASB) where it talks about how much Christ loved the church. Even though this verse as a whole paints a good picture on submission in relation to God and in marriage, in it contains a portion which gives us a glimpse of how much Jesus loved His church. It says "He gave Himself" for the church. That depth of love for the church is often overlooked or even misunderstood. If one were to meditate on those words one can come to a quick realization that it included His total submission including giving up His own life. If He was willing to give up His life then He must have found something very valuable in His church. We know the church have often been described as His body where He is the head, His bride where He is the bridegroom, His Family where Christ is the firstborn paving the way for others to receive sonship and become His brothers including both men and women, and last His Building where we are the living stones while He is the cornerstone. Yet these descriptions have produced very little response and from only a few believers. In can be due to complacency, the belief that teachings of the Apostles are outdated to our current time, consider church as a Sunday routine, or just plain laziness. I believe it is because we often don't fully understand neither do we remind ourselves constantly how much Christ values His church. We simply don't take time to dwell on it.

The Lord's death, resurrection, and the giving of His Holy Spirit on the day of the Pentecost gave birth to the church and then it has been sustained ever since through out centuries. He sustains it by the power of the Holy Spirit and by appointing common folks like each one of us with responsibilities for its sustenance. In no way I am claiming that we are the sustainers rather executing the responsibility given to us by the sustainer. In Colossians 1:24-29 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+1%3A24-29&version=NASB) we can see in Paul's life that his labor is a reflection of how much he valued Christ's church. He fills up what is lacking in the affliction of Christ meaning things Christ did not encounter in persecution continues today on those who stand for Christ. Christian history teaches that deaths of the saints over the last two thousand years, some of them were more gruesome than that of the crucifixion. This in no means negates the painful death of Jesus but rather clarifies what Paul talks about "lacking in the affliction of Christ." Paul himself was an example in that he bore many of those persecutions without complaining for the sake of Christ's body, the church (v.24). As a whole these persecutions continue to target Christ Himself even though the believers experience its suffering.

So how does Paul labor? By proclaiming Christ (evangelism), admonishing, and teaching (v.28). The latter two showing the responsibilities after one is saved. This is proof that Jesus Himself starts the work and continues the work in us until our passing away. It also shows the tougher side of church that is we have to admonish. In a politically correct world this angle is often missing in churches as it may offend the believer and may force them to leave church thus reducing the number which inadvertently impacts church budget. How disappointing that churches are often run as a corporation.

How much effort does he put into it? Well verse 29 is the answer he labors until every man is perfect in Jesus and striving according to His working which works in him mightily. What a beautiful ending to that teaching of Paul in that he ultimately acknowledges Jesus as the source of his strength. Therefore, we too can put our trust in Him in our labor reminding ourselves that it is He that works in us and not by our own energy. We yield, submit, accept, humble ourselves, call it whatever, it is a willful response to His calling and is a continuous process until death.

I believe such committed labor, faithful servanthood, or whatever one wants to call it, leads believers to produce righteous acts not of their own but through Christ. These righteous acts will be revealed as the bright linen of the great wedding spoken of in Revelation 19:8 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A8&version=NASB).

So where do we begin? Simple, Jesus told His disciples to be His witnesses starting with Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria (Acts 1:8 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+1%3A8&version=NASB)). Jerusalem for a believer can be seen as the first church and that is at home. This is where it starts, then you go to your neighborhood Judea, and then to the ends of the world Samaria and beyond. If you follow the story in Acts that is exactly what happened. If you preach in Africa but do not have church at home please reconsider the priority. Our God is a God of order and not of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+14%3A33&version=NASB)) and His order is visible in Colossians 2:5 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+2%3A5&version=NASB) so it's important we place the emphasis on the right priorities and not just any priorities.

While Jesus is the One thing worth living for Church is the one thing worth laboring for.

May the Lord bless you with this study as it has deeply encouraged me.

mike1983
Jul 22nd 2015, 09:48 PM
Amen!

You are talking about the "crossroads" between the seed which fell into good ground and the seed which grew between the weeds (family, job, hobbies, etc.).

Not sure whether this is a phase in the life of a Christian or if it happens to some Christians - but it is happening to me right now.
I have for some years now become aware of this "weed" in my life and am trying to yield, submit, accept and humble myself more and more everyday still.
If my boss takes advantage of my good will, I am telling myself I work for God and God alone.
Colleagues of mine have left (also Christian) but this insight (through God) has given me the strength to endure and even rejoice for God is with me and it is for His Glory - it will not be in vain.

Thank you for this encouragement!

terraricca
Sep 3rd 2016, 05:10 PM
hi

the church of Christ is all members of true faith that has accepted God's and his son way to life everlasting ,this still the time to make that faith ours,nothing else matters