Abound in the Lord’s Work
1 Corinthians 15:51
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in 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. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When 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?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But 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.
What we experience here — what we see, feel and know in the material is not all that exists. There is more which helps us to understand that death becomes a victory. We may not understand that now, or feel it in the moment — but Paul seemed to see things from a different perspective. Death was the result of a life of a sin, victory was found in Christ. Therefore laboring for him might result in physical or material struggles, but the work would never be in vain.
This week my mind is thinking about Jim York, an amazingly sweet and humble man who left us to be with the Lord. He was such a kind person who served so many people. He used what he had in service to the Lord and others. I know there is incredible pain in the hearts of the family members who are struggling with the reality of what life is going to be like without him. And yet, today these words struck me as I thought about Jim. He was “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” His labor wasn’t in vain, for his life touched many in a variety of ways.
There is the sting of loss, but the victory of a life lived well that changed and shaped the direction of those who would come after him.
In the sobering moments of pain we are reminded that we are to be steadfast and immovable in the things that really matter. We do not labor in vain.
Lord, I pray for your sustaining love and presence with the York family today. Amen.
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