Job 14:1-15:35; 1 Corinthians 15:45-58; Psalms 40:1-3; Proverbs 13:9-10
NT: “What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor can corruption inherit incorruption. Listen, I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-58 CSB)
This is the hope that we have in Christ. As the hymnist wrote, not only do we have strength for today – we have bright hope for tomorrow. At the end of this age, Christ will return for his bride. He will give the signal to those heavenly trumpeters to sound the blasts to call His people home – and as that last trumpet blast sounds, all who died in Christ will be raised. Those still alive in Christ will be changed in a moment. All who placed their faith in Christ and remained in Christ will put off their corruptible and mortal body and be clothed with an incorruptible and immortal body that they may inherit the kingdom of God forever. This will be Christ’s final victory, were death is swallowed up, never to have power again. The life that we live now, though it is of eternal importance, is not our forever home. While we were saved by Christ in this life, we were not ultimately saved for this life. We were saved for the incorruptible, immortal life to come. While faith in Christ gives us grace for today, that grace through faith is that we may reach our eternal destination. That is why we forsake all for Christ. That is why we remain steadfast in our faith. That is why we remain faithful to Christ’s commission and excel in the Lord’s work. It is to be rid of sin and death for good, and to see others share in the same eternal victory. We live this life surrounded by the muck and mire of the world by grace through faith in Christ, that one day He will return and lift us up out of death, corruption and mortality to eternal life, incorruption and immortality. Thanks be to God who gives us this victory in Christ!
Psalms: “I waited patiently for the Lord, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and they will trust in the Lord.” (Psalms 40:1-3 CSB)
David said that he waited patiently for the Lord. The waiting that David described was not a passive waiting. It was an eager expectation full of hope. David had cried for help and knew without a shadow of a doubt that God would rescue him – and He did. David said that God descended to where he was, lifted him up out the pit of destruction where he was trapped… out of the clinging, sucking muck and mire, and set his feet high above on a safe, solid and steadfast rock. That is what Christ did for us. Not only did Christ descend to earth to where we are – He descended into hell where we were destined to go and took captivity captive, winning the keys of death, hell and the grave. When we place saving faith in Christ, He lifts us out of the pit of destruction, cleanses us of the muck and mire, and sets us on a solid foundation in Him. Christ doesn’t just do that once. In Christ, there is an ongoing upward call of God that takes us from glory to glory. As we maintain faith in Christ and faithfully obey His word, will and ways, He continues to take us to new heights, until ultimately we are called up to heaven with Him.
David said that when the Lord rescued him, he was filled with praise and was compelled to sing out a new song testifying of what God had done for him. Christianity is a faith full of new songs born out of new victories, new things, new revelations, new heights that Christ blesses us with as we remain in Him. Even in Heaven, as we see in John’s Revelation of Christ – when Christ stepped victoriously on the scene, all of heaven burst out in a new song… and new songs continued to flow as God’s redemptive purposes through Christ were fulfilled… and they will continue to flow from the faithful redeemed in Christ for all of eternity. This is why we remain steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work. This is the full-of-hope eager expectation that we have in Christ through faith. Thanks be to God who gives us this victory in Christ!
Proverbs: “The light of the righteous shines brightly, but the lamp of the wicked is put out.” (Proverbs 13:9 CSB)
Those who are declared and made righteous through faith in Christ shine brightly for eternity, that many may see and fear and trust in the Lord. Those who reject Christ and choose the path of wickedness will eventually have their lamp snuffed out. Thanks be to God who gives us this victory in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You not only saved me for a liberated and grace-filled life, but You saved me for a glorious and eternal future with You. Help me, as I walk in the Spirit by grace through faith, to remain steadfast, immovable, and always excelling in Your work that You have called me to fulfill on earth – that I may live in the glorious future You have won for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.