All ye that labor, Come (and live)


On the first Monday of September, annually, America celebrates Labor Day, in commemoration of the American Labor movement, honoring the workers who have contributed to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the country. On this day, both private and public sector offices are closed to give rest to the working people.

The pursuit of rest by man can be dated back to the time of his fall into perdition, in the garden of Eden, for it was only after his fall that he had to labor, to have the cursed ground produce its yield. The only remedy for this tireless pursuit was for the curse to be lifted. When Jesus himself became accursed and willingly laid down his life and died on the cross, the power of the curse of death was lifted from man, with his resurrection. So only in Jesus can one find true rest – rest from their weariness; rest for their souls.

The lyrics of the first stanza of Chris Rice’s song, “Come to Jesus” is as follows: Weak and wounded sinner. Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by. Come to Jesus; Come to Jesus. Come to Jesus and live! This is substantiated Biblically for Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). In other words, “Come to Jesus and find rest for your souls” i.e., Come to Jesus and find life – eternal life.

Points to ponder:
Are you laboring to find rest? Are you weak and heavy laden without any rest? Are you pursuing rest from the weariness in your life. If so, come to Jesus and live.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV)
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

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God, the (first) Laborer


On the first Monday of September, people in the United States of America celebrate Labor day, annually, as a national tribute to the contributions and achievements, workers have made toward the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country, even though Labor day is not exclusive to the United States, wherein it is synonymously referred to as International Workers Day. Although the origin of the Labor day can be speculatively traced back to the early 1800’s, close scrutiny of the Bible, which is the Holy Infallible word of God, gives us insight, that the very first Labor day, is first recorded in the beginning chapters of the book of Genesis.

Genesis 1 and 2 gives us the account of God creating the universe and all of creation in it. Then Genesis 2:2-3 states “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Notice, how the verses read, “God ended his work and rested from all his work which he made and having rested he sanctified the day because of his rest” just as one today would rest from all the work they have done on Labor day. This not only establishes the fact that the very first Labor day was celebrated by God himself, but that God is the first Laborer and that there is no unfinished business with God. It further illustrates that sanctification can come from rest.

Points to ponder:
John 19:30 states that Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “It is finished.” God’s work for the salvation of mankind is finished and there is no unfinished issues in this matter. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invited all, saying “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” All we need to do is to believe in Jesus and rest in him (Hebrews 4:7-9) which brings about the sanctification of our souls (Matthew 11:29).

Many of us (me included) work arduously all year long and seldom take time to rest, often impacting the very ability to complete (end) the work we have at hand. From God, the first Laborer, let us learn to end our work and rest – rest in him, which brings sanctification. The sabbath (rest) was made for man and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27) says Jesus Christ, the Lord of the sabbath day (Matthew 12:8). Let us follow the best example of all – God, the Laborer – to finish the work, he has given us and take time to rest in him.

Genesis 2:2-3 (KJV)
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Labor day Ref: http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm

Labor not in vain – Steadfast, Still and Surmount


According to the United States Department of Labor, Labor Day, which is annually celebrated on the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.

To those who are citizens of God’s kingdom (Philippians 3:20), we ought to be able to celebrate Labor Day as well, which is possible as long as we have made contributions with our life that last the test of fire (1 Corinthians 3:14-15). The labor that stands the test of fire is the labour that in not in vain in the Lord.

In order for our labor to not be in vain in the Lord, the Bible teaches us the principles that are recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:58. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
First, we need to be steadfast, that is we need to stand firm, which is only possible if the foundation we stand on is firm. There is no other foundation that is firmer than Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Second, we need to be still (Psalm 46:10), that is be unmoveable. We must not waver in our faith but be faithful, keeping the faith (Revelation 14:12; Acts 14:22) till we see Christ face to face.
Third, we need to surmount, that is abound, in the work of the Lord. With God, there is no unfinished business (Philippians 1:6) and God is able to make his grace abound toward us so that we may have sufficiency in all things and that we may abound to every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Points to ponder:
Do you want your labor to not be in vain? In other words, are you steadfast, are you still and is your work surmounting? If Jesus Christ is not your foundation, I beseech you to believe and trust in him for when on Christ the Solid Rock, we Stand, we are steadfast and need not fear the sinking sand.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (KJV)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Labor that stands the test of fire


Labor day is an American holiday that is celebrated on the first Monday in September annually. This labor day, as we rest from work, let us not fail to recognize that the work we do should be one that will not fail the test of fire when we finally stand before God and are judged out of the things which are written in the books, according to our works (1 Corinthians 3:15; Revelation 20:12). What does it mean that our labor (work) does not fail the test of fire?

The Ramayana tells the story of how Sita underwent a test of fire and agreed to be burned to prove her innocence (chastity) to her husband Rama, who suspected her of infidelity. No human is innocent and all have sinned and hence guilty (Romans 3:23). The only one who is imputed righteousness and declared innocent before God is the one who has believed in his Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 4:24). And when one believes, the Spirit of God comes into their life to reign and when the Spirit of God is within a person, that person ought to Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and not do the works of the flesh which is contrary to the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). Those who do the works of the flesh, which is made manifest in adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like shall  not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Galatians 19-21). In other words, these works will burn in the test of fire, but those who Walk in the Spirt, doing the Works of the Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit will have their labor stand the test of fire.

Points to ponder:
So if we want to have our labor stand the test of fire, let us Walk in the Spirit and let the Spirit of God work in us, for us and through us. Will your works stand the test of fire on judgment day?

1 Corinthians 3:13-17 (KJV)
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Revelation 20:12 (KJV)
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise


Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding Fathers of the United States of America is attributed to have quoted, “Early to bed, early to rise; makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise.” Early to bed implies that one needs to rest at the right time and early to rise implies that one must not rest for more than what they are supposed to. The pursuit of health, wealth and wisdom has always been in man’s interest but as America celebrates labor day on the first  Monday of September, even the most ambitious seem to regard this day as a day of rest.

Rest is necessary to be rejuvenated and renewed. It is important to rest. The Bible says that God worked for six days to create the world and everything in it and on the seventh day, He rested. Unfortunately, in today’s world everyone wants to be healthy, everyone wants to be wealthy and everyone wants to be wise, which has made the world system a hamster wheel and you and me caught in its perpetual cycles. We are often foolish in our pursuits. We pursue health, wealth and wisdom and seldom take time to rest.

Rest does not mean laziness or sloth. Remember, Jesus said,”The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Rest, on the contrary requires action and is a reward that is given or a treasure that needs to be found. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He then added, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  (Matthew 11:28-30). To receive and find rest, we must act i.e., Come to Jesus, Take from Jesus, Be Yoked with Jesus and Learn from Jesus. Only then will we find true rest (for our souls). When we come to Jesus, we receive rest (Come; I will give); When we take Jesus’ yoke and are yoked with him and when we learn from that, we find rest for our souls.

Points to ponder:
Today, are you caught in the malady of busyness, spinning perpetually in an hamster-wheel world? Take time to rest as you are prompted to pursue health, wealth and wisdom. Remember the wise man is the one who does NOT spend the first part of his life, spending his health to pursue wealth and then the second part of his life spending his wealth to hold on to health. Rest was made for man and not the other way round.

Happy labor day, or should I just say: Happy Rest Day!

Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)
28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Labor day in heaven


We celebrate Labor day in the United States, the first Monday in September as a tribute to the American worker.

But have you ever wondered as to whether labor day is celebrated in heaven.
Each and every time there is a sinner who is snatched from the clutches of Satan and turned from his road to hell, when he or she believes that Jesus Christ is LORD and calls on THE NAME of  Jesus, there is rejoicing in heaven (Luke 15:7), in tribute to the labor of a Christian worker who was faithful to THE COMMISSION (Matthew 28:19-20). In other words, one can say labor day is celebrated in heaven every time a sinner repents.

The laborer is in fact a co-laborer with God (1 Corinthians 3:9), i.e., we work in God’s vineyard, but it is the Holy Spirit God that convicts the world of righteousness, sin and judgment (John 16:9) and it is God who gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7).

What is more is that there is not only rejoicing in heaven, but a reward set aside as well for it is written that the laborer is worthy of his reward (1 Timothy 5:18).

However, there are many passive spectators and inactive laborers in God’s kingdom business today (and I am many times one of them). We forget the word’s of the Master laborer, Jesus Christ, who finished the work of redeeming from sin unto Salvation and who has commissioned us to tell this sole glorious Truth unto others, when He expressed that truly the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:27). God is seeking to partner with laborers for his work of reconciliation of men and women to God.

Labor day in heaven is a tribute to the Christian worker, who is a partner (co-laborer) with God.
So the questions that remains are

  1. Are we willing to be active co-laborers with God?
  2. What is the tribute you / I will be commemorated and honored for?
  3. Are you / Am I the reason for labor day celebration in heaven?