“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Could it ever be possible that God might overlook, forget, or fail to reward us for our service in His name? We can be certain; the Scripture makes it clear that this could never happen. To do so would be less than righteous; and we are reminded that, “God is not unrighteous.”
Indeed, God is holy, could never sin, and always does what is right. As obvious as this truth is, that God is always just and perfect, sometimes His judgment or will is questioned and even criticized, even by those who claim to be His children. There are times when God’s people question whether the things which He permits are right. In our text, we are encouraged to know that God will always do right, including remembering and rewarding our service. The enemy might tempt us to doubt if it is worth it to serve the Lord. For this reason, God wants us to have great assurance and conviction that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.
The verse refers to our “work and labour of love.” Every child of God is called and commanded to work for and serve the Lord. What a privilege it is that God would save us and then allow us to be a part of His work! We should never get over the wonder that we are servants of the King of kings. Our Christian service is a labor of love. We serve the Lord because of our love for Him and for all that He has done for us. We do not serve Him because we have to, or because we will be punished if we don’t. We do not serve Him to earn His favor. We serve Him because we love Him. It is not difficult to serve someone you sincerely and fervently love.
One day, when this life is over, we will be justly rewarded for the way we have “ministered to the saints, and do minister.” We will be rewarded for the acts of kindness and deeds of generosity and sacrifice we have rendered “to the saints.” When we think of Christian service, we usually think of missionary work, preaching, knocking on doors, etc. This too is the work of God, but God’s people also need ministering to. The brethren need encouragement, support, and understanding. God wants to use each of us to minister to others; and we can be sure, God sees, remembers, and will reward every act of service “shewed toward his name.”