Steadfast Day 1 Of Epic Importance
1 Corinthians 15:1-7
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17
1 John 1:1-4
1 Peter 1:3-12
Although I’ve never been in a courtroom during a trial, I know that in the US, when a witness takes the stand, he or she promises to tell the truth, “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-7, Paul begins as if he is taking the witness stand and declaring his testimony about the Gospel to be absolutely, positively, 100% true.
The veracity of Paul’s words is of utmost importance because what he states constitutes the core of Christian faith.
Sometimes Paul’s writings can be complicated, with winding sentences that seem to go on and on. Here, however, he breaks down the message into a very simple, straightforward summary of the Gospel. I can feel the sense of urgency as he writes, outlining the Gospel with absolute clarity and longing for his brothers and sisters in faith to firmly hold on to these truths.
Not only does Paul want them to believe the Gospel message, but to live it out boldly, confidently, and consistently. He begins the chapter with the foundation of our faith and ends in verse 58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
For us to live in such a radical way, we must be deeply committed to what we believe. We see this commitment in the lives of the disciples, the men and women who walked with Jesus during His ministry. Many of these first believers were also the first martyrs, dying for their faith in horrific ways, courageously choosing to endure pain and eventual death rather than recant.
Before Peter was crucified, he wrote a letter to believers scattered as exiles because of severe persecution. (1 Peter 1:3-12) He first reminds them God has “given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3) With this in mind, Peter then urges them to hold onto their faith even as they “suffer grief in various trials.” (1 Peter 1:6)
Though they may not have seen Jesus personally, these believers could hold steadfastly to the reality of the Gospel and the certain hope of eternity with God. This hope changed their perspective as they waited in eager anticipation for the “revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7)
Thousands of years later, the same is true for us.
As believers, we too receive “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading[.]” (1 Peter 1:4) For now, we “are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)
Paul further solidifies the truth of the Gospel by emphasizing that HUNDREDS of people saw Jesus following His resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:5) Gospel-writer Luke confirms this with an account of how the risen Jesus shared a meal with His disciples and invited them to touch His nail-scarred hands. (Luke 24:36-43)
Luke goes on to share some of Jesus’ final words to His followers:
“‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44-45)
Shortly after His ascension, just as Jesus had promised, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within His followers. (Acts 2:1-4)
He is still here, filling and empowering each and every person who puts their faith in Jesus Christ.
Yet, thousands of years later, we are still waiting for Jesus to fulfill the promise of His final return.
The apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he diligently wrote letters to encourage fellow believers to stand firm in their faith. John also penned the book of Revelation, in which we are given the glorious promise of what is YET TO COME. John shares how one day God will make a new heaven and a new earth, restoring all that has been broken, making all things beautiful once more. (Revelation 21:1-5)
I don’t know about you, but I am eagerly waiting for that day when I can join the hymn of heaven as people from every tongue, tribe, and nation come together to praise God for all eternity. (Revelation 7:9-10)
Until then, in the midst of all the chaos and confusion of this world, may we hold firmly to the wondrous hope of our future. For Paul assures us, “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you, after you have suffered a little while.” (1 Peter 5:10)
With this in mind, may we, like those first disciples, boldly bear witness to all God has done in our lives and courageously share the good news of the Gospel. They have gone before us, and are now a “large cloud of witnesses surrounding us” (Hebrews 12: 1-2) and cheering us on as we keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, running the race He has set before us until He returns or takes us home.
Steadfast Day 2
Concerning Jesus’ resurrection, we have historical evidence and the testimony of eyewitnesses preserved for more than 2000 years!
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This Week's Lock Screen
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