Day Five: Patterns of eternity in our “to-do list”

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
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 [NB: meaningless].

“If it is true that God is going to transform this present world, and renew our whole selves, bodies included, then what we do in the present time with our bodies, and with our world, matters.” [N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians]

“Now that he has confidently declared the victory over death through Christ, Paul can affirm with equal confidence that ‘in the Lord your labor is not in vain [NB: meaningless].’ The resurrection of the dead serves as a warrant validating not only Christian preaching but also ‘the work of the Lord’ more generally; everything that we do stands under the sign of Christ’s resurrection, and all our actions are thereby given worth and meaning.” [Richard Hays, First Corinthians: Interpretation]

The pattern of salvation in the Bible is based on Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and post-resurrection appearances, as we saw in Paul’s gospel from 15:1-11. This is also the pattern of our lives in our present everyday life. Therefore, any of our labors and toils in the Lord occur within these gospel patterns, and therefore, our present endeavors of God – to our families, to our missional groups, to our church, to our campuses, to our workplaces, to the world – are of eternal significance.

Today, let’s close in praying accordingly, dedicating all the items on today’s agenda – from the smallest task to the most challenging problem. All our toils and all our labors are worship to the Lord, part of his redemptive work in and through our lives.