Begin Again - Part 3
December 30, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable (…stand firm. Let nothing move you. - NIV), always abounding (Always give yourselves fully - NIV) in the work of the Lord, knowing (because you know - NIV) that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV.
The apostle Paul gives us some direction as to how to continue to move forward with life, beginning again and again. Those directions are given in 1 Corinthians 15:58. The first instruction that Paul gives us is to “…stand firm. Let nothing move you….” The second instruction is “…give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord….” Why should we do that? Why should we stand firm? Why should we let nothing move us? Why should we always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord? “…because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
I am reminded of a verse in Isaiah 55:11 about God's Word that says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” God says in Isaiah that His Word will not go forth in vain, His Word will accomplish His purpose. The apostle Paul is saying the same thing about our labor, our work for the Lord. Our labor for the Lord will not be in vain, it will accomplish its purpose, it will accomplish what God means for it to bring about, and it will prosper.
Beginning again can be so very difficult. I have often pondered some of the challenges of the great missionaries like William Carey, who was a missionary to India in the early 1800s. He was also an intellectual giant and was busy translating the Bible into many of the various languages present in India. For ten years Carey had labored in those translations, he had established a print shop to print the translations, and it was in that print shop that he kept all of his work. On March 11, 1812 disaster struck in the form of a fire that destroyed the print shop and all of the work of Carey and others. Ten years of work gone!
How do you begin again? How do you stand firm and not let something like this move you? How do you continue on to give yourself fully to the work of the Lord in the face of a disaster like this? How do you do it? Carey began again, and found that he could do the work of translation even better the second time, and because of the publicity about the disaster funds were more than adequate. It is reported in one biography of Carey that he translated and published the New Testament in more than 30 Indian languages and dialects. What does Romans 8:28 say? “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
William Carey not only began again giving himself fully to the work of the Lord, but he went further than he had gone before. His translations were better the second time, and he translated the Scripture into far more languages than before. He stood firm, he did not let this move him, and God brought about His purpose in spite of a disaster that would have stopped so many of us in our tracks.
What challenge are you facing? Are you coming to an end of one phase of your life, with a new one ahead? Have you experienced tragedy, disaster, pain, illness - how do you go on? You go on; you begin again by standing firm in your faith, by letting nothing move you away from your full devotion to the Lord. You go on; you begin again by giving yourself fully, totally, completely to the work of the Lord.
Don't settle for anything less, than the very best that God has for you. Begin again, stand firm, let nothing move you from what God has for you. Move forward, give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because it will not be in vain, it will accomplish its purpose, it will not come back void.
Let us begin again!