Your labor will be rewarded

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

I know people who seem to have the “Midas touch” in ministry. Not that everything they touch turns to gold, but everything they touch turns to fruit for the kingdom. It seems that almost effortlessly everything they do in the name of Jesus is profitable. The people they share the gospel with are profoundly affected and get saved. People they pray for get healed. They teach the truths of God’s word with great wisdom and authority.

And then there are other people, who seek God like crazy and yearn to make a difference in this life for the kingdom and have significant periods of time that yield no fruit.

I’ve read stories of missionaries that labored their whole lives in almost unbearable conditions to bring the gospel to a heathen people group. They live and die seeing no conversions to Christ. But the next missionary comes and the harvest is so ripe it requires almost no labor on his part.

So, getting really real here, I often feel like the one always desiring and laboring that my life would be profitable for the kingdom of God, and mostly feeling like it isn’t. Always sowing, rarely reaping. In frustration, ready to stop trying and just wait for heaven.

But at the same time, I can’t stop. Inside there is such a stirring to speak of Him, write of Him, that maybe somebody, somewhere at sometime might be helped.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with discouragement.

A number of years ago somebody shared a video with me that has encouraged me tremendously. I want to share it with you now. It’s about 8 minutes long but well worth the time to listen.

I hope it encourages you as well, to continue in your service to the Lord, even when you cannot see the fruit.

Give your flowers now

About two years ago I met a homeless man named Ricky. I see him almost every weekend on Third Street and he always comes over to chat. He has come to church with me several times and whenever he meets somebody that he thinks I can help, he will call me. It has been an unexpected friendship. One Friday night a couple of months ago I saw Ricky on Third Street and as usual he came over to visit for a while. And just out of the blue he began to share some kind words about how our friendship had affected his life. I didn’t really know what to say in response so I just stood there for a few moments in silence. He said “when people die, their friends and family will have flowers sent to the funeral home. The flowers will be laid on top of their grave but that person will never experience any enjoyment from those flowers. I wanted to give you a flower now.”

I think about these words often….and about how easy it is to leave things unsaid, sometimes until it is too late to say them. Don’t wait…..give out some flowers today.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. (1 John 4:7)