Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
Beloved in the Lord, when Paul wrote this admonition to the Christians in Corinth, he was encouraging them to consider what a glorious heritage they had as believers. Their Lord, Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. It was a fact, undisputed – totally confirmed even by his enemies. Because of theresurrection, the Christian had hope – hope that they would not be overcome by Satan through death. On the contrary their own reservation and re-union with the Lord Jesus Christ was assured. For that reason, they were to be actively involved and engaged in the work of the Lord.
They were not to allow the world to draw them back through – false teachings and doctrines: persecution compromise to the worldly way of life, competition for the acclaim the world so readily gives fear of rejection, ostracization, pressure from peers to conform.
The admonition was timely and relevant because those who turned to Christ in those days faced real pressures. But Paul reminded them that their decision to give their lives to Christ was the right one – it had been initiated and confirmed by God Himself through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Beloved, this exhortation is very timely and relevant to us also. Ours may not be such a hostile environment. In fact, it is quite fashionable to be a Christian these days – 71% of the nation professes Christianity. But please don’t let us get carried away. We too live in very dangerous times – subtly dangerous.
The signs of the dangers may not always be clear, especially to those who take everything for granted. But believe me, the times we live in are extremely dangerous.• We are bombarded daily with false teachings and false doctrines on radio, television and other media;• We are drawn and even pushed into compromise because of prevailing social norms and cultural practices;• We face persecution if we decide to stand for and do what is right. We get punished, banished and sometimes lose our promotion in the workplace;• We are sometimes rejected by family and friends because we want to follow Christ Jesus more closely and live for Him;• We are accosted by fear because we do not know how we can face all these pressures and survive.
This however is the time to strongly trust in our Lord Jesus Christ by whose resurrection the Lord God our Father has categorically confirmed that Jesus is indeed Lord and Saviour.COVID-19 has made it palpably clear that all we hold dear can be wiped out in an instant.
This is the time to know that we are on the Lord’s side, we are standing on the Solid Rock – Jesus Christ Himself. This is the time to show boldly by our lives that we need no argument; we need no plea; it is enough that Jesus died and that He died for you and for me. As Christians, we too are called into various ministries; we are not to be spectators, NO!! We are to be busy for the Lord – not busybodies, gossiping, bringing conflict, etc. No. We are to be fully engaged for the Lord as He, by His Holy Spirit enables us. As we read in the Bible – we are called to be co-workers in the Kingdom; disciples of believers; engaged in evangelism; serve in the local church as deacons, deaconesses and other active workers; we are given the gifts of prophecy; we are to operate in all the spiritual gifts that the Lord in His wisdom has fully given us by His Holy Spirit.
How then do we as Paul admonishes us, stand firm and let nothing move us? I would like us to see ourselves in the light of Eph. 6:10-18. Paul speaks to us to be strong in the power of the Lord, to always wear our spiritual armour and pray!!! He uses the word STAND four times between verse 13 – 14a. • Take our stand against the devil’s schemes;• Stand our ground when the evil day comes;• Stand after we’ve done everything;• Stand firm with our full armour.
What I learn is that it is all about our total dependence in the one who has called us into His Kingdom – Jesus Christ. We stand and remain immovable in Him and in His strength even in these very uncertain, disruptive and scary times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oh, it is hard to work for GOD, To rise and take His part,Upon this battlefield of earth, And not sometimes lose heart! Workman of GOD! O lose not heart, But learn what GOD is like, And in the darkest battlefield thou shalt know where to strike. – Frederick William Faber
Who is on The Lord’s Side – MHB 820
1. Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!
4. Chosen to be soldiers, in an alien land,
Chosen, called, and faithful, for our Captain’s band;
In the service royal, let us not grow cold,
Let us be right loyal, noble, true and bold.
Master, wilt Thou keep us, by Thy grace divine,
Always on the Lord’s side—Savior, always Thine!
(Frances Ridley. Havergal, 1836 – 1879)
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