May 31, 2007

Never in Vain!

1 Corinthians 15:1-11, 58

Give yourselves fully ... because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


"Your labor in the Lord is not in vain." It sounds so good on paper! But sometimes we try and try, and nothing seems to work.

You pray for your church, you ask for growth, but more and more members are leaving. You ask God to bless one of your ministries, but it falls flat. You study as hard as you know how, but still you get a poor grade. You spend every minute of your time to make a go of your business, but still you see no profit. You try to make your marriage work, but still it is falling apart.

Every day someone somewhere is tempted to throw in the towel and call it quits. Perhaps that's where you are today. You want out, because it seems there's no use in trying anyway.

But before you decide to give up, read and reread 1 Corinthians 15. An event has changed the course of history: the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his resurrection, nothing done in Jesus' name is done in vain.

If Christ has not been raised, we might as well throw in the towel. But Christ has been raised, and for those who stand in the power of the resurrection, nothing they do will be in vain. The same God who has shown his grace through every generation in the past will continue to do so in the future. Christ's resurrection guarantees it!

Lord, thank you for your promise that whatever we do will not be in vain. Help us to carry on in the power of your Spirit, that in all we do we may glorify you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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