Wednesday Word 1.04.2017

1 Corinthians 15:50-58 New International Version (NIV)

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed —52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

What a wonderful promise! We will be changed! Because our Savior lived and died and lives again, we need have no fear of what is to come. “Even to the end of the age,” Jesus promised to be with us and we will be changed! We will join him and the Father in the Kingdom forever.

What we sometimes overlook is that we need not leave this earthly world to become a part of the Kingdom life. It can begin this very minute. God wants you to live the Kingdom life right now. He has done more than his part. Now we must do ours. Wesley taught us that our goal is “sanctification,” or getting as close to the example of Christ as we humanly can. Of course, it is the work of the Holy Spirit within us that will move us farther down the road. We cannot do it on our own. Nevertheless, we have to participate! We have to be willing to learn and to obey and to serve.

What a lovely image for us to hold close. Victory! Sin and the power it has to steer us away from the life we were meant to have is defeated in our Savior. Jesus has done the impossible for us. Now we must “stand firm” and always give ourselves “fully to the work of the Lord.” The Holy Spirit is there to guide us home…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ,