1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
I would have to say that this verse is one of the most convicting and motivational verses that I have found within the Word of God. Every time I have grown weary in the work or wondered whether my service was making a difference, I would come across this verse or another one similar to it – Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, our service for Him and for the sake of the Gospel is not in vain, it is not empty or worthless. There is a promised harvest if we will continue to be steadfast, unmoveable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Being steadfast means keeping my eyes focused on the Lord, trusting in Him, and clinging tightly to His Word. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines steadfastness as “Firmness of mind or purpose; fixedness in principle; constancy; resolution; as the stedfastness of faith.” Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Colossians 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Being unmoveable means I will not waver in my commitment and service to Him. I will take the stands I need to in my Christian walk, and will not compromise or move from those positions, despite what lukewarm believers and a politically-correct society says to me.
Being always abounding in the work of the Lord means I will not grow lazy in my service to the Lord, I will not let my feelings dictate when I will serve, nor will I let myself falter in my commitment to reach the lost.
The word for abounding is Strong’s #4052, which means “to superabound (in quantity or quality), be in excess, be superfluous; also (transitively) to cause to superabound or excel.” What this means on a practical basis is that I am not to stagnate in my service for Christ, but should always be seeking to excel, to do more (excelling in quantity) for Him, and to do better (excelling in quality). If after a lifetime of service, all we can look back to is the same level of service year after year, then we have not always abounded in the work of the Lord. (Lest I be misunderstood, I am trying to encourage faithfulness, but I am also trying to encourage a willing attitude that says what more can I do in my service to Jesus Christ? He has done so much for us, we ought to give Him our all in return. See Romans 12:1-2)
There are many ways we can abound in our service:
(Notice that all these verses contain the same word in Greek, translated as abound, excel, abundant, increase.)
Abounding in edifying our brethren. 1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
Abounding in giving. 2 Corinthians 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
Abounding in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
Abounding in love and discernment. Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
Abounding in joy. Philippians 1:26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
Abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
Abounding in a life that pleases God. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
There are many ways our Heavenly Father has abounded towards us:
1) Giving us Christ’s abounding righteousness, that far surpasses any righteousness we can devise. Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Yes, Christ’s righteousness far exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees!
2) Having an abundant supply that can meet all our needs. Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! See also Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19; Romans 8:32
3) Providing an abundance of grace. Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
4) Giving us an abundance of hope. Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
5) Providing us an abundance of comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6) Offering us an abundance of wisdom and prudence. Ephesians 1:8 Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
In John 10:10, Jesus compared the quality of life the devil desires for us with the quality of life He Himself desires for us – the abundant life. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (#622): I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (#4053)
Strong’s #622 means “to destroy fully (reflexively, to perish, or lose).” Strong’s #4053 means “superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication, excessive.” The life of service that Jesus offers His brethren is far better than anything this old world could offer. It is a life filled with the fullness of joy, peace, contentment, and blessings innumerable as we walk with and abide in Him.
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly (#4053) above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Are you ever weary in your work for the Lord?
In Revelation 2:2-3, Jesus commended the Ephesians for their works, labour, and patience. I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
They were faithful in service, toiling for their master. The word "patience" is Strong’s # 5281, meaning to "stay under", ie. persevere in trials. They had borne (#941 - endured), and had patience (#5281 - perseverance), and laboured (#2872 - to feel fatigue; by implication, to work hard; toil) for Christ’s name’s sake. And they had not fainted (#2577 - become weary).
A trace of the words "fainted" and "weary" throughout Scripture reveal some of the Lord’s intended ways for us to refresh our spirits.
We are to continually:
Seek God in prayer. Luke 18:1 And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Wait upon the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Remember that it is He Himself who fights our battles and delivers us from our troubles and distresses. Deuteronomy 20:3-4 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
Psalm 107:5-6 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.
Hope and trust in His Word and the promises contained therein. Psalm 119:81 My soul fainteth for Thy salvation: but I hope in Thy word.
Study His Word and look to the Scriptures for comfort. Isaiah 50:4-5 The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
Amos 8:11-13 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
Look for Jesus Christ throughout the Scriptures. Isaiah 28:9-13 and 16 Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people. To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Relying on God’s mercy and grace. 2 Corinthians 4:1 and 16 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Take Christ’s yoke of service upon us. Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Persevere in well doing. Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
And keep looking unto Jesus and remembering His example. Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Are you weary in the work? Keep looking unto Jesus for the grace and strength you need to continue in service to Him. The solution is not to back off from our spiritual walk and devotion to the Lord, but to cling that much closer to Him, to plead His promises, and trust His Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen our hearts.
Strive to keep abounding in the work of the Lord!
It is not in vain!
Hebrews 6:10-12 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Study written September 21st, 2002
By Jerry Bouey
Eagle's Wings Ministries
The Christian Counter