1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
The term Resolute is a term that means to be admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering. At this time of year when resolutions are being made and the future is uncertain, we must come to decide what we are going to be resolute in.
Will our determination be directed at fighting a battle we cannot win? Or becoming overwhelmed at the prospect of a change in life that seems too difficult to bear?
Anything worthwhile takes risk, yet the reward is much more enjoyable when the journey is difficult.
Nothing in life is easy, even Santa comes with a clause.Subhasis Das
The Lord our God knows that life can seem long and troublesome, He is not unaware of our circumstances as if they come to a surprise to Him.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church reminds us of the necessity of being steadfast, immoveable, and resolute in all our ways. The encouragement is to remind us that in pressing on, we find that our work has a purpose. We don’t press on just to get by or trudge on in some meaningless existence, we are encouraged to press on knowing that our work will be rewarded.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There is a young man in Africa who I recently befriended. He grew up in an orphanage and was asking me for help with Bibles for his church. I reluctantly moved forward with this request, even though I really didn’t know him. I asked him for the name of his pastor who I then connected with and confirmed the need. I agreed to send half the Bibles requested as a test to determine if he was trustworthy.
The infighting between the pastor and an assistant pastor turned into a mess I won’t soon forget. I think the young man who contacted me was sincere in his request, the problem was his overseers weren’t reliable. I mentioned to the young man that understanding how to judge good character was as important as living by God’s decrees and if he wanted me to help him grow in wisdom, I would try and show him the way.
When Paul gives his exhortation in vs. 58, it begins with a ‘therefore’. I’ve learned that when I read a ‘therefore’ in scripture, I need to find out what it is ‘there for’.
Since sin is ever present no matter where in the world you look, we must remember how to overcome the sinful nature that is within us.
The only solution for the sting of sin is in Jesus Christ and the salvation that He offers to any who would receive Him. The journey doesn’t end with accepting the grace of God, we must therefore be steadfast in our determination to walk in Him, not easily moved from the position He has placed us, keeping our labor focused on what He has directed us in, knowing that Christ has a purpose for us to partake in.
The way to be wise to the world’s schemes is to grow wise in Christ.
The more you understand God’s Truth, the more readily you will recognize falsity; falsity in yourself and likewise false religion in others.
Becoming wise in Christ is an endeavor I have been praying for since I was a young man. I used to wonder what it would look like if God just gave me wisdom like He imparted wisdom to Solomon. I began to realize over time that for me to grow in wisdom required something of me, I had to put some effort into it.
Not that I have attained great wisdom but I’ve learned something through the 37 years since I first started praying for wisdom.
God imparts wisdom to those who desire it.
For me to understand the importance of being resolute in my work for God, I need wisdom. Wisdom shows me the layers of blessing that come by remaining faithful. Wisdom reveals the signs of good work versus work that is done in the flesh. Wisdom shows me when to speak and when to keep my mouth shut and listen. Wisdom displays God’s handiwork, even the subtle manifestations of His presence at work in others.
If I want to be effective in my work for the Lord, all I really need is faith in Him and a boldness to be obedient in whatever He leads me in.
As I walk faithfully in the Holy Spirit, God reveals Truth.
There is a reason why Jesus proclaimed that He was the embodiment of Truth in John 14:6. When we walk in Christ, abounding in our love for Him by serving Him, we speak, live, and reveal the Truth that He embodies in us.
We are not meant to carry out this work alone, we are called as one body in Christ, exhorting, strengthening, and lifting up one another in service to the King.
If we are going to be resolute in something, we might as well be resolute in something worthwhile.
Proverbs 21:21 “He who pursues righteousness and loving devotion finds life, righteousness, and honor.”
As the new year comes upon us, let us be determined even more so in the work of the Lord. Greater boldness in representing the gospel to the world. Greater devotion to the truth of God’s Word. Greater commitment to the righteousness of Christ in us.
The hope of glory is before us, the scourge of sin lies in our wake. We have reason to rejoice today because we have been released from death to life.
Walk in life today.