The verse 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” This verse encourages believers to always be abounding and excelling in serving the Lord. But what does it mean to abound in the Lord’s work and how can we live that out?
What Does It Mean to Abound in the Lord’s Work?
The word “abound” means to excel, to be plentiful, to overflow. To abound in the Lord’s work means that we are overflowing with zeal, diligence, and effort in doing anything we do for God’s kingdom. It reflects an attitude of going above and beyond the minimum required. The apostle Paul is exhorting the Corinthian believers to fully apply themselves when it comes to serving the Lord, holding nothing back. They should pour themselves out for the sake of Christ and make His work their utmost priority in life.
This looks like serving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). We don’t do the Lord’s work half-heartedly or with a lackluster attitude. Rather, we serve with passion, enthusiasm and single-minded devotion to bringing glory to God. We give our best efforts in everything we do for Him, big or small. Whether it is acts of service, ministry work, evangelism, financial giving or any other kingdom activity, we do it with zeal and gusto for the glory of God.
How Can We Always Abound in the Lord’s Work?
Here are some practical ways we can abound and excel in the work of the Lord:
1. Focus on loving God above all else
Our motivation matters. We should serve God out of our love for Him, not out of obligation or for what we can get out of it. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). This kind of all-consuming love for God will naturally overflow into zealous service for His kingdom. When pleasing and glorifying God is our highest aim, we will hold nothing back in our work for Him.
2. Find your spiritual gifts and use them well
God has gifted each believer with special gifts and talents to serve Him and build up the church (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11). When we know our spiritual gifts and employ them faithfully, we can abound in the work of the Lord. Maybe you have the gift of teaching, service, encouragement, giving, leadership or mercy. Use your gifts consistently and generously for God’s glory.
3. Set God-sized goals and work diligently
Don’t limit yourself to mediocre goals in your Christian service. Set big, bold, faith-stretching goals that require God’s help and grace to accomplish. This reflects a heart to excel and go deeper in impact for Christ. Work hard, be diligent, and rely on the Spirit to bring God-sized goals to fruition (Colossians 3:23).
4. Seize every ministry opportunity
Don’t be idle. Take initiative to get involved in kingdom work whenever possible – in your local church, workplace, community, family, etc. If you see a need you can meet, a person you can serve, a role you can fill – go for it. Look for creative ways to minister and meet needs. Don’t wait around for someone to give you an assignment. Actively seek out opportunities to serve (Galatians 6:10).
5. Make time for God’s work amidst life’s demands
Life gets busy with many responsibilities that compete for our time. Make serving Christ a priority as you balance life’s demands. You may need to cut out unnecessary activities and focus your limited time on what matters most – God’s work. Be willing to sacrifice leisure and entertainment at times to devote yourself to the Lord’s work (Romans 12:1). Set boundaries so you can excel in your kingdom service.
6. Persevere through hardship and trials
Serving God often involves sacrifice, hardship, rejection or lack of visible fruit (Galatians 6:9). But don’t let that discourage you or diminish your efforts. Keep laboring faithfully, knowing your work has eternal value. Rely on God’s grace and strength to help you press on in doing good works amidst adversity or pain. Your perseverance will be rewarded.
7. Partner with other believers
You can accomplish far more for God’s kingdom when you work together with other Christians. Serve alongside others who can complement your gifts and ministry talents. Let other believers encourage you, challenge you and pray for you as you abound together in service. The diversity of the body of Christ helps us excel and make a greater collective impact as we each contribute our part (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
8. Be led by the Holy Spirit
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into opportunities and good works He has prepared for you. Depend on His wisdom, strength and power working in and through you. When you are filled with the Spirit and sensitive to His promptings, you can abound in the work of the Lord in amazing ways you never could in your own strength (Zechariah 4:6, Ephesians 3:20).
9. Live out of a motivation to glorify God
Above all, excel in God’s work because you want to bring Him maximum glory and advance His kingdom. All that we do is through Him, by Him and for Him (Romans 11:36). Doing excellent work for God’s sake reflects our love, reverence and devotion to Him. We can rejoice that our labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Ultimately, Abounding is a Work of God’s Grace
While we are called to diligently serve the Lord with our full effort and zeal, abounding in His work is not something we can accomplish in our own strength. It requires God working in us by His Spirit and grace (Philippians 2:12-13). We must rely on Him to fill us afresh daily and renew our strength so we can serve Him wholeheartedly. As we yield ourselves fully to God, He will empower us to overflow with enthusiasm and excellence in doing His will for His glory.
So may we passionately pursue serving Christ and His kingdom wholeheartedly in all we do. By God’s grace, may we be faithful and abound in the work He has called us to, for His glory and the good of others.