“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
As I prepared to preach these words last week I was struck by the necessity of ministry, what is essentially the minister’s role; to live and share a life informed by a gospel perspective.
There were a couple opportunities for counseling and helping people through difficulties, there was the expositing of Scripture and also encouraging leaders and making vision decisions for the church. All of this along with being a husband and father of a growing and active family. At each moment I noticed my internal lurch toward a self-centered, anxious perspective. Thinking the worst of events (which is bad because I am generally an optimist), and figuring my striving was the only solution.
But the gospel brings a different word, a better perspective. In Christ I am secure, I am made immovable, unshakeable and empowered to do the work the Lord has called me to. None of it is in vain, but one purpose and worthwhile. This perspective, a redeemed one, changes how I approach my family, ministering and setting a vision for the future. And this perspective is exactly what I have to offer and am called to give to other believers and those in need of a savior.
Over and over again at every opportunity, this perspective is our security. When someone is facing the unknown in the hospital. When the car is wrecked. When the relationship breaks. When the job falls through or comes through. When the lottery is won. And when every other mundane moment of life comes along… it is the gospel and the perspective of life it forms that I bring by way of reminder, in love to others. Because I need it too.
It is with a gospel perspective, one that knows Jesus is Lord and cares for us, gives us grace for life, that we can stand, steadfast, immovable and abounding in good work. Let’s live with this perspective.