"You are My Work"
by Ken Gardner

When the apostle Paul wrote to the brethren at Corinth, he described them as his "work" (I Corinthians 9:1). He had worked to convert them, and they were the fruit or result of his work, or, simply, his work. The word "work" or "workmanship" (another translation) can refer to something produced by work. The furniture built by a cabinetmaker is his "work." Other translations say the Corinthians were the "result" or "product" of Paul's work, or the "fruits" of his "labor," or his "handiwork."

Paul likewise uses the word "work" to refer to converts in chapter three, verse fourteen: "If any man's work [his converts] abide [remain faithful] . . . , he shall receive a reward." A certain satisfaction comes from teaching and converting others who become and remain faithful Christians, who themselves convert others.

With all that in mind, then, who are our "work"? While it is true that everyone is ultimately responsible for his own salvation, and that God really does the converting, through His word, and that we ought not to take pride in the good we do, it is nonetheless the case that we must work to convert others and that we can indeed take a certain amount of satisfaction in converting others.

So again we ask the question, Who are our work in the Lord? Whom have you and I converted? Can we point to our neighbors and friends and relatives and say, "They are my work in the Lord"? Can you and I point to anyone and say, "He is my work in the Lord"?

If we don't have any work to show for our work, then we need to work a little harder.