Steadfast, Immovable, Always Abounding
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Always abounding in the work of the Lord — There are places throughout the Scriptures that summon us to “perfection” and they are usually identified by words like, “always” and “never,” “all times,” “every” and so on; ultimate, all encompassing, consistent states of being.
If you are one of those who fulfill those things in your life, please raise your hand, or better still, you can stop reading this now. In fact, you should probably start your own church and teach others how you did it, or not even that, just stand still because you are surely about to be translated.
For the rest of us, these are things we wrestle with. For example the Word says, “all that is not of faith is sin.” [Romans. 114:3] and “the just shall live by faith,” [Romans. 1:17; Hebrews 10;38] and “we walk by faith and not by sight.” [2 Corinthians 5:7] “faith works by love.” [Galatians 1:6]
So, if I am to live and walk by faith and if faith works by love, then, I need to have the love that the faith works by to empower me to walk and live by faith. In other words, I need love to live by faith and not sin.
The Scriptures define the way of love in 1 Corinthians 13, but it tends to indict me every time I read it because it reminds me of how inadequately I measure up to it, particularly the characteristic of love that causes it to never fail. I’m indicted until I’m reminded that “love never fails” is a promise not a commandment. It’s not my job to never fail. That’s the work of the power of love in me that has been put there by the Holy Spirit.
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
The summons of the Father to us to “never” and to “always” in anything is a work of the Holy Spirit in us that will be fulfilled. Our job is to cooperate with the leading of the Holy Spirit; to be quick to respond and not in a half measure but in an overly abundant, always abounding manner.
When we remember the debt we owed and the price that was paid to redeem us from the sentence of that debt, which was death, do we not owe it to God, Who so loved us to make such a supreme sacrifice, to at least abandon our puny feelings and the self-preserving mechanisms we invent to protect our image before others, and allow ourselves to worship God with grand abandon even as David did when He took no thought for what people thought of Him when it came to expressing His gratitude, joy and love for God? [2 Samuel 6:14-23]
Always abounding in the work of the Lord becomes easy when we think of where our lives would be without Him.
“So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
Yes we can and we will be always abounding in the work of the Lord, because whether we see the results now or later it will all be worth it. Nothing shall have been in vain, because God is with us in all that we do to abound in His work.
“…Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10