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For Which Of These Three Things Are You Laboring?
"It is the character of a rational being that he has some purpose in life - the purpose is that in which he lives, it makes life valuable to him. To a man who has no purpose in life or has lost his purpose, life is deemed of little worth." - Pulpit Commentary - New Testament
"Infinitely beneath the dignity and Divine origin of man is the labouring to be rich."
"We are so constituted that we cannot be engrossed with the successful pursuit of two objects at once."
- both of the above quotes are from the Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
In this message, we would like to offer you a multiple choice Self Test. This test consists of only one question with three possible answers. Some of you may have a problem in choosing one answer. You may feel as though it would be more realistic of your life to choose two or possibly all three answers to be correct.
Nonetheless, may we remind you of the above quote from the Biblical Illustrator which says - "We are so constituted that we cannot be engrossed with the successful pursuit of two objects at once."
Therefore, in order to be fair in this evaluation, we ask that you only choose the one answer that describes your aim and purpose in life at this time. Please be honest with yourself and before God.
Prayerfully, your answer will cause you either to repent and make some drastic changes or else to go after God more than ever in your life.
There are three Scriptures in the Bible which depict three purposes that men can have in this life. They are as follows -
Proverbs 23:4 says - "Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom."
John 6:27 says - "Labor not for the meat which perisheth..."
2 Corinthians 5:9 says - "Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him."
There are three things for which men "labor" - to be rich...to acquire worldly things...or to be well-pleasing to the Lord.
The world's philosophy is to get rich if you can or however you can. Toil and weary yourself to heap up riches. Resolve to be rich at any rate. Use all possible means to get riches. Consecrate all of your powers to this one object in particular. Yet, what does the Bible say? It admonishes you to "cease from thine own wisdom" - your own understanding. It instructs you to lay up treasure before God and be rich towards Him.
The Lord Jesus admonished you to not make the acquisition of worldly things the leading object of your life. He said to not make the supply of your wants the main goal of your desire. Don't do as so many are doing in this world - making such things as worldly wealth, honor, popular applause, or carnal pleasures their chief care and concern. Don't labor inordinately and immoderately for them.
The Apostle Paul strongly urged the believers to be ambitious...exert oneself...strive after...and make one thing alone a point of constant effort -that is, to be well-pleasing or acceptable in God's sight. They were to make this their highest ambition - to "labor" or take great pains to make their lives acceptable to Christ.
In all honesty, how would you answer the following question -
What are you laboring for?
Is it to be rich...to acquire more "stuff"...or to please the Lord?
According to the Scriptures, the saints of God should have one end and scope...one work to be carried on with great seriousness...one great care and business...and one constant employment. That is, to bring a smile on Jesus' face through their constant course of obedience.
What fired the Apostle Paul's zeal...strengthened his hands... and stimulated his heart was the motive to be accepted of Jesus.
Is it yours?
Remember what one of the opening quotes stated - "We are so constituted that we cannot be engrossed with the successful pursuit of two objects at once."
By the way, how did you do on your multiple choice Self Test?
For which of these three things are you laboring?
May God Bless His Word.