A labour of love
By Rev Victor Neill
‘For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and your labour of love, which ye have shown toward His Name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister‘ (Hebrews 6 v 10)
Sometimes we may feel that our contribution to the fellowship of the Church - the saints, is not appreciated and often overlooked. This indeed can sometimes be the case and it may be ‘what we do is not noticed until we stop doing it!!’. Many of us have to hold up our hands and say there has indeed been occasions when we have been guilty of not expressing our appreciation for those who labour in love for the well being of all within the Church Fellowship in many contexts . Today I want to express my appreciation to all who quietly render effective service to the saints in Ballynahinch and whilst we may be remiss in not acknowledging the labour of love which you have rendered in the Lord’s name, I want to assure from our verse that God has not overlooked ‘your work and your labour of love which ye have shown toward His Name‘. God is so much more appreciative of your labour of love and I am not using that as an excuse i.e. ‘God takes notice and rewards them – therefore no need for me express my appreciation’. Indeed, we should heed 1st Thessalonians 5 v 13 and ‘esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake‘. So your service is needed - even if it is not always acknowledged by the saints . It may indeed be humble service, but that does not negate its importance ‘and the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of thee. Nay much more these members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary‘ (1 Cor 12 v 21 &22).
Sometimes a child of God may be tempted to think ‘I am not highly gifted, therefore I have little or nothing to offer to the Church, so I will do nothing other than attend and contribute financially!‘. If that is your line of thinking, that God has given you little or no talent - think again!! God has gifted you and can use the smallest and weakest and indeed delights to do so ‘God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty‘ (1st Cor 1 v 27).
Perhaps because of age and infirmity others may say ‘what use am I to God now?’. You can be a Prayer Warrior and how vital and important that is! 'The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much’ ( James 5 v16 ). Another translation puts it ‘ The prayers of the righteous have a powerful effect‘.
Let me close with some verses from a Hymn which I cannot remember ever having sung or indeed heard being sung, but it sums it up well:
It may not be on the mountain's height,
or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle’s front
my Lord will have need of me;
but if by a still small voice he calls
to paths I do not know,
I’ll answer “Dear Lord with my hand in thine,
I‘ll go where you want me to go".
There’s surely somewhere a lowly place,
in earth’s harvest fields so wide,
where I may labour through life’s short day
for Jesus the crucified.
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere,
I’ll be what you want me to be.