Labor On! – Your work is not in vain

February 3, 2014

Mondays can be tough. Though the predictability of a schedule gives security, the daily grind can make you wonder if the work you do means anything. In a sermon on the parable of the laborers (Mt 20)[1], Bryan Chapell notes that the gospel releases believers from the bondage of idleness (i.e., uselessness). The Spirit of Christ works through the mundane details of the day to further God’s great plan of redemption. Every jot and tittle of life has a purpose that rests in the work of God. This idea moves Paul to exhort the Corinthians: 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 ESV)

This command is on the heels of his great doxology on the victory believers have over sin and death. The Day of Resurrection gives meaning to the mundane. The “work of the Lord” is more than just spiritual activities; it involves every aspect of living faithfully in whatever God has called you to do.

The daily grind can derail us into thinking our effort is in vain. We are just cogs in the machine, or hamsters running on the wheel. God says, “No, I’ve redeemed you for more than that.” We must abound in the “work of the Lord” (i.e., what he is doing to overturn sin and death). When our effort is made with that purpose in mind, we can trust that our labor is not in vain.


[1] “Everyone Matters – Really!” Preached on 8/11/13 at Grace PC, Peoria, IL.

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