Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Like a Rock

Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord’s work, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.  1 Corinthians 15:58

This is one of those verses religious folks love to teach, preach and explain … but we do not like holding each other accountable for it.  Let’s be different.  Let’s make this command of God via Paul real in our lives.  I’ll give you a quick (for me) explanation of this verse, and then you should do a three column study of it – and do it with someone.  You will need accountability for this, because our failures in this area are self-deceiving. 

 “Steadfast” in this case is like our word “dug-in.”  Think of a US Marine who has dug his foxhole for the night, and now he’s locked-in and stationary.  “Immovable” is what the same Marine is the next morning when the bad guys attack his position.  A determined, dug-in Marine is tougher to move than Mount Rushmore.  Then one more thing you should notice about this verse – twice Paul mentions ‘the Lord's work.’  We are supposed to be “always abounding” in His work.  Always?  No breaks, no vacations, no rest?  Abounding?  Is that abundant work?  LOTS of work?  Piles of work?  And in the second mention of work, we see the payoff: this work is not in vain.  It’s not for nothing.  Work in an office is for nothing but physical stuff.  Housework produces temporary benefits.  Doing the Lord’s work produces eternal rewards, treasures in heaven, mansions in glory.  (And by the way, when the proceeds of our office job and housework support the Lord's goals - even that can be the Lord's work) 

What is the Lord’s work?  You can deduce the answer by looking down a few verses in 16:10. It’s what we all do – when that’s what we’re doing.  In the verse above, Paul commands ‘regular’ disciples to always abound in the work, and then in this verse he shows that it’s what Tim & Paul do full-time.  Their support – financial and otherwise – in Paul and Tim’s work is also the Lord’s work, as we know from other places. 

So now – right now – find a partner or two, and take a half hour and three-column this passage.  It won’t take more than a half-hour, and you can even do it over the phone, including time asking for God to help you in prayer.  But do it.  And don’t take this command any more lightly than commands to be faithful sexually or free from drugs.  This is a command … make no mistake.  

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