“Remembering without ceasing your work of Faith, Labour or love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father”
– 1Thess 1:3
Love is the foundation for effective service. Every acceptable sacrifice or service is a product of genuine love. Successful men and women of God down the ages have been those who are in love with God and His people. Every ability, talent or resources that is not mixed with love will culminate in a fruitless venture. In light of the above scripture, we can infer that faith works, love labours, and hope patiently suffers all things. And since our focus is on love, lets look at how love labours.
… at Salvation
“for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3:16
“for God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. – Rom 5:8
Christ is our example of a lover in labour. The work of salvation (the birth, crucifixion, resurrection of Jesus) was birthed by a genuine lover of humanity.
One attribute of this love is that, it was shown to an unworthy recipient. Know this that everyone shows love to those who deserve it. But for man; he did not deserve it, having misuse the first opportunity in the Garden of Eden.
The agony of death and the risk of resurrection that Jesus went through was a love motivated labour. No kind of labour can bring out a bloody sweat out of a man except that of love. From this point of birth through his life with man to the point of rolling away the stone and resurrection costed heaven so much than what could be imagined.
God did not just labour to save man but still labours out of love to establish him in His will.
… towards maturity
“for it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure” – Phil 2:13
Effective parents are those that understands the love dimension o labour. It is difficult for a child to respond to training from an unloving parent.
According to Ephe 5:26-27, the love of Christ for the church made Him to give Himself that He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle. This act of purging and presenting is labour oriented.
For every saved soul, Jesus labours diligently to bring them to a point of complete sanctification. Jesus never stop laboring on the saints to bring them to maturity as confirmed by His word. “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17).
Seeing that Jesus labours in love to bring us to maturity, lets look at how He commissions labourers for His harvest.
… By commissioning labourers for His harvest
“Then saith He unto His disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send labourers into His harvest. – Matt 9:37-38
Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Harvest is the one who commission men and women as labourers for His harvest. The labourers of His harvest are labourers of love. These are people who are motivated by love to do much and more than Jesus did. (John 14:12)
When the Holy Spirit commissions a man into this labour of love, he goes as far as laying down his life for the brethren just as Jesus did. The reason for ingenuity in our service today is as a result of uncommissioned laboures who are trying to imitate what the true labourers are doing.
1 John 3:16 describe the standard for true labour of love. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”. Every kingdom service that must touch heaven just as Jesus did must involve the act of laying down of life for the brethren.
No one can lay his/her life for the brethren until he/she is commissioned by God. And no one can be commissioned outside proper discipleship. This is more than just being born again, but a process of growth in grace that culminates to total discovery and submission to one’s place in God’s agenda. Your labour of love cannot be recognized anywhere other than where God has design you for.
The reason for low productivity, despite the bulk of workers in the church lies in the fact that not all those who serves are commissioned to do. Those who are not commissioned for it often pick offense in co-workers or their leader and withhold their service. But if you are commissioned for it, you continue in the labour of love in face of series of discouragement.
God does not just commission labourers for His harvest, but involve in partnership with them.
… in bringing men in partnership with God
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye ministered to the saint and do minister. Heb 6:10.
God is not a task master, He honours those who honours Him. If you are found faithful to God in what He has called you to do, He ensures that you remain relevant in your world. Those who we refer to as God’s Generals are those who have appropriate their service in partnership with God.
Finally brethren, whoever you are or whatever your talent is, you can be involved in active service to God. Everyone who is a child of God and who have made up his/her mind to grow in grace must know that he/she is qualified to be a labourer in His harvest. Whether a pulpit minister, singer, drama artist or even politicians, God is calling labourers everywhere to preserve the harvest from decadence. There is nothing that can be too much to give up for God. This is your time to be enlisted in this great army. You will surely prosper in Jesus name (Amen).