Our Labor Is Not In Vain! (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. —1 Corinthians 15:58
Pardon a personal word here, but I absolutely love this Fighter Verse!
Who can read even the opening line without rejoicing in being called a “beloved brother”? Just stand back and look at that—we are God’s beloved!!! My soul rejoices and exults in the love that permeates all that our God is—God is love! It is life-giving to love and be loved by Him! And God’s love never fails. It is often bestowed through the loving acts and prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters! And they are beloved to us, as we are to them! We belong to a set-apart, treasured family of God and a brother or sister to all other Christians!
After this warm greeting, the Lord leans toward us and counsels us; knowing the prevalence of evil and seductive sin in this life, He counsels us to be steadfast in our faith, in our obedience, in our worship, and in our service.
Steady, as Jesus was—serving from early morning until nightfall, praying constantly to His Father, abounding in the work of the Lord.
Immovable, as Jesus was—in every confrontation with Satan, and with the spiritual leaders of the temple, in the tiring ministry of long days and multiple healings, in every act of torture, even during His extreme agony on the cross. Jesus never moved away from the truth of the gospel or from focusing on His Father. And now His Father urges us to go and live and work like His Son did, exhibiting faithful endurance until the end. May God enable and equip us to triumph!
Almost as an afterthought, He finishes His encouragement to us with a vastly understated promise—that our steadfastness and endurance in our work and faith will not be forgotten, but rewarded. But, as we pause and consider this promise, we see that it is hardly an after-thought! God has actually just erupted a Vesuvius of molten gold masked in His phrase, “our labor is not in vain.”
We know (and are constantly encouraged by knowing) that we are promised life eternal with the God we adore! We are thrilled to anticipate our future with Him, a future with no tears, no fear, no sin, no illnesses, no deformities, no pain, no depression, no hunger, no hatred! But look at the fabulous additional riches that Jesus adds to that collection of wonders listed above!
This is His list from His letters to the 7 churches of Revelation:
To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10b)
To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)
The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations…And I will give him the morning star. (Revelation 2:26a & 28)
People who have not soiled their garments will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Revelation 3:4 & 5)
I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. (Revelation 3:8)
The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God. (Revelation 3:12a)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (Revelation 3:21)
While some of these are receivable now, most are promises of what will happen in our heavenly future. Some are inscrutable, some obviously dear and exciting. I can hardly contain my joy in hoping that I would be allowed to walk with the Lord Jesus Christ in white!!!
These are God’s promises to us! Their worth cannot be measured. So, therefore beloved brothers and sisters, for your eternal joy, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of our Lord Jesus!
Read the list of God’s promises together.
Each family member privately choose three promises in order of their favorites.
Then share with each other their reasons for their choices and what that might look like in heaven.