(Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise stated)
Stand firm in your faith - Part 2
12th June 2009
Towards the end of his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 15v51-58
The start of this passage reminds us that Jesus will return to Earth. We - the church, His chosen people - will become imperishable - eternal. We will be changed, and we will know eternal victory through our faith in Jesus Christ. It's good to remember these things - every Christian should get excited reading these words!
And following these thrilling words, verse 58 says:
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
And it's this verse that I want to focus on this week. It tells us many important things.
Firstly, we are dear brothers. The Greek word translated here as "dear" is agapetoi, meaning "beloved". We are all important to God, and to His church.
Secondly, our reason to stand firm is the sure hope of glory for those who do so:
2 Thessalonians 2v13-15
Thirdly, we must let NOTHING move us from our devotion to God. Get a self-image of being immovable, whether by circumstances, or health, or poverty, or oppression, or worry, or family, or anything else.
Fourthly, all Christians should give themselves fully to God's work. It's not just for leaders, or for the young, or for the old, or for the fit, or for those with good marriages, or those we are not busy with the things of this life - it's for all of us to serve Him wholeheartedly.
Fifthly, nothing we do for God is wasted. It does us good, and it does this world good. It may not always feel like it, but every prayer you pray, every kind act you do, makes a difference.
Dear brother or sister, let's not waste our lives. There is nothing more important than the Kingdom of God, there is no-one more deserving of your service than the God who saved you. There is no more fulfilling life than a life devoted to Him, trusting Him and serving Him. And one day He will return, and will reward His faithful followers.
Every day, you will think of a reason why you can't stand firm today, why you can't give yourself to the Lord's service today. And every day we listen to those thoughts will be a wasted day. Choose to ignore those thoughts! Think instead about the vital importance of serving God, the eternal significance your prayers and deeds can have, the joy that comes to those who give themselves fully to Him, the need of millions of people - some very close to you - who need His gospel. Choose to make today a day when you put God first!