Do Not Labour In Vain

This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered. – 2Chr. 31:20-21 NIV

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When the bible opened the account of King Hezekiah, a summary comment was used to describe his entire tenure which was that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but beyond that was the positive comparison of his reign to that of the great King David – 2Chr. 29:2. Of all the kings of Judah who were rated as having done the right thing, he was the only one that was so compared and anyone would have wondered why he was able to have such a high rating with Jehovah. Right from that point on in the scriptures to the last two verses of the thirty-first chapter of the second book of Chronicles, all his activities ranging from the opening of the doors of the temple, returning the articles that were taken away, arranging for them to be sanctified, getting the people to go through a successful process of penitence and encouraging them to make contributions to worship was listed, but the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional highlighted the fact that he stood out because, in doing all these acts of his, he sought Jehovah and worked wholeheartedly, with the consequence of both actions for him being that he prospered – 2Chr. 31:20-21.

So, like all the other kings who were rated as having done right in the eyes of God, his actions became exceptional and his prosperity was hinged on the fact that he sought Jehovah, and that he worked wholeheartedly.

No wonder some Christians today have a list of engagements and activities that they are involved with, especially in the House of the Lord, yet, do not have a commensurate testimony of divine rewards to justify all such efforts. Could it be that they missed out on these two points that was associated with the activities of King Hezekiah? The response may be in having a more profound  understanding of what these two points really mean.

1.       The bible said that Hezekiah sought Jehovah, his God. To seek someone is to deliberately and consciously take steps to find a specific person. The one who seeks has firm belief that what is being sought exists as it is not natural to seek what is not believed to be existing. The conviction will also, have to be present in such a person as such will need to go out of the way to achieve the objective. Nothing is spared in the course of achieving this objective just as the one that is seeking must be willing to go the extra length to find what is being sought.

The Christian who is working hard in the House of the Lord, according to the assessment of men, and seeking the Lord through such means, must believe in the existence of Jehovah. To believe that Jehovah exists and that He is who He is, is not by mere verbal expression, but must be demonstrated in the actions of such a person. To believe that Jehovah exists, is to observe all His instructions and operate with conviction that He indeed is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him – Heb. 11:6.

It is impossible to seek someone whose  credentials and ability, you do not believe or you doubt, else why would the one who claims to believe in the existence of Jehovah, want to seek the support of other gods to enjoy such abilities, in an action that speaks of unfaithfulness, when the one you claim to believe in is capable. The one who works in the house of the Lord and seeks the Lord should have little or no chance of being unfaithful. It may be possible to work and not seek God but the one who seeks God will work for God, especially when doing all those works is one of the ways to find Him.

Work hard in His vineyard, but seek Him in the course of that work and not man. Do not focus on the thoughts of man or any other, in the course of that your work, but focus on what he feels or thinks about that work. He will more likely reward your effort with His prosperity that way.

2.       Hezekiah worked wholeheartedly. To do this is to be fully devoted to a task. It means to work without coercion or under blackmail of any form. It is to work because one simply enjoys what one is doing and for whom one is doing it. Some people may not work wholeheartedly, even for things that may be of benefit to them because they do not share the view that they can be benefitted by such acts. The one who is working wholeheartedly is fully committed and so sees every obstacle as a challenge that must be over-come or side-stepped in order to achieve the objective of the work. The one who is working wholeheartedly cannot be discouraged in any way as the objective, which may or may not be of personal benefit, remains the focus.

Likewise, the Christian that is working wholeheartedly will not notice the discouraging acts of men but will focus on satisfying Jehovah. The one working wholeheartedly will focus on the reward which is the crown of life that is reserved for all those who work successfully – Jms. 1:12; Rev. 2:10. The one working wholeheartedly cannot backslide and will not run out of options, because just as Jesus Christ said, if they are rejected in one area, they will seek another area. According to Jesus Christ, they will not have exhausted all available options before he returns – Matt. 10:23. The one who works wholeheartedly is persevering and resilient, and just as the Lord spoke through Prophet Isaiah, must regularly renew his strength, ride on challenges like an eagle will fly, run without getting tired and walk without getting weary – Isa. 40:31

If both reasons were sufficient to earn King Hezekiah divine recognition and prosperity, then there is no doubt that they can achieve same for the Christian who is putting so much positive effort into Jehovah related matters.

He indeed appreciates you and all that your effort but it will more likely be rewarded if they were done while seeking Him wholeheartedly. Do not let all those efforts go unrewarded simply because of such negligence. Position yourself for prosperity not only in this life but in the life after life, as that is the only way that you can ensure that your labour will not being in vain. May God compensate all our efforts adequately in Jesus name. Amen.

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