Just want to share this... An encouragement for the family of believers... For all the faithful servants of the Lord...
I shared this with the volunteers and leaders of Connect during our Prayer Meeting (August 9, 2009).
DEVOTION: 1 Corinthians 15:58
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”
I’m sure we all experience being discouraged; when we feel we are not appreciated, when we feel we are unimportant and when we feel that what we do is insignificant. I’m sure we all experience being disappointed when people fail to recognize our work, our efforts, sacrifices, and all that.
Question: Why do you think we feel that way?
Answer: Because we want to hear something good about ourselves (or a feedback), we want to be affirmed that we're doing a great job, etc...
Kahit ano pa ang maisip natin na reason, it is clear in our passage na dapat steady lang tayo- stand firm at walang anuman o sinuman ang may karapatan na i-distract tayo sa ating work- Let nothing move you.
Bakit kaya sinabi ni Paul yon?
I think, alam kasi nya na natural sa tao ang tumingin sa tao at ma-disappoint. He knows that we will be disappointed when we focus on people instead of God.
As we read in our passage- Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. Ano po ba yung “work of the Lord”? I hope we are not thinking exclusively that the “work for the Lord” ay ministry lang.
See the following passages:
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." -Colossians 3:17
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." -Colossians 3:23-24
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." -1 Corinthians 10:31
We read that hindi lang ang pag-serve sa church/ministry ang “work for/of the Lord” kasama rin dun yung: work natin (office), mga gawin sa bahay, and also yung service natin for other people (relationships).
Let's say sa office- If your boss, immediate supervisor or even your colleague fail to notice a job well done, or probably your employer is mistreating you, go lang! So long as you are doing things right, continue doing so because the Lord is pleased! Work as if working for the Lord. I can still remember yung sinabi ni Rick Warren sa PDL- Work becomes worship when we dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of His presence.
Sa bahay- if your parent, kapatid, or board mate fail to appreciate you (or let’s say fail to voice out their appreciation to you) and all you do, go lang! Do it as if you are doing it for the Lord.
Sa ibang tao (relationship with ministry partners, friends, loved one, etc)- when they fail to say “thank you” or “I am blessed by you” or “I love you”, when they fail to make you feel important or when they fail to notice what you do (may it be something big or small), go lang! Continue serving them as if you are serving God. And again, yung application ng consider others better than yourself - do not be selfish and self-centered preaching ni Pstr BJ Yu.
When we do that, yung we are always, as in all the time aware and consumed by His presence- nothing could go wrong as we will be walking humbly and in accordance with His will and grace. We will sin less, we will have peace and enjoy the comfort being very close to Him. When that happens, people will see the difference in us, being a child of God, they will probably be curious about the power working in us. Tapos God will be pleased; He will be honored and glorified with our lives and with what we do. And like what Pstr Jojo Lacanilao always say- When God is pleased/glorified, things happen!
As what Paul said--
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." -Galatians 6:9-10
Same with what our passage tells us today- because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain, we have the assurance that what we do here on earth does not (and will not, ever) go unnoticed by God and at the proper time He will reward us!
If we truly believe that Christ has won ultimate victory (at the Cross) that must affect the way we live right now...
Let us not be discouraged over an apparent lack of results or positve feedbacks that we will stop doing what we do (as a group/ministry or as individuals).
Do good that we have the opportunity to do, knowing that our work will have eternal results.