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To Be Continued… – Sunday Thought for the Day by Mychal Massie

The following was written for September 6, 2015, “Our Daily Bread” by Dave McCasland.


Growing up in the 1950s, I often attended the Saturday matinee at a local movie theater. Along with cartoons and a feature film, there was an adventure serial that always ended with the hero or heroine facing an impossible situation. There seemed to be no way out, but each episode concluded with the words “To Be Continued . . . ”

The apostle Paul was no stranger to life-threatening situations. He was imprisoned, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked as he sought to take the good news of Jesus Christ to people. He knew that someday he would die, but he never considered that to be the end of the story. Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth, “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’ ” (1 Cor. 15:54). The passion of Paul’s life was telling others that Jesus our Savior gave His life on the cross so that through faith in Him we can receive forgiveness for all our sins and have eternal life.

We are not like the movie hero who always escapes certain death. The day will come when our earthly lives will end either by death or Christ’s return. But by God’s grace and mercy, the story of your life and mine is “to be continued.”

Father, we praise You for Your gift of eternal life and say with Paul, “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

In life and death, Christ is our hope.

INSIGHT:
Paul wrote chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians in response to those in the church at Corinth who denied that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. This chapter is divided into two sections. In verses 1-34, Paul discusses the reasons to believe that Jesus did in fact walk out of His tomb. In verses 35-57, Paul talks about the need for and the nature of our resurrected bodies. These verses lead to Paul’s concluding point in verse 58. While waiting for our resurrection, “give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” J.R. Hudberg

READ: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.