When I was a kid in elementary school I was repeatedly wowed by our lessons on the Native Americans. How cool is it that they used almost every part of the buffalo for something functional? I mean… buffaloes are ginormous animals, we’re not talking about prairie dogs or foxes, and the native Americans used as much of them as possible to produce items of practical use. These people were masters of stewardship!
The Native Americans lead my thoughts to God because of a sermon I heard once by John Piper on 1 Corinthians 15:58. The verse says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” Here, Paul is telling the Corinthian church to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord”. What does “abounding” mean? I don’t think I’ve ever used that word in everyday speech. “Abounding” is just another way to say “increasing”. We are to be always increasing in the work of the Lord. But Paul is not simply giving us a command here, he is also giving us a great reason why we should increase in the work of the Lord. Read the last part of the verse again… “knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain”. Paul is saying that God does not waste your labor for Him. If your labor is done God’s way for God’s glory, then God will use it for His purposes. This means that we should never be plagued by a “What good is it going to do?” or “Why bother?” kind of attitude. Whether you think your work for God is big or small, God does not waste a bit of it! So you don’t have to wait for some grand mission trip opportunity to be used by the Lord, you can start increasing in the Lord’s work today by accomplishing a myriad of seemingly smaller tasks for Him. You can call someone and pray for them over the phone or send them a card with a Scripture verse that has encouraged you recently. Offer to watch a couple’s kids for an evening so they can have a break or write something kind on someone’s Facebook wall who you don’t normally talk to. I believe that even a smile is not too small to be used by the Lord. Church, this is an incredible investment… Like the native Americans, God will not waste the small stuff that seems to have no use. So, what work will you do for God today in light of this truth?