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.

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.