"For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." — 2 Cor. 4:15

April 29, 2018

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.
Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 CORNITHIANS 15:58

 

Remember what we’re supposed to do when reading scripture and we encounter the word “therefore”? We are to ask (in hacked up English), “why is that there for?” 1 Corinthians 15 is the great resurrection chapter, and like a well-composed symphony, it starts with a pounding and attention-grabbing opening movement, then explores the theme in various movements, finally climaxing with a resounding flourish. The sting of death is gone!! The verse above ends that resurrection chapter crescendo with encouragement to keep at it, to not lose hope, to hang in there, to persevere.

Because our resurrection from the dead is a very real truth, this life lived here is full of meaning. It was never intended that we merely live out our “threescore and ten” any way we please. Rather, we are called to live for the One who died and rose again that we might enjoy eternity with Him. Serving Christ in this life counts beyond the grave, and the days ordained in this life hold unending opportunities to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven.

Notice that in the verse above our service to God must be all-out – no holding back. In Romans 12, Paul is well aware that with all that the life-challenges thrown at us, we can lose our spiritual fervor and zeal (Romans 12). Paul comments in Galatians 6 that sowing to please the sinful nature wears us out, but on the other hand, sowing to please the Spirit is seems to do the opposite – it energizes and revitalizes us.

Acknowledging that we can become weary in doing good, Paul then throws in the incentive that “we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Here is the truth that we can confidently live out and proclaim:

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone. TITUS 3:4-8

What a privilege to be workers in God’s field. May this coming Sunday serve as a reminder that Easter is alive in us as the power of the resurrected Christ changes lives, both ours and those who are yet to embrace the Gospel Truth.

Categories: Sermon Prep (LM)