“On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them…” (1Cor15:10)
There is good reason to forge ahead in the Kingdom of God. To not get slack and lag behind. The reason is simple, we have a purpose for doing what it is we are doing. That purpose is God’s and he is going to and fro across the earth to take his message of hope to all the nations time and again. There are those sent, and there are those present. What I mean by this is, that there are those who are called into the far reaches of the earth, and there are those who man the fort at each location that the Gospel has been established. The word for harder is περισσότερον – this word means, more, greater, excessive – it basically means over and above the call of duty, the extra mile. This is the kind of life the Christian is to seek and attain. There is no shame in working hard. There are no shortcuts either to leading the Christian life. Working hard means you invest your every effort into the soil you are toiling. Yes there are times to rest, but whilst the Lord has not yet returned their is work on the earth to be done. The ‘them’ in this passage is referring to the other apostles and believers in the Lord. There is a difference between a faithful steward and an unfaithful one. Like the parable of the talents (Matt25:14-30), the faithful steward produced more, whilst the unfaithful one did nothing to add to the value of his masters wealth. This is the same for us. We will be judged on how we dealt with our masters wealth. The one which does nothing will get nothing, but the one who does faithfully will be given more. So the saying goes what you sow is what you reap. If you don’t sow and don’t invest you are going to reap nothing. This is not a pleasant thing to gain. We want to be over and above all others who walk on the face of the earth. Be hospitable and be the first in to host those visiting to share with you the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom12:9-13). It is a good thing to share in all this en devours because here is life and life in abundance. How do you counteract someones hatred? You love them with the unending love which comes from God. How do you overcome the evil one? By overcoming him with all your good works and deeds. The principle is the same, be generous and be fervent all in the same time. Never overshadow and overlook sin, but always deal with it in mercy and in love, because you are in need of these very same things on the day of judgement. Be kind and be courteous and give to who ever asks of you. Never hold back when you have more to give. There is no shame in working harder than all the rest. Your reward awaits you in heaven and there will be no end to that measure.