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Monday, September 5, 2011

A Thanks to the Laborers in the Field

Today is Labor Day in the U.S., a special holiday to recognize workers in their work.  I just wanted to drop in here on a holiday evening to thank God's laborers in the field, from the missionaries to the regular people who testify daily about the power of the Lord in their lives.

Thank you for pressing on, through hardship and persecution.  Thank you for sticking your neck out and speaking the truth, because it was necessary, even to those who didn't want to hear it.  Thank you for putting your whole life on the line for the kingdom of God.  He will richly reward you--I have no doubt about that--so please hang in there and keep glorifying God in your words and deeds!

Here are some of Paul's words, from a missionary and written to the next generation of missionaries.  He couldn't have said it better:
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.  You know how we lived among you for your sake.  You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.  The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1: 2-11 NIV 1984)