February 9 – Hope and purpose

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-58

Be honest.  At times you may agree with the conclusions drawn by Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes.  Life does have its mundane, routine dimensions.  In the rat race of life, there seem to be some “chasing the wind” moments of “meaninglessness.”

But life for the believer shouldn’t be a futile existence.  Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15 give you two encouragements not found in Ecclesiastes.  First of all, there is hope beyond this life!  The resurrection of Jesus offers you the expectation of life after this one.  At death, your spirit will depart from your body (Js. 2:26).  If you are a follower of Jesus, you will instantly be with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8).  God even values your body enough that He will one day transform and resurrect it (1 Cor. 15:42-44).  His children will be with Him forever (1 Thess. 4:17)!  That brings hope that can place a smile on your face in the midst of the most mundane of days!

Secondly, Paul makes clear that there is purpose in this life!  Not everything you do has to be meaningless.  Paul is specific in saying that you can know that “your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  (1 Cor. 15:58)  Your service for Him has purpose.  It can make an eternal impact in the lives of others, and it can result in eternal rewards for you.  With that realization in mind, you are encouraged to “always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.”  The two adverbs in that phrase are important.  “Always.”  What would need to change in order for you to see yourself as constantly in His service?  Your mindset?  A specific activity?  Similarly, the word “fully” implies that you give yourself completely, without holding back or reservation.  Do you ever find that you are reluctant to give your all to the Lord and for the Lord?  If so, you are likely missing out on the sense of daily purpose that He wants to give you.  Hope and purpose are found in Christ!

Is your future hope secure?  Is your present purpose real?

Steve Kern

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