The US holiday we commonly call “Labor Day” was “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” (The History of Labor Day”, US Gvt DOL website – http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm) In times past, Labor Day was commonly referred to as the “working man’s holiday”. Specifically set aside in appreciation for the hard work of the American citizen (especially members of the Labor Unions).
Speaking for myself, I always look forward to Labor Day, enjoying an additional paid day off work and much needed time with my family. But as much as I enjoy the US Labor Day celebration, there is a much greater Labor Day in the future for those of us that are servants of the Lord. Let’s take a few minutes and learn more about the eternal Labor Day that the Lord has so graciously promised to us.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Rev 14:13)
Here in Rev 14:13 we find one of many references to the eternal rest that the Lord has promised to those who serve Him. Please note the four basic principles concerning this rest:
Principle #1 – “Blessed” This eternal rest we receive is a great blessing from the Lord. It not only is a reward for faithfulness but also a great encouragement as we serve the Lord on earth. What a great blessing it is to know that we someday will enjoy eternal rest with Christ!
Principle #2 – “the dead which die in the Lord” We enter this eternal rest at the completion of our course here on earth. Keep in mind, all who are servants of Jesus will enter into that rest, whether when we die or when He comes back to take us home at His second coming.
Why do we not rest from our labors while we are still on the earth? The Lord clearly explains to us that “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” There is so much work left to do here on earth… now is not the time for rest…. It is the time for service!
Principle #3 – “they may rest from their labors” When the servant’s work on earth is completed, he enters into a very wonderful special type of rest… this rest is described in detail in Rev 21:3-4; It involves a rest from pain, sorrow, and physical suffering. But also, the Christian will no longer have to struggle against sinful flesh, but will now be able to worship the Lord in sinless freedom (Rev 22:3-5; Rom 8:21; ”glorious liberty of children of God”)
Principle #4 – “their works do follow them” What a tremendous blessing! Just to know that when we serve the Lord on earth, our labors are remembered into eternity. The rewarding of the faithful servant of the Lord is a central, widespread theme throughout God’s Word. (2 Tim 4:7-8; Heb 6:10-11)
Keep in mind, the rewards we will receive in heaven will have a wonderful significance. The rewards are not given to faithful Christians to bring praise to the Christian. Keep in mind, any service we have rendered to the Lord is entirely by His grace. Our health, our physical life, our understanding of Scripture, our salvation, EVERYTHING having to do with our service to Him is a gift from Him. This is why when we receive our rewards for service we lay them back down at His feet. (Rev 4:10-11) It is our way of saying “If it was not for you Lord, we never could have served You”.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION
For the Christian….
On this Labor Day weekend, let’s take a few minutes to give thanks to the Lord for His laborers that are faithfully working the fields that are “white unto the harvest”. Give your pastor, missionary or Sunday School teacher a quick call or email thanking them for their service as well. But above all else, we need to be sure that we are doing what our Lord has called us to do, recognizing our time of rest has not yet come!
For those who have never trusted in Christ…
Take some time out this weekend to read the Bible and see the work that Christ has performed for His people. Here are some chapters to get you started. If you read a Romans chapter in the morning and a John chapter in the evening you can easily finish these this holiday weekend. (Romans chapters 5, 8,11; John chapters 3,4,5;)
May the Lord bless you.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”