28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
As I sit to write this devotion, I happen to be exhausted. In fact, my husband just woke me up for my turn at the computer, and I was contemplating not writing this devotion tonight. However, seeing the topic of tonight’s verse seems a sign that I should press on! Just forgive me if the words are garbled.
Paul was certainly called to be a special type of laborer of the Lord. But we believers are all ministers. We are called to not only bring the gospel to a world in need but to meet the needs of those around us, especially fellow believers. (Remember that whole “they will know we are Christians by our love” thing?) We are called to admonish and warn all around of the consequences of not following the strait and narrow path. We are called to teach other believers and help them become more like Christ.
Jesus may have described his yoke as easy and his burden as light, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that the Christian path is akin to lazily riding a gondola down a street in Venice; often it resembles paddling furiously against the rapids! Paul calls his work labor (to work to the point of exhaustion) and struggling (literally agonizing). In his writings we can discern his desire to expend all his energy for whatever time he had on earth to further the Kingdom of God. I imagine you have experienced days you might describe as exhausting and agonizing. Sometimes my days may be tiring because I have done the work God intended for the day, but other days I expend far too much energy "chasing my tail". The good news is that when we are laboring for his purposes we do not have to depend on our fleshly reserves of energy but on His power which works mightily in us. We can do all things that He has called us to do through the power of Him who gives us strength (Phil. 4:13).
The ultimate goal is to present all for whom He has given us responsibility as complete in Christ. The importance here is depth of ministry, not width. Invest yourself in the people God has put in your life, and I know it will make a difference in them and you!
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41:10