OceanSide church of Christ
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OUR EFFORTS ARE NOT WASTED
Victor M. Eskew
A. The Christian life is supposed to involve work, labor, and toil.
1. In Matthew 20:1-16, the kingdom is described as a vineyard and Christians are described as laborers (v. 1).
For the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2. Hebrews 4:11
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
B. As we labor, sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we grow depressed. Sometimes we begin to feel that all of our efforts are wasted.
C. In this lesson, we want to assure you that this is not the case at all. The title of our lesson is: “Our Efforts Are Not Wasted.”
I. WE GROW AND GET BETTER
A. In everything we do, we may never:
1. Add one soul to the body of Christ
2. See another person benefit from our labors.
B. There is one, however, who always benefits. We do.
1. We acquire more knowledge as we study.
2. We are strengthened as we serve.
3. Every Christian work enables us to be a little more like Christ.
C. Isn’t growth part of the life of the child of God? (II Pet. 3:18).
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
II. WE SET AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS
A. Paul told Timothy to be an example for the believers (I Tim. 4:12).
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
B. Very little we do for Christ is done invisibly.
1. Example: preparing a meal for others
a. Our children see us cooking.
b. The neighbors see us loading the car.
c. The neighbors of the ones receiving the food see us unloading the car.
d. The person receiving the food sees us.
2. The reaction to the example we set may be:
a. Praise from others
b. The desire to be like us
c. Appreciation expressed to the throne of God
III. WE PLANT THE SEED
A. The Christian life is all about sowing and watering (I Cor. 3:6).
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
B. Sometimes the seeds that we plant do not grow immediately.
1. First, we must understand this.
2. Second, we must rely upon God to give the increase.
C. NOTE: Much of the work done by Jesus did not yield fruit unto after His death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven.
IV. PEOPLE ARE HELPED
A. When we do good for others, people are helped in some way.
B. Example: If we deliver food boxes to the schools, we may never have one person attend OceanSide. We may never convert a soul, but we know that a family was assisted in a small way by what we did.
C. Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
D. In the miracle of the healing of the ten lepers, nine never returned to give thanks to Jesus, but those nine were helped. Their lives were made better by the removal of leprosy (Luke 17:17-18).
V. HARVEST ARE REAPED
A. When we do good, there are times when our labors are productive. There are times we yield a harvest.
B. Too often we focus on what is not accomplished rather than on what has been accomplished.
1. There is a baptism.
2. There is a restoration.
3. One is encouraged to remain faithful.
4. One gives up a sin.
5. One grows to another level in Christ.
6. One accepts more responsibility in the kingdom.
C. The Lord has promised a harvest (Gal. 6:9).
And let us not grow weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
VI. OTHERS ARE ENCOURAGED
A. We mentioned in a previous point that in our labors we become examples to others.
B. In addition, we became a person who encourages others.
1. When one faithful person sees another faithful person in action, it causes that person to be filled with a desire to continually faithfully.
a. Paul (Phil. 1:14)
And many brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
b. Elders (Heb. 13:17)
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that it is unprofitable for you.
1) Note the words: “that they may do it with joy”
2) When members are faithful and support the elders and submit to them, the elders are greatly encouraged.
VII. TREASURES ARE BEING LAID UP IN HEAVEN
A. Jesus tells us to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20).
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.
B. When we spend and are spent for the kingdom’s sake, one day we will have immense treasures in heaven.
1. We may not reap one dividend here.
2. The dividends in the hereafter will be abundant.
VIII. PREPARATIONS ARE BEING MADE FOR HEAVEN
A. The way some tell it, we do not have one thing to do with our eternal salvation.
B. How can we read the Bible and come to that understanding? Notice Matthew 25 alone.
1. We have to trim our lamps (Matt. 25:7, 10).
2. We have to use our talents (Matt. 25:20-23).
3. We have to provide food, drink, assistance, and visitation to the needy (Matt. 25:34-40).
C. Paul’s words of II Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day…
IX. SATAN IS NOT HAVING HIS WAY
A. Keeping ourselves saved does not set well with Satan.
B. Doing good works for others is not the will of the evil one.
C. Our shining light makes the kingdom of darkness disappear.
1. A small amount of light in a cave causes darkness to vanish.
2. Proverbs 4:18
But the path of the just is a shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
X. GOD IS WELL PLEASED
A. The five and two talent men were commended by their lord (Matt. 25:21, 23).
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
B. The woman who came and brake the alabaster box and poured it on Jesus’ head.
1. She hath wrought a good work on me (Mark 14:6).
2. She hath done what she could (Mark 14:8)
3. Mark 14:9
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached through the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial for her.
A. We grow weary. We get down. We want to give up. We get pessimistic. We ask: “What’s the use?” We begin to think that all we do is a waste.
B. NOT SO!
1. We grow and get better 6. Others are encourage
2. We set an example 7. Treasures are laid up in heaven
3. We plant the seed 8. Preparations are made for eternity
4. People are helped 9. Satan does not have his way
5. Harvests are reaped 10. The Lord is well pleased
C. II Corinthians 5:8-9
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.