Lord, Not In Vain
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:7-10
"Lord, let this not be in vain."
Have you ever thought something similar? Prayed your own version of that phrase? Have you ever wondered if the work you do, the ministry you are in, the family you're raising, the marriage you're trying to save, the debt you're trying to pay down, the friendship you're hoping to mend, the steps you're taking to live more faithful, more righteous, more sober, more loving, more patient is all in vain?
In the passage above, Paul wrote to encourage the church of Galatia to follow the Spirit, not their flesh. When we sow to the Spirit, we as believers will reap a harvest of goodness. When we live for our flesh, we will reap the grave and devastating consequences. Each of us has a choice to make in our life. Will you live for the flesh or for the Spirit?
When you have chosen to live for God rather than yourself, to follow Christ, and to surrender your life to Him, you begin to follow and live by the Spirit. But sometimes we hit a rough patch, or we question if what we're believing and doing is really worth it. Rest assured, the good and faithful life you are living is not in vain. The good and faithful work you do for Christ is not in vain. The good and faithful work of healing, deliverance, and redemption you are journeying through is not in vain. The Gospel message you share is not being shared in vain. The laboring you do for the Lord is not in vain. Bearing the fruit of the Spirit, denying the flesh, living a holy life; none of this is in vain. Keep striving to sow to the Spirit.
"In due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
You may feel small at times. You may wonder if you're making an impact for His glory and honor. You may wonder if all the time, effort, heart, and passion you have for helping others and serving God is making a difference. Trust that it is. What Paul reminded believers in Galatia so long ago, serves as a much-needed reminder for us today: do not grow weary in doing good. Don't lose heart. You will reap the benefits and goodness of what you have sowed to the Spirit.
Keep doing good to others. Keep loving people. Keep serving and giving and doing acts of kindness. Be the lover, the shower of mercy, the compassionate one. Keep speaking God's truth in love, keep encouraging others who are losing hope. Keep working on becoming more holy. Keep asking for breakthrough and peace and God's best for your life. Do not grow weary in doing good. You will reap the benefits. And the world needs such true goodness.
When Paul compared the faithful life to a marathon, he wrote to keep running the race of faith (see: Hebrews 12:1-3), and even though I'm not much of a runner, this metaphor resonates with me. Keeping the faith does feel like a marathon at times. My faith must endure, it must continue in the midst of obstacles, and I must stay nourished in the Lord. I press on and trust the word of God that I should keep running the good race of faith set before me. We have the hope of an eternal place with Jesus when we have put our faith and trust in Him.
God notices you, He wants you to draw closer to Him, and to not lose heart as you live a faithful life. So, let us keep the faith and keep doing good for His name's sake.
>>Suggested readings: Galatians 6, Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 9, Psalm 40
LET US PRAY
Lord, help us to cling to the promise that when we sow to the Spirit, we will reap everlasting life. May we trust that whatever we do in Your name in accordance with Your will is never in vain. Give us strength when we grow weary. Give us hope when we feel dried up. Give us renewed passion when we feel confused. Help us to know that the good we do for You is never in vain. Let us continue to run this race of faith, while loving you with our entire beings and serving others to be a representative of Your light in this dark world. Thank You for your goodness and mercy. Amen.
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