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Never Useless

Never Useless

14 November 2009

Scripture:

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT)

Each year I’m glad to read chapters 15 and 16 of 1 Corinthians. Paul interspersed his instruction about the certainty of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our resurrection to eternal life with comments about his hard work, the trials and challenges he faced, and the cost of his own discipleship and service. It’s like he was reminding himself as well as the Corinthians (and you and me!) that it’s really worth it.

I need to be reminded that nothing I do for the Lord is ever useless.

Whether we’re serving vocationally in a church or organization or serving others individually as a mentor, counselor, and encourager, the outcome of our service often seems to be in the hands of others. Someone in the organization can decide to scrap our project or sideline the work we’ve done. The person we’ve served and encouraged can decide to walk away from the relationship and ignore the help and input we’ve offered. The money we’ve given sacrificially in faith is under the stewardship of others and it can be used in ways we didn’t intend.

• I need to remember that when I invest time and energy and heart in something for the Lord, and then it gets sidelined or changed beyond recognition, that Nothing I do for the Lord is ever useless.
• I need to remember that when I pour my time and love and advice into someone, and then they make choices that apparently erase any benefit from my investment, that Nothing I do for the Lord is ever useless.
• I need to remember that when God prompts me to give sacrificially, and then my gift seems to miss its intended purpose, that Nothing I do for the Lord is ever useless.

Prayer:

Father, today I will approach each task, every detail, and each interaction with another person as something I am doing for you. I will work enthusiastically, love unconditionally, and give generously because I know that whatever the apparent outcome, nothing I do for you is ever useless. Amen.

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