5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
Today lets begin examining the last three “Ins” that are listed in verse five, in labours, in watchings, in fastings. The first of these three is labours. The New Testament mentions the word labour fifty times and most of the time it is speaking of the work we are called to do as born again believers. Jesus Christ did all the work necessary for us to be saved from hell and now He expects us to work hard for Him.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
So we are save by grace through faith, but that is just the beginning. The Bible says we are created to do good works, otherwise, why are we even here? We are here because God has works for us to do and He has ordained that we should walk in them.
There are many works that we should be doing as faithful Christians; reading our Bible (Joshua 1:8) praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) being a member of a church (1 Corinthians 12:18) helping the poor and needy (Galatians 2:10) having families and raising Godly children (1 Timothy 5:14) for a man, working and providing for his family (2 Corinthians 6:15) warning others of the coming judgment (Revelation 20:12) showing them the way of salvation (Luke 1:77) and much more! God wants us to consistently work hard for Him and His kingdom during our short time here on earth. And it isn’t just our spiritual work that is important, we should do all of our work to the best of our ability for a testimony to those who see our good works.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
One of the most important works for us to do is to tell others about Jesus Christ. If we fail to warn our friends, family and neighbors that there is a penalty for their sins and that Jesus is their only hope to have those sins forgiven once and for all, who will? We must not assume that someone else will do it. God has placed certain people in our lives for a reason and we should love them enough to warn them even if it may make us feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, most Christians will never share the gospel with anyone and this is truly sad. Therefore it is up to the few labourers to do the heavy lifting of going out into the highways and hedges and compelling them to come in.
Matthew 9:37 Thensaith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat whichperisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
2 Corinthians 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
God expects His children to labour so find something to do for Him today and start laying up treasure in heaven.