Want your work to not be in vain? Want your work to be fulfilling? Want your work to have purpose? Then be steadfast, be immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord! When we are working in the Lord, our labor is not in vain!
Yes, there will be struggles! Yes, there will be obstacles! But in them we will see glimpses of success! Yes, there will be brokenness! Yes, there will be pain! But in them there is still hope!
Today’s Reading dives into this subject as follows…
The Resurrection of Christ1Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
The Resurrection of the Dead12Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 29Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30Why are we in danger every hour? 31I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 34Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
The Resurrection Body35But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
Mystery and Victory50I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
–from 1 Corinthians 15
When we turn our lives over to God, when we turn back to Him as our source, when we ask Jesus into our hearts and start to live in relationship with Him, life changes! We are new creations! The old is gone and the new has come! We bury the dead and are reborn a new! We are redeemed!
Now imagine that power and purpose in your work and efforts! Redeem your work too!
I have had people speak to me about work, about their worries and concerns! I express how for me I do my best and then I let God take care of the rest! When you live and work with the mindset that you are working for God, it transforms it all!
Be it the verse:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
–from Colossians 3:23
rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
–from Ephesians 6:7
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established.
–from Proverbs 16:3
It all points to the same thing! It all points to the truth that if we want our work to be fulfilling, we need to be working as unto God not unto man! And when we put His purpose and plans first, then He will take care of the rest!
Yes, there was the fall in the garden that we have to deal with in this fallen world, but that isn’t where we should stay or end or live! Jesus came that we would have life and life to the full! Jesus came to redeem our lives from where it was to where it should be! We are saved by grace through faith as a gift so that nobody can boast! We didn’t do anything other than receive it! And if you haven’t accepted it or received it and are living in the old life and the old way, maybe today is the day you will take a moment and ask Jesus into your heart and start the journey!
Want to talk about it? Leave me a comment as I am happy to talk with you, pray with you, and share God’s love with you in and through it all.
Work is Redeemed.
After months of hard work, the deal goes through. Sales skyrocket after a new product launches successfully. A new member to a team adds value and energy. Projects are completed on time.
In the midst of struggle and obstacles, we see glimpses of success. In the brokenness of work, we have hope. Thanks to God’s grace, we aren’t stuck in the Fall forever.
In Genesis and the creation story, we learn the origin of our work. In the Fall, we know the difficult realities of work. Christ lived an earthly life and died a horrific death to pay the wages for our sin. This sacrificial act redeems and frees us from a life enslaved to sin. We can begin to see the untangling of the sinful consequences of the Fall. We get a foretaste of the world to come, of how things could be. However, we still face the obstacles of sin in our daily work. We await the final restoration when Christ returns to make all things new.
A Christ-centered Perspective
A redemptive, Christ-centered perspective helps us see the significance and hope in our mundane jobs.
Jesus’ days on earth ultimately make our most ordinary days significant. He died to redeem our sin and all of creation, including work. Without Christ’s redemption, our work would be plagued by our sin. Now, the work of our hands matters. We can help bring redemption to every facet of work, furthering God’s kingdom.
We are called to serve faithfully in our vocation in light of the gospel. Our vocation may not be to take the gospel to new places and preach it to people who have never heard it, but it is still important to be faithful in the mundane.
As we do our daily work, we should do it with the hope of the resurrection when everything will be set right and sin will be no more. We should strive to bring order to disorder, treat others with love, and demonstrate integrity in all that we do.
Our work, if it is done for God’s glory through his grace, demonstrates the nature of God’s kingdom.
Christ’s sacrifice frees us from the grips of sin today, not just eternally. Because of Christ’s redemption, our work holds significance, and when done to God’s glory, our work is good.
The garbage man works every day to keep God’s creation clean. The accountant brings order to chaotic finances and spreadsheets. The doctor redeems sickness and heals pain. The teacher shares knowledge and skills with children and adults. The artist and musician capture, interpret, and portray truth in many forms. Every good and moral job can bring redemption to God’s creation.
How do you see the effects of redemption in your work?
So will you put Jesus in the center of your life? Will you allow Him to be the north star for your life? Will you allow Him into your heart and clean out the junk of the past and redeem not only you and your life, but also your work, your relationships, and more? Will you do what is best and what is right and allow God to take care of the rest?
Ask Jesus into your heart! It’s not just about rituals and routines, it is about a true living relationship with Him! He will be with you, never leaving you nor abandoning you! His Spirit will give you wisdom and direction, discernment and correction when you open yourself up to His purpose, His plans, His will!
We may make a plan for today, but it is God that directs our steps.
I look at my calendar and ask God to use it for His will and His purpose!
Throughout the day I will watch some meetings disappear and others stick around! His way is incredible!
So what will you do? Do you want your life to be fulfilling?