We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Jenny Jones.
“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. 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.”
1 Corinthians 15:56-58
A fear that has always been hard for me to understand is the fear of bees. My oldest son suffers from this, and, from what I have seen, so do many others. Despite, for the most part, being a pretty stoic 13-year-old, 7th grade boy, when a bee flies by he loses all ability to remain calm. In fact, when he was a toddler and still rode in a car seat, the only time he ever unbuckled himself from his car seat and began moving around the car, while in motion, was when a bee somehow got in.
I get it, they have stingers and it hurts when they sting, however, human beings are also 700,000 times larger than the average bee and only 5-7% of the human population is allergic to bees, so, statistically, the odds are in our favor when it comes to a run in with a bee. Yet even with these statistics so heavily stacked in our favor, wouldn’t it be cool if somehow scientists could engineer bees that don’t sting? That way none of us, even the people like my son, would have anything to fear, but we could still get the benefits of bees.
Why all this bee-talk? Paul tells us that death has a sting. What does that mean? Well, he goes on to say that the sting of death is sin. Meaning the only reason death has any power over us or anything else for that matter, is because of sin. Sin gives death its power. It is because of sin that we die. If sin would have never entered the picture, we would never experience death. But what does Paul say is the power of sin? It is the law. In other words, the only way we are even able to discern what sin is, is from the law of the Lord. So, our sin and the law are the two things that give death its power and sting.
Here’s the good news! Christ has come to deal with these two things that give death its power and sting. First, sin – Christ never sinned, but he paid for our sins. Second, God’s law – Christ obeyed this law perfectly. So, death has lost both its sting and power. Just like a bee without a sting would no longer be harmful, or something anyone needs to fear, so death without its sting is no longer our enemy.
We do not need to fear death. Through Jesus, we now have victory over death. Paul then tells us that because death is no longer our enemy, we need to continue to do our work for the Lord. This means that you need to be focused on the Lord as you do your activities throughout the day. If you are at the gym, at home, at work, at church, your FAITH RXD chapter gathering, or talking to your neighbors, the work you are doing is not a waste of time but a way that you can serve the Lord with the time we are given here on earth. So, next time you see a bee flying around, just remember that sting has no power over someone 700,000 times its’ size!
Read all of 1 Corinthians 15 this week and reflect on ways in which you can confidently serve that Lord in your community.
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