It is Labor Day in America today. It is a time to celebrate the hard work and labor that men and women have done to make this country the great country it is. Many people have worked hard at building things, inventing things, and building this country.
Throughout the years there have been many who have attempted great things for this nation and failed at it. Others have attempted and been cut down and ridiculed until they chose to quit. Some have been stopped by others to keep them from achieving something that would be great.
While many have failed, stopped or been stopped, many have also succeeded. The invention of many different things have been done in this nation that has led to a better workplace. New laws have been put in place requiring better safety in the workplace.
There are many things that you and I enjoy today because someone else has paved the path for us. It does not matter what country you live in, it is the same for every nation in the world. Think about all the paved roads you drive on. Someone had to design them, clear the land for them, and build those roads to make them what they are today.
The grocery store that you buy food from each day is the result of many people’s hard work. The farmer had to grow enough food to provide for the store; someone had to process that food; someone had to deliver it to the store; someone had to build the building for the store; someone had to stock the shelves; and someone has to be there to sell it to you.
Everywhere you look there is signs of someone’s hard labor to make what you enjoy possible.
On Labor Day in America, many people get the day off to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They grill out with family and friends to enjoy some good food as they relax.
As you relax, you must remember what others have done ahead of you, not just your own hard work. When this day is over and you go back to work, go back giving it your best as you remember what others have done for you.
Along with the work that we often see in the public places, there is another labor that I want you to look at and remember the hard work of. This is one that is not so commonly honored. It is the work of the ministry of building God’s kingdom here on this earth and for eternity.
God had set hard work in motion when He created the heavens and the earth in six days. He set man upon the earth to work the land and thrive upon it. Man, being jealous and greedy, wanted all the glory for himself and rebelled against God’s way of doing things. This is where the fall of man comes in.
Immediately God set into plan a work to save all mankind from sin. He had a plan in the works to destroy all sin and death for eternity. For man, the ability to destroy death was impossible. In order to do that he had to get rid of the sin in his life, which was impossible.
This was accomplished through the work of Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected three days later. When Jesus rose from the dead, He had defeated death and was given the power to remove all sin from every man and woman on this earth for all time.
After Jesus had done this, He got ready to leave the earth. As He left the earth He gave this command to the disciples:
Matthew 28:19-20 New International Version (NIV)
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The disciples followed His command and began to preach the gospel message to every person they came in contact with. Later Paul would come along and go through a lot of persecution to spread the gospel message around the world. Many men and women gave their lives in the early days of the church striving to get the gospel message to every person. They put in long hours and hard work to get the message out to every one.
As time went along, more and more people heard the gospel message and believed in Jesus for their salvation. Many of those people continued the mission and hard work of getting the gospel message spread.
Over the years there were many people who spread the gospel message: Martin Luther, George Whitefield, John Wesley, William Booth, Billy Sunday, John Wycliffe, and Billy Graham, plus many more untold thousands who have spread the gospel message. These are just a few of the list of men who impacted thousands. Alongside of these are thousands of men and women who never stepped into the pulpit, wrote a book or had any full-time ministry.
These are the men and women in everyday jobs, living a normal life, but are willing to tell their neighbor, co-worker, friend, anyone they meet about Jesus. Some of these people have gone through extreme persecution, shunned by families, hated by friends and lost their jobs and lives in order to keep the message of the gospel going to more people. They did not fear the persecution ahead of them, but sought to bring every person to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
One or more of these people have had an impact in your life. It was because of these people that you are a believer today. They worked hard so that you may know Jesus today. Some strived to pass the gospel message on to the point it impacted your life.
As you celebrate the hard work and labor of men and women today in your nation, remember those who have gone before you in the spiritual work.
Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Colossians 3:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
2 Chronicles 15:7 New International Version (NIV)
7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Do not stop telling people about Jesus. Seek to tell someone everyday. Do not be ashamed of the gospel for it has the power to save. Do not make the hard work others have done before you worthless. Do not stop what they have continued since Jesus walked on the earth.
As you work hard at building God’s kingdom, you are getting yourself ready to stand before the Father some day and hear Him say:
Matthew 25:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’