We are co-workers in God’s service. 1 Corinthians 3:9
More than two hundred volunteers assisted October Books, a bookstore in Southampton, England, move its inventory to an address down the street. Helpers lined the sidewalk and passed books down a “human conveyor belt.” Having witnessed the volunteers in action, a store employee said, “It was . . . a really moving experience to see people [helping]. . . . They wanted to be part of something bigger.”
We can also be part of something much bigger than ourselves. God uses us to reach the world with the message of His love. Because someone shared the message with us, we can turn to another person and pass it on. Paul compared this—the building of God’s kingdom—to growing a garden. Some of us plant seeds while some of us water the seeds. We are, as Paul said, “co-workers in God’s service” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
Each job is important, yet all are done in the power of God’s Spirit. By His Spirit, God enables people to thrive spiritually when they hear that He loves them and sent His Son to die in their place so that they can be free from their sin (John 3:16).
God does much of His work on earth through “volunteers” like you and me. Although we’re part of a community that’s much bigger than any contribution we may make, we can help it grow by working together to share His love with the world.
Do you see yourself as a part of God’s plan or as someone who works alone in your service for Him? How does this affect the way in which you serve Him and others?
Dear God, thank You for including me in Your plan to tell everyone about Your love. Help me to represent You well with my words and actions.
First Corinthians 3:9 says we’re “co-workers in God’s service.” Later in this book, Paul develops further the idea that believers are complementary co-workers. We may have “different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them” (12:4). Whatever our gifts, God is the gift-giver. And these different gifts lead to “different kinds of service,” which are offered to “the same Lord” (v. 5). Whatever services we may perform, they all serve the same God. Through the variety of “different kinds of working . . . in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work” (v. 6). We’re all working for the same team, and we’re all powered by the same leader of that team—God Himself. In this sense, we’re not only each other’s co-workers, we’re God’s co-workers too (3:9).