The entire purpose of human existence is to encounter the Lord in all his mystery and wonder. Any act of devotion, practice of prayer, or habit of faith is meant to lead you to a single destination, Jesus. Life is undoubtedly filled with ups and downs, moments of great joy and wonder interwoven with unexpected pain and acute loss. Life is never an easily distinguished season of joy or sorrow.
We live in the tension of multiple emotions and realities. Thus, our relationship with the Lord never seems simple or straightforward. We must contend daily against the sickness within, while simultaneously longing for healing from above. We look ahead to the righting of every wrong, the return of our Lord in glory to heal the world, but in the space between, the everyday realities of our lives, we learn daily to see Jesus today as more beautiful and worthy of devotion than He was the day before.
1 Peter 1 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” Cleave to him with all your might, seeking the things that are above. God grant us to die daily and at the end of our days live with Him in the joy of His resurrection.
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In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he was writing to a church facing many problems. In brief, chapters 1–4 were about division and how the body of Christ is not divided; chapters 5–7 were about immorality, how the Corinthians’ moral compass was wrong, and they weren’t right in their thinking concerning God and relationships; chapters 8–10 addressed those who were trying to get away with as much as they could and still be “Christian” rather than doing as much as they could to follow as closely as they could; and chapters 11–14 were about worship, the gifts of the Spirit, and working together with others, which includes chapter 13 about love.
Not until chapter 15 does Paul get into the Corinthian’s questions about resurrection.
Was he saying that before “resurrection” you gotta mend the divisions, walk in love, and prefer one another so that you are living Christ-like as members of the body of Christ should be—”as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6)?
At the end of chapter 15, after the ups and downs, starts and restarts, the joy and suffering, breakings and lessons the seed that was planted dies and is resurrected to new life. Paul sums it up by explaining that our perishable nature puts on the imperishable. Our mortality puts on immortality. Then death is swallowed up in victory.
The point? Be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, our labor is not in vain. What we do is given worth and meaning because of His resurrection. The prize at the end of the race. Fight the good fight; finish the race; keep the faith.