1 & 2 Corinthians: Day 22

Victorious Resurrection

by

Today's Text: 1 Corinthians 15:20-58, Philippians 1:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-58, Philippians 1:12, 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Texans are obsessed with our state flower, the bluebonnet. Bluebonnets are wildflowers that bloom in early spring. For several weeks each season, they line our interstates and take over our fields. They are a sudden flower, nowhere to be seen for months and months and then, suddenly, they are everywhere. They don’t space out their arrival. It feels like they decide to bloom all at once. And overnight, Texas is a sea of blue.

This is why I was surprised to learn that if you want to plant bluebonnets to bloom in the spring, experts suggest planting the seeds in late summer or early fall. Though it looks like the wildflowers appear overnight, they are actually growing beneath the soil for months.

I thought of the bluebonnets while reading Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15, when he compares our resurrection to seeds being sown: “So it is with the resurrection of the dead: Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body” (vv. 42-44). In the resurrection, we will be completely transformed, and Paul says this change will happen suddenly, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (vv. 51–52).  

My temptation when reading these words is to look forward to the change to come, and ignore my need to change now. Great, I think, in the end when I am resurrected, all will be well. I will be the person I was made to be. I, and the entire world, will be restored and redeemed.

But the last verse of this chapter suggests another way to think about this sudden change. Paul says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (v.58).

The instruction isn’t, “Therefore, sit back and relax, it’ll all be okay in the end.” The instruction is, “Therefore keep working, steadfastly, immovably, excelling at the Lord’s work because none of this is in vain.” The change to come will seem sudden, but really, just as the bluebonnet is sown in fall to bloom in spring, we will have been working toward change all along.

This is incredibly convicting for me. This is incredibly convicting for the church. We have been sown, and now we must do the hard work of growing. This is the Lord’s work: we care for the poor. We work toward reconciliation. We confess. We repent. We forgive. And we do all of this now because we know it is not in vain. What the Lord plants, He will grow. The work He begins, He will complete (Philippians 1:6).

So today, may we look toward our final resurrection, made possible through the resurrection of Christ, with great hope. But let’s not allow our hope for the future to distract us from the work at hand. There is much to do. Therefore, let’s be steadfast, immovable, and excel at the Lord’s work on earth, knowing we may not see all the fruit of our labor now, but all will be in bloom when the trumpet sounds.

SRT-Corinthians-Shareimage-Day22

  • This was amazing Andrea! Such a clear interpretation of a passage I never really fully understood. Truly, thank you!

  • Amy Daily

    Thank you for your commentary. It pointed us to Christ and the beautiful truth in in God’s Word. Praise be to God!

  • Amy Rinta

    Loved this devo!! The baptism of the dead got me studying deeper. Maybe you to had some questions about that. Here is a link about that verse that can help clarify a few things. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/what-does-paul-mean-by-baptism-for-the-dead/

  • Shelby Lynn

    Beautifully written. The Second Coming will be over night, we have to be prepared. This generation is the generation to SAVE. They don’t think of the time because their parents/grandparents and so-on-and-so-forth have not had Jesus’ return.. they are playing with fire. The fire being their salvation. In the blink of an eye, all could be over and we are headed to our eternal destination; grant it God determines at His full disclosure who goes where with the great Judgment. Still salvation isn’t what I would mess around with.

    Lord, please allow us to have an everlasting impact on this younger generation to provide them with resources and outlets to your name. Amen.

  • KC Derond

    I found this devotional very inspiring. It was exactly the motivation I needed to hear! So important to be a reflection of Christ. I am really enjoying this study :)

  • Thank you for this devotional! The analogy of Texas bluebonnets to God’s instruction for us in order to grow and mature as we wait for His return was wonderful. I so appreciate SRT and your daily devotionals!

  • Georgia Tanner

    Andrea, thank you so much for these beautiful words of encouragement! I have taught a bible study for 17 years and have written a book about Genesis (yet to be published!)and have just started my blog of Small Stories of a Big God – because I love God’s word and see that every word in God’s Word tells us more about God! But it is so easy to become discouraged and grow weary of doing good. Your reminder of the roots growing unseen was the perfect visual for me this morning. God will determine the timing and the hue of the bloom. I will be steadfast, immovable and excel in the Lord’s work that He has given me today.

  • Natalie H

    I love the idea of blooming when the trumpet sounds. Thanks Andrea!

  • Julie Waldvogel

    My uncles sing as “The Kings Army” and they have a song about that last resurrection of us and how we will all rise at the trumpet sound.

  • Jama Maples

    This was a very timely message for me. My grandfather is not doing well and will soon be passing. I, naturally, have been upset about it all week, but today I am filled with hope. For I know, that even though my grandfather’s earthly body is passing away, his spiritual body is waiting for him with Jesus. So thank you for this encouragement. And also, for the convicting message to keep pressing on in the Lord’s work until it is time for me to join the Lord.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Jama, we’re so sorry to hear this. Our team will be praying for you and your family during this time. We’re grateful that you’re a part of our community. -Margot, The SRT Team

  • Brianna Foshie

    Great read!

  • Monica Davis

    Amen. Lord help me be a bluebonnet.

  • Such a wonderful devotion for today! My kids are eagerly watching two caterpillars we found on our parsley plant. Outwardly, today, nothing seems to be happening. They are still and unmoving. If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were dead. But, their heads are tucked in the “J” position and I know that changes are happening, even if we can’t see it yet. What a comfort to know that even on the days when I can’t see change in my heart – when I only see my own weakness and sin – the Lord is still at work in me! And He has promised to see that work through until it is finished. What a promise, what a comfort, what a joy!

  • I had a hard time wrapping my mind around this passage until it was The Message translation and it struck me that really one of the main things of this scripture is that this world and death isn’t really the end. we’re all just waiting here biding our time until we can go home.

    And then i immediately had all the times I’ve told my kids “we just have to wait patiently” in grocery lines and doctors offices. sometimes for hours and hours to where you never think you’re going to get out of there. but how we wait is just as important. just like with kids, if we whine and complain and fidget and fuss, it’s not going to do us and good and it’s going to cause those around us trouble. but if we wait patiently and be kind to the people around us and empathize we can make their day a little better and have a more positive experience ourselves.

    the troubles and waiting of life are harder than waiting in a doctor’s office but at least we know we ARE going home with an assured awesome outcome.

    • Marian

      THANK YOU for mentioning reading it in the Message. It helped me understand the passage better!

  • Veronica Nixon

    Amen!❤️

  • One of my favorite devos. Such a great focus for this exciting, comforting, esoteric chunk of scripture!

  • 1 Corinthians 15 is so full & rich, as is all of 1 Corinthians thus far! Thank you Andrea, for your analogy which helped to bring it to life even more!

  • Perfect analogy!

  • Susan J Lindquist

    Wonderful encouragement in the words of today’s reading. A call to action for all …

  • Kathy Valentine

    May we “be in bloom when the trumpet sounds”! Love that! It is so incredible to look at an ugly brown bulb and think how in the world does this unsightly dirty thing become a beautiful unique flower? God’s transforming power is amazing. It’s when the bulbs are underground over time that they multiply, too. I know this because I recently moved “a few” daffodil bulbs my mom had planted years ago to a new spot in her garden. Three hundred plus bulbs later I finally gave up counting. Lord, please help us in our current bodies to grow and multiply so that when You come for us we can be for You a garden of beauty.

  • Vicki Del Boccio

    Such encouraging and inspiring words, Andrea. . .thank you!

  • This was such a timely message for me this morning. My husband is a youth pastor and I teach high school so we spend most of our time with teenagers (which I guess is keeping us young, but it sure does put lots of grey in the hair!) I turned 60 this year and lately I have questioned what my role is; can God still use me to reach these kiddos? Lots of questioning and doubting, but this was a wonderful reminder that until He calls me home I have work to be doing. I just need to trust that He will give me wisdom and direction. Such peace this morning!

  • In the past, I’ve had such a tremendous need to “know” God’s plan for my life…to see it clearly laid out before me. I’ve had different professions over the years and volunteered in numerous capacities, more times than not allowing satan to bring doubt into my mind, “Is this really what God wants me to do?” and missing simplicity really of what I am asked to do: “be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor for the Lord is not in vain.”
    This is my last week at a job where I’ve worked hard and tried to please others, bt the reality hit that my work was in vain, and I wasn’t using my God-given gifts and talents to the best of my ability to further the work of the Kingdom. So…I am stepping out of my comfort zone and will be seeking areas where I am needed and where God’s light can shine through me to others. THIS work will not be in vain when I keep my focus on my Savior and sharing His love and the hope of eternity with others. I will really appreciate your prayers this week.

    • Pamala

      Kay, I’m praying for you in this new season of your life. May it be fruitful and rewarding for you and others, using all of the talents that the Lord has blessed you with all too His glory and may His light shine even brighter through you.

    • Michelle

      Kay, I will be praying for you !

  • Momtomany

    Thank you for this reminder that we have victory through Christ. Sometimes it is so easy to feel defeated and discouraged living in our sin-filled world when we KNOW deep inside this is indeed not our home and our longing is to be with Jesus. Help me to live with my eyes up and not down-living fully here, engaging in opportunties to love, serve and share the love of Jesus wherever today takes me.

    • Jennifer

      Phil 1:21 is so well said and explained in such few words. I love how deep Paul is in his writings. This verse sums it all up! The verse has always stood out to me and I feel the same exact way. We really don’t want to be here in this awful sinful world, we want to be home. However, we are the light in the darkness and we must remember to be the light every chance we get, To live is Christ! We live for him and we need to get to work, much to do, be fruitful and be disciples and disciple makers. Then when we die, just as Christ lived and died and resurrected for us, we will gain, bc we lived for the one who indeed promises life eternally!!!

  • Kelly Chataine

    In verse 34, of the I Corinthians reading, we are reminded that some have no knowledge of God. Well, we all know that to be fact. My heart and mind landed on what is stated after that phrase. “I say this to your shame.”
    God gave us a job to do and that job includes telling others of God’s plan, Jesus’ complete work, and the Holy Spirit’s guiding. I need to tell everyone about Jesus, everyone!

    • Pam

      You are so right Kelly!

    • Jennifer

      Amen!! This was so convicting to me yet at the perfect time. I prayed the other night and as I’m thanking God for everything he has done for me, praising and grateful, on and on thanking him and then I just stopped and thought: how selfish am I? What have I done for him? What am I doing for him and his kingdom? So I asked HIM to show me the path or give some direction of what he wants me to do , more importantly, God , How? How do I start the conversation to being someone to God? Are my actions right? Basically I was doubting myself which means I was doubting him , bc if he calls you, he will equip you!!! So now he keeps showing me opportunities for specific ministries that is out of my comfort zone but I want to do it , not just because he said to. I want to bring people to know him like I did! To gain life when we die from this earth!!! This study is just another reminder to step out in faith, don’t waste your time on doubts and specifics. Just go, and do!!! Love this!! May I always be conscious and self aware of ways to nserve him and minister to others about HIM!!

  • Karen Smith

    Just what a needed to hear this morning. My job is so stressful. I am the only Christian among the Department heads but God has me there for a reason. Thank you so much for this website.

    • CJ

      Yes Karen – you are there for a reason! Shine that Light! <3 I'll be praying for you to be encouraged.

  • Churchmouse

    These verses help me to relax. Oh I don’t understand all that Paul writes here. It seems truth wrapped up in mystery and so I scratch my head. But how I rejoice for the “therefore” in verse 58! Verse 57 assures me that God gave us the victory over sin and death through Jesus. THEREFORE I can relax. I have peace because the outcome is already guaranteed. I can go about my life on earth being steadfast, immovable, excelling in the Lord’s work because my labor has purpose and it will accomplish that purpose . My work is not in vain because the victory is already obtained. I don’t have to be anxious if I’m doing it right or I’m in the right place or what move to make next. Whatever I do, God is working all things out. I am a part of it all and I am at peace. Sin and death do not have the final say. They are out of the way. So I can walk in peace, knowing I’m doing what He would have me do until I see Him face to face.

    • Susan

      Thank you so much for this perspective that I can relax and have peace in doing His work! Sometimes I get so worked up and anxious to speak to the ones closest to me, when I know the Lord is prodding me on to do this, yet I feel so unequipped in words and knowledge. I need to just relax and take the step because He is with me and giving me the words. God is working all things out for my good, their good, when I trust Him and do His work for His glory. I need not worry about the outcome, as long as I am trusting Him, that is His work. I need to get moving today, I have some work to do. Again, I thank you.

    • Rochelle Walker

      Great reminder! Thank you!

    • Sonya C.

      Amen.

  • Vanessa Bowman

    This is a huge kick in the butt for me. I’m not going to accomplish much unless I am continuing to move and do even if I don’t know where that path will lead me or turn!

  • Alice Carroll

    The last enemy to be abolished is death. Hallelujah!

  • This was so timely for me. For the past three years I have worked tirelessly in a male dominated profession. I’ve been discouraged and beaten down over and over again. I feel like my hard work and dedication is always overlooked. I guess I’ve been longing for some kind of redemption or reward for all that I do… I’ve finally been getting noticed and recognized for my hard work and even got several interviews for a very sought out position that would be right up my ally. I want this new position so badly! When I heard yesterday that I probably won’t get the job because I’m “overqualified,” it destroyed me. The exact feeling was that all my had work is in vain. But how sweet and timely is it that God reminds us this morning that In fact, none of it is in vain! I’m resting in His goodness today. Knowing that He has a perfect plan in store from me. Maybe he’s protecting. I believe He is developing me for something even better. Because of his promises and goodness, I will be excelling in the Lord’s work.

    • Ruth Lund

      Praying that you will soon find peace that you’re in exactly the place God wants you to be, either in another role thats just right for you or in the role you’re in.

    • Anne

      Praying for you Andi-even knowing God has a plan that is always Best for us it is hard not to be disappointed -know He has something better for you.

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