Scripture Memory Meditation | 1 Corinthians 15:58

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Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (CSB)

Life is full of disappointment. How often have you put time and energy into something that came crumbling down? Maybe you lost the 20-page paper when your computer crashed. Maybe that project at work that you spent weeks working on was scrapped. Or maybe the child that you raised for 18 years passed away. Was the effort and labor that you did working on that paper or project or the 18 years of raising that child wasted? This verse addresses loss we experience in our lives.

In Chapter 15, Paul explains the gospel and the hope believers have in the resurrection. “Therefore” at the beginning of verse 58 points back to the climax of Chapter 15, verses 55-57: “Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [over death] through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul explains the glorious truth that death is defeated for believers. Therefore—Because of this truth of the gospel, victory over death, and the hope of resurrection, Paul says to be steadfast and immovable. To be steadfast is to be unshakeable, to stand firm, not swaying by every passing doctrine, not shifting from the hope of the gospel (Col. 1:23). Don’t be tempted to place your hope in something other than the gospel, such as money, popularity, or another person. Believers are encouraged to be steadfast in the truth of the gospel and do the work of the Lord.

The work of the Lord is not confined to being a pastor or a missionary. Teaching children, changing diapers, working hard at your job, mowing the lawn—whatever you do in the name of the Lord is the Lord’s work (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 10:31). Our work in the Lord is not in vain because death is defeated. The labor of raising a child, working on that paper or project is not in vain because our reward is not only in this life but in the life to come (Lk. 14:13-14).

Nothing that we do on Earth is futile or useless. The hope of resurrection should not lead us to only focus on the life to come, but it should lead to perseverance and an orientation to labor for the Lord in this world.

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