A Labor of Love
1 Thessalonians 1:3
“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;”
Working with people is never an easy task, but it is a wonderful fruit to enjoy when you see those who you have worked with making something of their life. There are three things needed to make a difference in one's life. Paul said it takes faith, love, and hope to make a difference in lives. Each of these three things are necessary to make a difference in one's life; however, the labor of love is greatly needed if you are going to make a difference in anyone's life.
So what is this labor of love? We often see people who restore an older vehicle, and when talking to the person who restored it, you will hear them say that it was a labor of love. In other words, they were willing to work through setbacks to get to the point where the car restored became the finished product for all to enjoy. A labor of love on someone's life is much greater than having a labor of life on an inanimate product. If you are going to make a difference in someone's life, you will have to make them a labor of love. So what is a labor of love?
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First, you will never stop praying for your labor of love. If you are going to make a difference in someone, you will have to spend countless hours praying for God to do a work in their life. You cannot make a difference in someone's life without prayer. The labor of praying for someone to turn out right is a labor of love. If you love that for which you are laboring and desire to see them make something of their lives, it will require you to labor in prayer for them.
Second, a labor of love never gives up on the one it loves. Others will never understand why you continue to work with someone who seems not to appreciate your investment in their life, but when you love someone, you cannot give up on them. Many people wonder why they cannot make a difference in lives, and the answer is that they don't love them because, if they did, they would never give up on them. When you love someone, it won't matter how many times you have been disappointed by their lack of improvement; you will continue to invest in them because you love them.
Third, you will be willing to be inconvenienced to help your labor of love. Nobody ever said that loving people is easy. You will often be inconvenienced when you make people a labor of love. It is inconvenient to help people late at night who make a mess of their life. It is inconvenient to spend time with people who have come to the bottom of life and are reaching out for help. However, the inconvenience of helping those that you love will never bother you because a labor of love is always willing to help no matter how great the inconvenience.
Fourth, a labor of love requires rejoicing over small victories the one that you love enjoys. My friend, take the small victories you see in someone's life and rejoice over it. You must understand that every small victory in someone's life is what eventually leads to them living a victorious Christian life. Always remember that the ultimate victory in a labor of love is often the result of several small victories. Enjoy every victory that someone has in their life. Point out their small victories to them and rejoice with them, for that just may be the very thing that motivates them to continue moving forward so that your labor of love is not wasted in their life.