Always Abounding in the Work of the Lord

Rob Stroup
Written by Rob Stroup

1 Corinthians 15:58 - “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

What does it mean to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord?” According to Strong’s Concordance, “always” is a Greek word meaning “every when”…in other words, at all times. The word, “abounding” means “superabound in quantity or quality!” What an overwhelming command! We are to all the time be superabounding in the work of the Lord!

I picture a person that is continually giving of himself. Let’s call him Joe. Joe is always kind and gentle, compassionate and generous. If you met him on the street, he would greet you with a smile and a question about your welfare because he is genuinely concerned about you. Joe uses most of his “spare” time in service of others, either at home, at church, or in the community. He would be one of the first to volunteer when there is a need at church, whether it be giving a ride in his car or picking up fallen limbs in the parking lot. He prays for the pastors, the deacons, their wives and children. Joe has a prayer list of the missionaries and sets aside time every week to pray for them. When a new prayer letter is published from one of the missionaries, he reads it carefully so he can pray specifically for their needs. When he hears of a family with a struggle, he will find a way to be a blessing to them. At appropriate times, Joe will give anonymous gifts to people that need financial help. He often calls on the sick and prays with them. He is eager to share his testimony and faithful to pray for requests mentioned to him. Joe never seeks attention or a “pat on the back” because his service is done for his Lord, not for thanks from men.

As we all do, Joe begins to age and has less energy and less time to serve, because he is going to doctors quite often. Now his ministry becomes less visible to the church body, but is no less important. As Joe begins to fail physically, his spiritual life continues strong. Now his ministry is one of outreach to the doctors and nurses caring for him. His attitude toward them displays the love of Christ. He is not impatient with them, but constantly thanks them for their work on his behalf. He tells them of his confidence in God’s love and care. They marvel at his grace and composure, as so often folks in his condition are very self-absorbed with their health issues and become depressed. Joe is not like that, though. He continues his prayer life, and grows better at it! Joe finds that he can no longer get out of the house, so he uses the telephone and computer to communicate with friends and family. He misses the church services, but he uses social media like Facebook to keep up with his friends and finds that he can witness and encourage other believers through the internet! Joe calls the church to request that they mail him the prayer sheet each week so he can keep up with the burdens of others in the church. Joe also discovers that he can pick up greeting cards at the local drugstore along with his medicines. Now Joe has a new ministry of mailing cards out to folks that are listed on the prayer sheet, letting them know that he is praying for them and including a Scripture passage to edify and encourage the believers. When he can no longer read his Bible, he asks his caregiver to read to him. While he is able, he uses a CD player to listen to godly music and recordings of sermons and Scripture reading.

Wow! Joe sounds like a super Christian, doesn’t he? Obviously, he is allowing the Holy Spirit to lead him and give him the strength to do the work of the Lord. He is not a super Christian, but he is obeying I Corinthians 15:58, “always abounding in the work of the Lord!”