“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed towards his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10
We have many laborers out there but few lovers! We have many workers but few that are not counted as workers of iniquity! You can cast out demons, heal the sick, prophesy in His name, and still hear, “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity!” What is it all for then? Many are ministering for a platform, for money, for attention, for popularity, or to be the next greatest preacher. Yet so few are actual shepherds, and many are hirelings that when the wolf comes, they leave the sheep in vulnerability. That's because hirelings serve but serve with ulterior motives for gain and are deep down looking out after their own selves more than they look out for the sheep. We have many hirelings but so few shepherds!
Shepherds take care of the sheep, shepherds like Timotheus which Paul wrote about and said that he naturally cared for the state of the sheep. He was not looking to exalt himself over the sheep or entertain the sheep, or gain something from them. He genuinely wanted them to be cared for, to be set free, to be delivered, to be fed, and to be clothed! This was his labor of love, that he looked not on his own things but on the things of others in the Lord! We need to “Let this mind be in us that was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians 2:5-8. And the cross was not only for Him to die and resurrect but mainly that through His death we would have life. No greater love does a man have than this: to lay His life down for His friends (John 15:13). Do not say when your brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful for the body (James 2:15-16)! What does it profit if you say you are in the faith but do not provide what is spiritually needed for the body, even the Body of Christ! What does it profit if a man says he has love but does not lay down his life that others may live. The last shall be the greatest. Whoever desires to be chief amongst you, let him be your servant! Servant of what? Servant of the Kingdom of God. Serving people the bread, the manna, the living water, breaking their chains, love! Love does not say I love you with their lips but does nothing for the person. Love sets the captives free. Love breaks the yoke. Love edifies the sheep. When love sees bondage, love asks, “How can they be made free? How can I edify them for their sake? Not for my gain but for their gain!”
Labor of love is to feed the sheep even when they bite your hand. Even when they resist you, reject you, and scoff at you, you turn the other cheek that you would not repay evil for evil, that even when they bite and devour you and take their whips to your back, you stay obedient to the death of the cross that they may live! It’s not about you, it’s about them! Your gift is not for you, it’s to edify them, even your destiny is not for you, it's for the body! Let this mind be in you, that you would reckon your life as not your own but Christ's. And if your life now is Christ's, it is now the Body's! Your life is a drink offering to the body so that they may be refreshed! Even you dying to yourself is not for you, it’s for them! That they may see Him and not you and see Christ in you, the hope of Glory, the light of the world in you.
When we get offended with our brothers and sisters, it shows that we’re out of love! When we are with our personal families, we don't get offended or jealous or any of this because we truly love them, so why can’t we be the same way for the body whom we are to love? If you love me, feed my sheep! And loving them is actually an expression of love to Him! You cannot love someone and be offended at the same time. You cannot love someone and be jealous or in envy at the same time. Are you not yet carnal when there are envyings, strife, and divisions amongst you? Do you walk as men? Or do you walk in love? Love is not carnal. Love is spiritual! Love doesn't envy. It’s not boastful. It’s not proud! So why are we always in those things? Because we’re not in love. These are signs that our love is growing cold. When our love is no longer burning love, we are becoming lukewarm. Yes, you may know the truth and have all the knowledge, sounding brasses, tinkling cymbals, prophesying, know mysteries, move mountains, have all faith, give all your goods to the poor, give your body to be burned but without love! It’s all for nothing! The KJV actually says charity but we know it's love.
Why! Because charity is the depth of love! False love is lip service and man-pleasing. Real love is laying down your life for everyone around you, pleasing God in the midst of it because giving them God is giving them love, because God is love and to give them Him, to serve them Him is love because He is the Anointing that breaks the yoke! The last shall be first and the first shall be last. Whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. The master washed our feet, now we are to wash one another's feet! We don't want to be ones that just say be warmed and filled. We actually want to cover them and fill them with rivers of living water. Jesus saved our lives so that we can work with Him to save others' lives. Love looks for the freedom of others. Loves looks at the furthering of others in the Lord. Love does not look at itself. It looks at others not to judge others but to set others free! Love esteems others better than itself! Love is selfless, looking after others more than itself, and can never be selfish because they are not focused on themselves. Yet they are focused on these two things, these two commandments on which hang all the law and all the prophets. To love God with all their heart, mind, and soul, and the 2nd, the royal law, to love your neighbor as yourself, and if you do this, you are doing well. If we carry one another’s burdens, you fulfill the Law of Christ because, for this reason, He laid down His life that all would be saved that believe! Now we do the same as a living sacrifice!
This is your labor of love that when you serve, when you labor for the sheep, when you give your gifts to the sheep, your words, your prayers, your rivers of living water, you're doing for their edification and not for vain glory! So many minister to be seen, but others minister for love, laboring in love, and for love! For the raising up of the Body and the equipping of the saints. Not for a platform, not for their own ministry endeavors, but for the saints. Our ministry is not even our own – it’s theirs. It's for them, it’s for the saints, for the lost, to save them, heal them, and deliver them, not to be seen by them but to love them! Paul called it the ministry of the saints! Some labor for pride's sake, ministering in vain, but others minister because they genuinely care for the sheep and are not self-seeking. They don't entertain the body, they provide for the needs of the body. Some are building a ministry and others are building a body! always make it about our freedom, our walk, our destiny, but we get so selfish because everything God is doing to us and for us is for them. It says these gifts are for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ! Your cool revelations are not for you so everyone can exalt you. It is so the people can renew their minds and have their chains broken.
Wherever love is, there the anointing is because love is always looking to break the yoke! Whatever we do, let it be for the love of our neighbor, knowing that whatever their needs are in the Spirit, we should take care of them just like we would want to have our spiritual needs taken care of! Love others as we love ourselves. Caring for others as we would want to be cared for. A living sacrifice, a love not like the priest and the Levite, but a love like the parable of the Samaritan which doesn't pass by another in distress but pulls the other out of a ditch, binds up their wounds, and pours oil and wine that they may be warmed and filled and not just told to be warmed and filled! This is what quickens the kingdom of God to move: Love! You want to see miracles, signs, and wonders? Start to love your neighbor and you will see greater things than these!
By Joe Pinto
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