Echoing the death-mocking words of the prophet Hosea, the apostle Paul joined in with jubilation.
Using those words of confidence as a launching pad, Paul spurs his readers into action.
Yesterday many Americans celebrated Labor Day by, among other ways, taking a break from - well - labor. Taking breaks from work is good. People need rest. There is, however, a type of labor that is the exception. "Your labor in the Lord."
Paul's words are not directed specifically to those who work for a church and/or have the title of Pastor. Nor is the apostle exclusively writing to missionaries or to those who are what one friend smilingly calls "PPHMs" - paid professional holy men (or women).
Paul offers his words more generally. He writes to all Christians. He writes to mothers, children, fathers, bank clerks, attorneys, store-shelf stockers, physicians, teachers, preachers, musicians, insurance salespeople, pastors, police officers - all people who follow Jesus. With these verses, he communicates the same message as the one expressed by his words upon which the theme of this blog and my book The Ordinary Way is based.
Each Christian who, by definition, is a Christ-follower promises to dedicate his or her entire life to Jesus. Let's look at some examples of how to live out such dedication. I will start with the two upon which Jesus focused.
1. Love God.
2. Love your neighbor.
3 Treat your family well.
4. Practice integrity at work.
5. Give your goals to God.
6. Handle money as a gift from God.
Over the next six weeks, I will dedicate this blog to each of those six dedications. Join me in exploring these topics.
Until next time, go practice the first two. Never stop your labor in the Lord.