I write these words a mere three days after Easter Sunday 2022. Easter egg hunts have concluded, sunrise services have been completed, and celebrations have ended. The resurrection of Jesus feels, appropriately, like a big deal every year on Easter morning. But come Monday? Easter memories begin to fade and are replaced by the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The hymns are silenced, the dresses are put away, and life resumes as normal.
But what if it didn’t?
What if we actually lived our everyday Mondays in light of Jesus’ resurrection, which we commemorate on Easter Sunday?
Truly, this is Paul’s very desire for us as Christ-followers!
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:32-34, “If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus as a mere man, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’ Come to your senses and stop sinning; for some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame.”
It’s helpful to read this passage in light of Paul’s concluding words in verse 58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
We hear Jesus say something very similar in Matthew 16:24-27, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wants to follow Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.
For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done.’”
This is the essence of what it means to live our everyday Monday in light of Resurrection Sunday – laying our lives down daily for the sake of Christ, remembering He is alive!
It isn’t always fun, easy, or comfortable to live for Christ, to labor for the sake of the Gospel, or live in light of God’s ways and in obedience to His commands. To do so rubs against our sinful flesh and wages war with our innate desires.
While that reality is certainly true, there is good news, friend! Yes, it is hard to live for God sometimes, but we are able to do so with hope, purpose, and joy when we remember we live for Him because He is alive! He has secured our salvation and is currently in Heaven preparing a place for us! (John 14:2) The day will come when we will die, yes, but death is not the end for us, because death was not the end for Jesus!
Therefore, on our everyday Mondays, we have the privilege and opportunity to risk everything in this life for the sake of Christ’s kingdom work. When wholly following Christ we risk power, wealth, health, earthly prosperity, relationships, possessions, and more.
This can be scary.
But it’s worth it!
Dying daily to our own wants and instead following God’s plan for our lives will yield more abundant fruit than we can ever imagine. It will result in lasting joy as we live as God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Paul encourages our hearts in Galatians 6 when he writes, “Don’t be deceived; God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.”
Your work for the kingdom is worth it, dear sister.
Your sacrifices for the sake of the Gospel will bear much fruit.
Anchor yourself in the steadfast hope of eternity you have as a result of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
Live in light of that hope.
Be immovable in your God-given purpose.
“Come to your senses,” reject the distractions and lesser pursuits the enemy throws your way, and refuse to let Paul’s words, “[S]ome people are ignorant of God. I say this to your shame” be said of you. (1 Corinthians 15:34)
Living each day in awe of Jesus’ resurrection, share the Gospel, apply the Word, encourage those in your sphere of influence, and you will never be lacking for purpose or fruitfulness.
It really is worth it, friend.
Steadfast Day 9
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