Labor day is celebrated annually on the first Monday in September as a national tribute to all the workers who labored for the well-being of America, making it strong and prosperous.
Christian life is a life of labor, wherein we are co-laborers with Jesus Christ himself, in God’s mission of reconciling fallen man back to himself. We are commissioned to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that God has commanded us (Matthew 28:18-20). And his greatest two commandment is to love him first and to love others (Matthew 22:36-40).
To the Church in Ephesus, God gives this commendation that he knows of their work and their persistent and persevering labor and how they cannot bear those who are evil. Nevertheless God says that he has a complaint against this church and his complaint is that the Church of Ephesus had left their first love (of God and of others). They are asked to remember their first love, repent, return to the one who first loved and to redo their first works (labor) (Revelation 2:2-4).
Points to ponder:
From this commendation juxtaposed with complaint of the Church of Ephesus by God, we learn that one can labor without love. Let our work for the Lord God not be as such, but instead let our labor be as a result of our love for him and his creation. Let us labor because we love God for he first loved us (1 John 4:19). Let us labor to share with his creation that God sent his son Jesus (John 3:16), who came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23); and whoever believes in Jesus and receives him, to them he gave them the power to become the children of God (John 1:12). Let us share the good news not because we have to but because we want to as an expression our love for God and his people so that God does not have to tell of us “I know your hard work, nevertheless you have left your first love”. Let our final commendation of labor not be one sans love.
Let us remember God’s love for us that demonstrated on the Cross by his Son (Romans 5:8) and repent and return to labor for our first love – Jesus Christ, who is always with us (Matthew 28:20).
Revelation 2:2-4 (KJV)
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.