Summary: The hallmark of the trusting laborer is the Holy Spirit fruit that is evident in his life, no matter what the harvest is that the Lord brings forth from his efforts.
Turn Your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 3:6-10
Title: Trusted Servants
Theme: Hallmarks of a Trusting Laborer
Series: Laboring Together With God
Introduction: There is a swinging pendulum of reactions in the church of Jesus Christ in regard to the attitude of her laborers. When one sees the results of the child of God who is a sluggard they have a tendency to give up in their service to the Lord or they start to become like the controlling laborer. They become over disciplined and lay down guidelines too strict for themselves and they expect everyone else to follow them.
Proposition: I would propose to you that the best way to be a servant to the Lord is by being a “Trusting laborer.”
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is the hallmark of the trusting laborer?
Transitional Sentence: Three weeks ago we took a Biblical look at what the Bible says about the sluggard in a message entitled “What God Won’t Bless.” Two weeks ago we took a look at what can happen to God’s anointed when he refuses to surrender to and obey the instructions of God, thus becoming a “Controlling Laborer.” Today we will look at that the laborer that is a blessing to God and the Body of Christ.
The hallmark of the trusting laborer is the Holy Spirit fruit that is evident in his life, no matter what the harvest is that the Lord brings forth from his efforts.
He rejoices in the Lord’s work whether he is speaking to thousands or tens. He works equally hard in the work place whether he has been promoted to manager or cleans the toilets. He stays faithful to the family whether all his kids obey his instructions or live in rebellion. He sacrificially loves and serves his wife whether she is respectful to him or not, in good health or bad.
The trusting laborer is like Habakkuk who wrote, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:17-18) The Holy Spirit so wants you to understand, the “Trusting Laborer” finds his joy in the Lord not in the results of his work. Results are God’s business.
The trusting laborer keeps God’s Word and fully understands the benefits of being diligent. However, he is not diligent because it gets results. He wishes to honor God, Christ and walk in step with the Holy Spirit. The trusting laborer realizes the results of his labor are entirely up to God, the Lord of the harvest.
He is driven by a desire to please God in all things and 1 Corinthians 10:31 is evident in all he does, “So whether [he eats] or [drinks] or whatever [he does], [is done] for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
This trusting laborer is diligent, disciplined and labors to exhaustion. The Apostle Paul wrote, ““I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep…” (2 Corinthians 11:27) The Kings James Bible says, “In weariness…” the Apostle Paul did his ministerial labors. (Matthew Henry Commentary; Barnes Notes; The Bible Exposition Commentary; The Pulpit Commentary)
Today’s key text says each worker will be “rewarded according to his own labor.” (1 Corinthians 3:8) and the Bible gives diligent Christians this exhortation, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
In three different Bible verses I mentioned the word “labor” (kopos) meaning wearisome efforts. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary; Vines) The practical application is, “That good ministers labor and labor, work and work to the point of fatigue and exhaustion; to the point that he can go no further. He exerts every ounce of energy and effort in his body for the sake of God and Christ and trusting in the strength of and leading of the Holy Spirit. He continues to minister the Word even when men ridicule, revile, mock, curse, and persecute him.” (Practical Word Studies in the New Testament)
Why? Because of his love for Jesus he will do all he can to present a message of truth and live out truth for the sake of Christ and the church.
In the work place the trusting laborer works as if Jesus was standing right there with him. The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” (Colossians 3:23) This means that whatever God has given you to do, your responsibility is to give dignity to all of your work. (The Expositors Bible Commentary)