On Giving Ourselves Fully to the Work of the Lord

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July 25, 2020

1 Corinthians 15:42-58 (NIV)

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

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.

CONSIDER THIS

To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people (i.e., us):

This last verse in the famed 15th chapter says it all and in a way we most need to hear in these days.

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.

It’s so easy for most people to salute a text like this and just move on. But you, Daily Text Friend, are not “most people.” How do I know that? Because most people do not read the Daily Text. ;0) 

In all seriousness, the Daily Text is written for people who want to “give [themselves] fully to the work of the Lord.” Imagine what this country would be like if most people gave themselves fully to the work of the Lord. Imagine what your church would be like. 

Giving oneself fully to the work of the Lord is different than say, giving oneself fully to the work of one’s business. To give oneself fully to the work of the Lord means first, middle, and last giving oneself fully to the Lord himself. The work of the Lord is not something we do “for the Lord.” It is something the Lord does through us for others and he does it as we give ourselves to him. Hear this:

Abide in me, as I also abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must abide in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)

We have a shorthand way of saying, “give yourself fully to the work of the Lord,” in our work with Seedbed: We call it the Awakening Life. It comes down to four core practices. 1. We READ together (Word of God). 2. We PRAY together (Spirit of God). 3. We BAND together (Body of Christ). 4. We SOW together (Kingdom of Heaven).  

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

It is the law of sowing and reaping. Now is the time to sow for a great awakening. There has scarcely been a time in our lifetimes like now to to give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.

It brings us full circle back to the very first word of the letter—the one we have repeated every single day of the series:

To those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people (i.e., us):

Friends, when it comes to our faith and the movement of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the business of business as usual is long since over and done. We are waking up to a new moment, a new possibility. Let’s band together and sow for a great awakening.

As our Prayer today, let’s close this series with the Sower’s Creed:

THE PRAYER

Today, I sow for a great awakening.

Today, I stake everything on the promise of the Word of God.
I depend entirely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have the same mind in me that was in Christ Jesus. Because Jesus is good news and Jesus is in me, I am good news.

Today, I will sow the extravagance of the gospel everywhere I go and into everyone I meet.

Today, I will love others as Jesus has loved me.

Today, I will remember
that the tiniest seeds become the tallest trees;
that the seeds of today become the shade of tomorrow;
that the faith of right now becomes the future of the everlasting kingdom.

Today, I sow for a great awakening.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. What are your takeaways from 1 Corinthians?
  2. What is your next step in the Awakening Life?

P.S. Upcoming on the Daily Text

Monday August 3 begins our next Daily Text series. We will journey through the Gospel of John, which will take us up to Advent. Please invite others to join. This next week I will share a preview of the book I am writing on the Second Half of the Gospel. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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