What we believe should impact how we behave. Thus, we seek to “rightly divide the word” so that we can rightly navigate the world . . . we commit to sound doctrine, not to boast in what we know, but to bring glory to God in all that we do. So, as part of my reading, I’m on the look out for the “so what?” So what does this portion of Scripture mean for how I live? So what are the implications or this truth on how I do life? So what’s the impact of this teaching on my values, my priorities, my pursuits? Sometimes you need to dig a bit . . . or noodle a while . . . before the “so what” becomes evident. Other times, as in one of my readings this morning, it’s kind of delivered to you a on silver platter.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1Corinthians 15:58 ESV)
It doesn’t get much better than the fifteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. I read the first half of the chapter on Friday . . . finished it this morning . . . what a great way to “bookend” Easter weekend.
Christ is risen! As such, the Scriptures are fulfilled . . . our preaching is not in vain . . . our faith is not futile . . . and our hope extends beyond the few years we live on this terrestrial ball. Christ is risen! And thus, He is the firstfruits of others who will be raised to immortality . . . raised imperishable . . . raised in glory . . . raised in power . . . raised a spiritual body (15:42-44). Christ is risen! And now waits for the day when He will deliver His kingdom to the God the Father . . . the day when He rules and puts every enemy under His feet . . . the day when all things will become subject to Him . . . that God may be all in all (15:24-28).
Christ is risen! So we are sure of that day when “shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'” Because of the resurrection we give thanks to God as we’ve been given “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (15:54-57).
So what does all this mean on the Monday morning after the Sunday before? After such a glorious celebration yesterday, what about today? As I think about what’s ahead of me this week, what difference does it make that I know what’s ahead of me for eternity? It makes a big difference!
With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for Him is a waste of time or effort.
(1Corinthians 15:58 MSG)
I head to work this morning as a follower of the risen Christ first and as an employee of my Company second. Today, my work is not just another day of “working for the man” but another opportunity to stand firm and seek to glorify the Master. It’s believing that my nine-to-five job is not the main event, but the means by which my real work, my labor for the Lord, is made possible. A labor which is not in vain . . . but is tied to the very purposes of the kingdom of God itself.
Christ is risen! And because He lives I can head into another routine day with anything but routine expectations.
By His grace, steadfast . . . by His abiding presence, immovable . . . by His power, always abounding in the work of the LORD.
For His glory alone! Amen?