“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build.”
“Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love.”
(1 Corinthians 16:13)
Is the work you do centered on the Lord? Do you devote all you do to the Lord?
It doesn’t matter if you are a volunteer, in a paid ministry position, or if you work in a factory, academic setting or are a stay-at-home mom. Every day we are given the gift of a new day. Some of those days will be exciting and fulfilling, others will be full of suffering and frustration. But in each of these days, given to us by our Creator, we have the opportunity to act with love. And whenever we act with love, “our labor is not in vain.”
It is very easy to forget as we manage calendars and activities, that primary to it all is our devotion to the spread of the Gospel. This is not only the work of ordained ministers, but of every layperson as well. In our words and actions we must be firm and steadfast in this singular purpose—drawing others to Christ. It can, and should, penetrate every part of our life.
Of course, under this foundational purpose is St. Paul’s admonition that “every act should be done with love.” The reason he stresses this is because no matter how much we do, or how successful it seems we are, if we act without love, it means nothing.
Take a moment today and reflect on your life. Do you feel like you are laboring in vain? If so, it could be that you have not taken seriously St. Paul’s admonition to be “fully devoted to the work of the Lord.”
What might you do differently today that could change that?