But thanks be to God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:

Romans 1:18-32 gives to us an amazingly comprehensive account of the downward spiral of mankind that is both startling and sobering in its description. Here is some of what it says about the downward spiral of mankind: “Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused …. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen (Romans 1:21, 25). Take the time to read today’s Scripture again, noting the contrast between the two passages and how fully opposite they are from each other.

One of the contrasts between the two passages is in regard to gratitude. The people in the 1 Corinthian passage are ones who give thanks to God, while the people in the Romans passage are ones who refuse to give thanks to God. Where a person is in regard to being thankful to God is a great way to measure their overall response to God. The person who will not respond to God with a heart of gratitude will be someone who is not responsive to God on any level. The ungrateful person is wrapped up in themselves. They are consumed with the here and now and how they can extract from the world the best possible return for their labors. They think they are getting the world to serve them when in reality they are serving it and have become worshipers of created things.

Those who give themselves unreservedly to working for the things of the world are worshipers of the world, while those who “work enthusiastically for the Lord,” are worshipers of God. Worshipers of God can work for God and want to work for God because they have been redeemed to do so. Living for self, the world, and the pursuit of the things of the world to satisfy self is the pathway of sin and death. The central thing worshipers of God give thanks for, is the victory he gives over the (pathway) of sin and death through Jesus Christ. Surely we are grateful for our redemption, but we can grow weary of going God’s way in the midst of a world that is going the other way. A gratitude check can make all the difference.

Consider afresh the victory that is ours through our Lord Jesus Christ and let God fill your heart with gratitude. Then you will be able to courageously heed these words from our passage: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.” Do you see the wonderful connection between endurance and gratitude? Let the connection become full and the final words of our passage will become true in your life: “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:

Lord, thank you, thank you, thank you. I am redeemed from a futile way of life and I am your worshiper. I want to grow more and more into one who can “work enthusiastically for the Lord.” Help me “be strong and immovable” in living fully for you and the advancement of your kingdom here on earth. Thanks for the gift of endurance. Amen!