Have you ever wondered why a cup of tea tastes like, well… tea? After all, tea is 99% water. No chemistry degree is required; even the youngest observer will conclude that tea tastes like tea because the water has soaked in the tea’s flavor. Older observers might call it infused or steeped. Whatever the term, what once was water has unmistakably become tea.
The same is true with Kingdom Laborers.
Steeped in an up-close relationship with Jesus, Kingdom Laborers take on the life and character of Jesus. They begin to love as Jesus loves, think as He thinks, care as He cares, and act as He acts. Increasingly, Kingdom Laborers walk, talk, think, act, serve, give, and love like Jesus. In fact, the more time Laborers spend with and labor for Christ, the more they resemble Him to the needing and watching world.
While Jesus has many valuable attributes His up-close followers take on, here are four main characteristics of a Kingdom Laborer:
4 Characteristics of a Kingdom Laborer
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”—James 4:10
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”—Philippians 2:3-4
Kingdom Laborers follow in the footsteps of Jesus. They submit themselves to God daily, believing and trusting that God’s way is the best way. They also love others and think of others more than they think of themselves. Ultimately, they demonstrate to the watching world what it means to truly love God. Humble Kingdom Laborers emulate daily what Jesus demonstrated in the most ultimate way on the cross. He considered the interest of others more highly than His own and sacrificed His own life so that we could have life.
Kingdom Laborers humbly submit to God and love others with Jesus’ mindset and willingness to act in such sacrificial ways.
“If you love me, keep my commands.”—John 14:15
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”—Philippians 2:8
Another of the characteristics of a Kingdom Laborer is they are so consumed by God and His Kingdom, they can’t help but daily express their zeal for and devotion to Him. They focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of their faith, and will endure anything for Him and His causes. They realize that passion calls them to ruthlessly trust and boldly obey Jesus in doing some pretty crazy, out-of-the-box things for love’s sake. Passionate Kingdom Laborers are contagious. As they live passionately for Jesus, others are deeply impacted.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…”—Proverbs 29:11
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”—Matthew 6:10
Kingdom Laborers live their lives on purpose for God. They see God’s vision for the world and understand their daily, practical place in His vision. Even in the smallest and most mundane activities, they are motivated because they see that they are a part of God’s plan for reaching a world desperately in need of Jesus. Kingdom Laborers not only see the big picture of God’s plan for the world, they increasingly see what God sees in their daily activities, conversations, and surroundings. Vision-filled Kingdom Laborers walk attuned and in sync with God’s purposes and loving ways, so that—as they see and respond to God’s work and plan around them—the world will see Jesus too.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”—Hebrews 11:1
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
Kingdom Laborers are continually and confidently taking action to obey God. They trust God and His Word and will act accordingly, even if it doesn’t seem logical to others. They are always pleasing God because their lives and actions prove that He is alive and real (Hebrews 11:6). They are growing and stretching because they continue to move out of their own comfort zone and into a life of continual trust and obedience to God. Faith-filled Kingdom Laborers will change the world because they increasingly trust God to do through them what God alone can accomplish.
Allow Yourself to Grow as You Labor for Christ!
As you continue to “steep” yourself in an up-close, daily relationship with Jesus, your life will continue to reflect Jesus’ life and character within you, and God will impact the world through you. Ask God to increase these characteristics of a Kingdom Laborer in you. He will do it! Be prepared, however, to be stretched and a little uncomfortable at times. After all, like plants, animals, and humans—growth takes place, not instantly, but over time. More than anything, stay up close with Jesus daily through prayer, ongoing conversation, time in His Word, and obedience. Practice humility, passion, vision, and faith with Jesus. As you do, He will fulfill His purposes in and through you as you labor for Christ and greatly impact the world around you!