Laboring together [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them—do not receive it to no purpose].
We are working together [C with fellow believers, or with God, or with Christ], so we ·beg [urge; appeal to; encourage] you: Do not ·let the grace that you received from God be for nothing [L receive God’s grace in vain].
1 He exhorteth them to lead their lives as it becometh Christians, 5 neither to be dismayed in tribulations, 9 nor puffed up with glory: 14 to avoid all uncleanness, 16 considering that they are the temples of the living God. So we therefore as workers together beseech you, that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
As co-operators with God himself we beg, you then, not to fail to use the grace of God. For God’s word is—‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you’. Now is the “acceptable time”, and this very day is the “day of salvation”.
Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us. God reminds us, I heard your call in the nick of time; The day you needed me, I was there to help. Well, now is the right time to listen, the day to be helped. Don’t put it off; don’t frustrate God’s work by showing up late, throwing a question mark over everything we’re doing. Our work as God’s servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing his power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised, and when we’re blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
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