THE WORK OF THE LORD
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
“As they (the church in Antioch) ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” -Acts 13:2
The Bible’s view of the work of the Lord is unique. First of all in Genesis we are hardly introduced to God our Creator when in Chapter 2 we find the word work used three times. God is depicted as working in the dirt, getting His hands dirty in forming man. God’s got an investment in mankind. Or as we might say: He’s got skin in the game.
Likewise, our team in Nicaragua got down and dirty in their work to bring the living touch of Christ to a people without hope. No vacation, for the team it was work! There the poorest of the poor subsist in makeshift hovels on tiny plots of dirt and muck.
It was impossible to remain clean and do the work. Every day we got tired and dirty.
The work of the Lord is both creative and labor intensive. In fact, Spanish has two key words for work: trabajar (to labor) andobra (a work such as a painting or musical number). There is no getting around it: the work of the Lord requires sweat, effort, creativity, prayer, tears, and enduring commitment. The reward is great! For example, it was worth it all to see a sick old man we prayed for get up and walk across the dirt floor praising God. We will always remember the joy of seeing little children clutching a stuffed bear or a soccer ball, or walking about in their new gift of colorful flip-flops. The Crusade meeting in a Managua park plaza were truly the work of a creating God. It all required work and planning.
Ministry is called simply “the work” in Acts 13. The work always creates something lasting. In that case, the door to the West, into Europe, for the gospel ministry was opened. The church would never again be the same. Neither would Europe. It was no easy road for Paul and Barnabas. But that first great missionary effort also established a good example for us all. Give our best. But expect many miracles along the way. Even in the face of hardships.
This is what happened in the work of the Lord in Nicaragua. It was both dirty work and joyous blessings.
Blessed are the workers in God’s Kingdom!
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