Athlete, Here is One Good Question


Athlete, Here is One Good Question

Morris Michalski

1 Corinthians 15:56-58 (ESV)

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.

I’ve got a question for you. It’s a good one. When does labor never prove in vain? 

  1. When a baby is delivered. 
  2. When the scoreboard says we won. 
  3. When a job is done and done well. 
  4. When a job well done is rewarded.
  5. When good work has right motivation. 

The correct answer could be “all of the above.” All carry value. But the last answer merits our best focus. 

God has a scoreboard. It’s bigger and better than ours. It’s ultimate. 

Scripture says that He keeps track of work done for Him, through Him, in Him. That work means the most. It’s always weighty work. It’s always valuable, never vain. 

Labor for the Lord, driven and motivated by Him, is never wasted, unnoticed or underappreciated.

Here are a few more work guidelines we can extract out of today’s passage. Keep tying your labor to these lines too:

God grants victory over life’s two greatest enemies: death and sin. In Christ, Death is not the great equalizer and Sin is not the way God judges righteousness. Those labors can’t win. 

Sin comes from self-righteousness, believing my good works will outweigh my bad, and I’ll successfully earn God’s favor. Sin always loses. It kills in the end. It offers only very temporal reward. 

Only Christ’s labor for us and our labor for Him count. His work credited to our account matters. So does ours for Him. 

Get a good why. A good “why” must accompany a good “what” or there’s little reward in the end. 

“Audience of One” creates terrific focus and maximum motivation. “For Christ” defines work that’s most rewarding. 

Jesus says that doing things for others in His name equals doing things for Him (Matthew 25:40, 25:45).

When it comes to work, make excellence the standard. Stamp your name and the Lord’s name on everything you do. It elevates your game and enhances the reward (Colossians 3:23-24).

So as we take a break from our labor today, let’s remember the promised value that labor for Him, in Him, truly brings. And let’s downsize labor for things that don’t matter and upsize our labor that does. 

Here are four more challenging questions. They are good bones to chew on.


What motivates you?

What motivates you to work hard?

How does God’s scoreboard currently read regarding your work?

How can you make your work more rewarding?

A prayer to consider: O LORD God Almighty, thank You for the maximum motivation and matchless reward You offer in Christ. Help me to look at the right scoreboard and evaluate my labor as I should. 

I don’t want to live my life in vain, and I do want to work hard and move confidently every day. You are my Audience of One, my eternal Rest and Reward. Accomplish this in me by your Spirit. Amen.


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