I had a conversation yesterday with a fellow pastor on staff regarding how our faith and call to follow Christ is not in vain because of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. We thought back to 1 Corinthians 15 and this powerful chapter of Scripture that speaks so emphatically to the truth of the gospel. The simple reminder of this particular chapter is that without the death, burial and victorious resurrection of Christ, our pursuit of Him and a life in Him is useless and we are to be pitied more than any other people on the planet earth.
BUT... I sit here this morning with a smile on my face writing this because with great confidence, I by faith hold on to the truth of the gospel which means my life in Him and with Him is not in vain. As I thought about this truth, here are some of the very practical aspects of my life that are not in vain as I live in the power of 1 Corinthians 15.
Pursuing a life of holiness through spiritual disciplines is not in vain as God wants to transform and conform me to be like Christ my Savior. All the spiritual training is worth it because of the resurrection.
Loving my wife as Christ has loved the church is not in vain as it is a picture of the church's relationship with Christ here on earth. All the hard work that goes into marriage is worth it because it's a beautiful picture of the love Christ has for His church and a reminder that our risen Bridegroom will soon return.
Raising my children in the fear and admonition of the Lord is not in vain because I want them to grow up to love and follow Jesus because He is truth and He is the only way to God. All the hard work that goes into raising my kids for Jesus is worth it because they need to know the freedom that comes from sins forgiven and a life lived in Him.
Serving Christ on a daily basis is not in vain as it is nothing short of an immense privilege to be engaged in the work of my risen King. It is worth it all as there is nothing more exciting than to be a part of Christ's powerful and victorious work here on earth.
Loving people in a fallen world is not in vain even though it is tough and can lead to hurt, betrayal and heartache. It is worth taking the risk to love because there are so many people living without hope because they haven't yet experienced the love of Christ. The world needs to know and see my Savior through my desire to take a risk and love others with the love of my gracious, faithful and loving Savior.
Standing at the grave of a loved one with hope is not in vain. To stand at the grave of one who knew Christ as their Savior with a smile on my face amongst the tears may seem foolish and even sac religious to some, but it is done in the confidence that the grave is really a place of hope where one day all the dead in Christ shall rise to be with their Savior in the sky. Without the resurrection of Christ, this is indeed foolishness.
I would be lying if I said there wasn't times when I step back weary and wondering if it is worth it all. But a quick read (or discussion) of 1 Corinthians 15 reinvigorates me to keep on keeping on because I am no fool and I am not to be pitied. I without a doubt believe that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, has ascended to the right hand of His Father and is soon to return as my victorious King. That truth makes it worth it all!!!