So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58
One of my least favorite forms of exercise is running on the treadmill. It's hard, boring, and difficult to see progress because it is essentially running in place without a destination in mind. Two things keep me running on the treadmill even though it bores me, and, at times, feels discouraging since I have no end destination: the treadmill's calorie tracker and distance tracker. By seeing how many calories I have burned on the treadmill and how long I have run, I am encouraged to continue running on the treadmill, even though I want to give up at times. I keep running because I know my running is not in vain. We all need a reminder from time to time that our hard work is not in vain, don't we?
Reread 1 Corinthians 15:58 slowly. What stands out to you? Perhaps the words "strong," "immovable," and "enthusiastically" seem to jump off the page. These words are important because they remind us to persevere because working hard for the Lord is not ever useless. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes about the hope believers have in Christ. Although this world is fading away and although our physical bodies will one day die, we know that we have eternal life in Christ. One day death will be no more and sin will have no power over us. In light of this, Paul encourages readers in 1 Corinthians 15:58: "So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." In light of our eternal hope, Paul writes, believers ought to excel at their work, happy to do it to the best of their abilities. Because of our hope of eternity, Paul assures us that our hard work is not in vain.
Perhaps today, you need a reminder that your hard work has a purpose. We are not running on a treadmill without a destination in sight. We have eternity with Christ to look to. As we work and live our lives, we can work enthusiastically, setting our sights on Christ and eternity, assured that we are not working in vain.
One thing that we know God calls us to do is share our faith with those who do not know Him. As you think about those in your life who are not believers, do you feel discouraged because you see no signs of progress? Does the work you have done to share Christ with them feel useless because it seems that no one is taking a step toward Christ? Let me assure you, my friends, your hard work is not in vain. Keep pressing on in light of eternity. Spend some time today praying for your friends who are lost. Ask God to work in their lives and to give you opportunities to share your faith with them.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 (NLT)
But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
©2022 Sagebrush Church