Your Labor is not in Vain

Labor Day, when “no one expects to work,” * is nearly here. Yet, some do have to work that day. For example, I think of nurses in a nursing home, (since I used to be one.) Other jobs, also, require people to work on holidays. When I was a young teenager, my Dad gathered the family to work in the yard raking up the leaves on Labor Day. He told us it was a day when we were supposed to labor.

Jesus also said we should labor (work):

“Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life,

which the Son of Man will give you; (John 6:27)

This is the work of God, that you believe in Him {on Jesus} whom He sent.” (John 6:29, NKJV).

Besides the ‘work’ of believing in Jesus, Jesus gave each of us a job to do in his kingdom: He told his disciplesjust before his ascension:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a, NKJV).

This is the instruction to the whole church, but individual members obey it in different ways. Some give money to ministries and missionaries. Some go overseas, others go to the unsaved in their neighborhoods. Pastors “go” through preaching, others teach them how to preach. Some go by showing love to homeless people and/or the disabled or those in care facilities. Christian writers obey this great commission by writing articles, stories, books, etc. so readers will want to know Christ and learn to know him better.

Jesus told a parable about workers in his vineyard, (see Matthew 20). It illustrates that some will be in the Lord’s employ for a long time, and others for a short time. But each will receive the same payment.

Each of us who believe in Christ will go to Heaven, no matter how long we are Christians. Laboring for the Lord, who gave his life for us to set us free from the slavery of sin, is a joy, no matter how difficult.

I’ve long admired the work of The Jesus Project, which keeps translating “The Jesus Film” into more unknown languages so people can hear about Jesus in their own heart language. The book, Jesus Speaks My Language, tells of some of the experiences of these workers. Their work is not easy. They are often in danger from local police and others who oppose Christianity, including Shamans (witch doctors), who are demon-possessed. One man, the son of a powerful Shaman, was supposed to become the next Shaman. He became a Christian instead. He ran away for a while to prevent being killed. But after a few years, he went back to his village in Ethiopia and showed them the Jesus Film, translating the best he could. Through this showing, his father became a Christian as well as many others. He worked at translating the film into their heart language and 7 churches were established. These have since multiplied to 40 churches with 12,000 believers.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58.)

Judith Vander Wege

Website: https://judithvanderwege,com

Part of my work is as a composer. You can hear some of my songs on my YouTube channel:


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