Day Five: Easter—Labor in the Lord

1 Corinthians 15:58b – Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

It is very interesting how Paul’s whole discourse on the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 ends with the exhortation that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. The word ‘labor’ is referring to the work of ministry that Paul and all of God’s people have endeavored with their lives on the line. The Word ‘vain’ in its original language means: empty, foolish, worthless, and meaningless. Hence, Paul makes clear that because of the resurrection, our labor in the Lord is never left empty-handed, fruitless, or wasted years of effort.

On a deeper level, Paul is addressing the deep fear that has plagued all of humanity – that our work is ultimately meaningless and vain, as described in the book of Ecclesiastes: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.”

Sin has rendered life and work meaningless, for everyone has been subject to the same ending—sin and death. This has been the inescapable reality—that is until the resurrection, where Christ’s victory has swallowed up the power of sin and death. As those who belong to Christ, the reason why our work is not in vain is because of the Resurrection!

Lord we thank you that our work for your kingdom is not in vain, for you have conquered sin and death. You have given us meaning and purpose. We commit ourselves afresh in laboring in love for your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– GK


Day Four: Easter – Let Nothing Move You

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

“…[It] is to stand against whatever winds or experiences buffet them, because of their confidence that God will bring to completion what God has begun in them through Christ. These claims are rich in content, dense in expression and significance, and profound in implication…When transposed to nautical imagery it would be ‘Stay the course.’  Paul makes the same argument with the Galatians, there in athletic terminology: You were running well; don’t be distracted, lose your way, or turn back (Gal 5:7, 4:9).” [NIB Commentary]

As we stand firmly upon the resurrection, may we not be moved or taken off course by the fears, anxieties and uncertainties that plague this world. Let’s worship with the song “Cornerstone” (click here) by Hillsong.

Lord, may we be strong and very courageous. May we be careful to live in obedience, and not turn from your ways either to the right or to the left. May our days be filled with clarity of mind and heart, as we meditate upon your word. May your blessing be upon us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– GK


Day Three: Easter – Stand Firm

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

“The exhortation to ‘stand firm’ occurs several times throughout Paul’s writings, and it generally has to do with having steadfast faith that is founded upon biblical truth. (This is the same word used in Ephesians 6:14, where we are to ‘stand firm’ with the belt of truth.) Today, we stand firm upon the truth of the resurrection, that Jesus is alive! It is from this foundation that we have our purpose, motivation, and reason to labor in the Lord. To stand firm however does not mean that we remain static in the same position. Rather, we daily become and transform, as we ‘…prove ourselves to be’ the ones who live by the resurrection reality.” [A. Thiselton]

The resurrection power and reality is the reason why we live and do the things that we do! Today do you feel shaken? What foundation are you standing upon? Stand firm upon Christ’s resurrection foundation alone!

Lord Jesus, today we declare that the truth of the resurrection power and reality is the firm foundation upon which we stand. We pray for the agape churches, that each member, friend, and guest would also stand firm, not remaining static, but growing in faith, love, and hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– GK


Day Two: Interlocking Spheres

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

“For far too long many Christians have been content to separate out future hope from present responsibility, but that is precisely what Paul refuses to do. His full-bodied doctrine and promise of resurrection sends us back to our present world, and our present life of bodily obedience to our Lord, in the glorious but sobering knowledge that, if there is continuity between who and what we are in the present and who and what we will be in the future, we cannot discount the present life, the present body and the present world as irrelevant.” [NT Wright, Surprised By Hope]

“Most people in the biblical world saw heaven and earth as overlapping and interlocking spheres of reality. They believed that God’s world could touch our world at any time.” [NT Wright, Surprised By Hope]

In what ways have you seen and experienced this overlapping and interlocking of God’s kingdom come into your life?

Today, spend time praying for a greater measure of God’s kingdom overlapping, overcoming, and interlocking with the sphere of our daily lives. As you pray, worship with the song “Kingdom Come” (click here) by KXC.

– GK


Day One: Easter—The Cosmic Explosion!

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The resurrection of Jesus is more than a belief that his body was dead and came to life again, though this is quite true. It is an awareness that there was a cosmic explosion when Jesus rose again, and the power and repercussions of this reality echo through the ages to our day and into eternity.” [NT Wright, Surprised By Hope]

This is the Easter reality, that we are living in the ongoing shockwaves of the cosmic explosion of the resurrection, where sin and death have been swallowed up in Christ’s victory. As we worship the Lord today, may we once again be completely undone by the power of the resurrection as we worship with the song “Upon Him” (click here) by Matt Redman.

Thank you for the Cross, for we are now forgiven. And in your resurrection, we are the risen. We praise you today for the power of the Holy Spirit that brings resurrection reality to our daily lives. May every area of our lives, our deeds, our thoughts, and emotions display this resurrection power. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– GK


Day Five: Shelter of the Most High

Psalm 91:1-6
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

As we read today’s passage, this is the reality and power of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—that we now dwell in the shelter of the Most High, for He has made His dwelling among us! May our hearts be filled with hope, joy, and assurance for our God is in our midst, and we find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Today, what are the concerns of life that you are faced with? Whether they are like the terror that comes at night or the arrows that fly by day, may our assurance be in the risen Lord.

Today pray for your concerns as you find rest and shelter in the Most High. Worship with the song, “Psalm 23” (click here) by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

– GK


Day Four: King of kings

1 Timothy 6:13-16 – In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

“As we wait for that day, we are not to spend our time peering into the sky wondering when Jesus will arrive. We are not to create fanciful scenarios about how Jesus will come. Instead, we are to invest our energy and time in caring for his creation, loving each other, sharing his grace, seeking justice, celebrating beauty, and living with confidence that Jesus will return one day. Until that final consummation, we live each day with a profound awareness that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” (N.T. Wright)

What are some practical ways in which you can invest our energy and time in caring for his creation, loving each other, sharing his grace, seeking justice, celebrating beauty?

Lord we declare that you are the King of kings, the Lord of lords. To you and you alone belongs all the honor and might. Today we pray for your strengthening and empowering in our inner beings during these times, for we live under the shelter of your wings. In Jesus’ name. Amen

– GK


Day Three: Heaven Breaking Through

Ephesians 1:7-10 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

“As we learn to walk with Jesus and live as God’s people in this world, the kingdom plan of God continues to unfold and be revealed. We are not waiting to fly off to heaven one day, but heaven is breaking into our present circumstances with each passing moment…One of the ways God brings his kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven,” is through his people. You and I are invited to be vehicles God can use to bring his love, justice, and beauty to a world desperate for all of these things. What God did for Jesus on the first Easter Day, he has promised to do for each one who is in Christ, each one indwelt by the Spirit of Christ. That is the biblical and historic Christian expectation in terms of ourselves as human beings.” (N.T. Wright)

Today let’s worship with the song ‘Come and See’ (click here) by Matt Redman as we invite His presence into our present circumstances.

– GK


Day Two: Living in Resurrection Hope

1 Corinthians 15:32 (NIV) – If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

NT Wright describes it like this, “The point [Paul’s] making is that if he went through all that [not actually fighting wild beasts, but what he did suffer in facing opposition/persecution] in order simply to die, with no hope of resurrection, he would be just like those gladiators, eating, drinking, and making merry the night before the big show, knowing that this was the end.”

If Christ has not been raised from the dead, our lives’ meaning would simply be “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” It is interesting to note how real this must feel for us in light of what is happening in the world today. However, as Paul and the cloud of witnesses that have gone before show us, we don’t live by mere human hopes, for our hope is in Christ and His resurrection. Hence, we always live in hope, in worship, in the building of His church, and in the mission of God.

Lord Jesus, may we live in your resurrection power and reality. May there be an awakening of love for you and for one another, for praise and worship to spontaneously arise from our hearts and lips, for our hearts to be filled with compassion for the broken. May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– GK


Day One: Hope of Resurrection for Today

1 Corinthians 15.16-20 – For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

“The resurrection narratives in the gospels never, ever say anything like, “Jesus is raised, therefore there is a life after death,” let alone, “Jesus is raised, therefore we shall go to heaven when we die.” Nor even, in a more authentic first-century Christian way, do they say, “Jesus is raised, therefore we shall be raised from the dead after the sleep of death.” No. Insofar as the event is interpreted, Easter has a very this-worldly, present-age meaning: Jesus is raised so he is the Messiah and therefore he is the world’s true Lord; Jesus is raised, so God’s new creation has begun – and we, his followers, have a job to do! Jesus is raised, so we must act as his heralds, announcing his lordship to the entire world, making his kingdom come on each as in heaven!” (NT Wright, Surprised by Hope, p. 55)

Lord, may your kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. May we act as your heralds, announcing your lordship everywhere we are—whether it is at home, or with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

– GK