“BUT THANKS BE TO GOD WHO …”
One of the most challenging, stirring and inspiring chapters in the Bible is Paul’s 15th – in his 1st letter to the Corinthians. We have chosen 3 different adjectives, which Paul uses, which reflect the differing but special kinds of reactions its 56 verses inspire in our minds.
The greatest and most inspiring reaction maybe the one near the end where Paul quotes from Isaiah 25 v.8 ” … then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (v.54 & 55),
For most people today death is not a victory – but a defeat! Paul says, “The sting of death is sin” [v.56] and our world appears to be almost totally full of people who will feel this sting – in an everlasting sense.
But how wonderfully triumphant are we if we can truly give “thanks to God” because “he gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” [v.59] Let us make every effort to be fully genuine believers who feel in our hearts(not just our minds) that this “victory” is ours in prospect, that we have truly committed our lives to God! And in doing this let us embrace in our minds and hearts today (and every day) the last verse.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.”
Let us sense ever more clearly that the time is getting ever nearer when, as we read in v,52, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
How far beyond our present comprehension is this! How great will be our “thanks to God” and our Lord Jesus, for the “victory” that will be ours! “He gives” it – it is a reward for our faithfulness, despite our imperfections, which, prayerfully, are diminishing as we become more “steadfast” and “immovable.” We reflect back on ch. 2 of this letter of Paul’s and his inspiring words, ” … no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” [v.9]
Let us live each day, in ways which show we “love him.” At that time our “thanks … to God” and his Son will know no bounds.
By Bro D.Caudery
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