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

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV

Our ultimate victory has come through Jesus Christ.  Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we have been set free from the curse of sin and death.  It was impossible to keep the law of God and the law was meant to reveal man’s need of a savior.  It was only Jesus who could perfectly keep the law and fulfill the law.  This is why Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.

Daily we must fix our hearts and minds upon Jesus Christ.  Daily we face challenges as we follow Christ.  It is through the challenges we face that the Lord produces within us the character and nature of who He is.

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But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him,so that God may be all in all.  1 Corinthians 15:20-28

It is through Jesus Christ that we indeed have victory (1 Corinthians 15:57).  This is the beauty of the cross.  What Satan thought would destroy the Son of God actually brought freedom and deliverance to all those who would put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  It is because of what Jesus has done that we are indeed free (John 8:36).

Death entered the human race because of the sin of Adam and Eve.  It is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that has overcome death and redeemed that which was lost by Adam.  God was not surprised by the fall of Adam and Eve.  The plan of salvation was put in place before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:19-21).  Because of Jesus Christ we are able to have our relationship restored with God the Father.

There is coming a day when Jesus shall return .  When Jesus returns He will return with the host of Heaven behind Him (Revelation 19:11-18).  He will establish His kingdom and bring all His enemies under His rule and authority (Revelation 20:1-6).  He shall return to rule the earth with a rod of iron.  We who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ will rule and reign with Him in His kingdom.

Once all enemies have been placed under the feet of Jesus Christ, He will turn all things over to His Father in Heaven.  For even Jesus the Son of God is subject to His Father in Heaven.  Our great hope is in what Jesus has done at Calvary.  Because of His death and resurrection we no longer fear death.  Death has been overcome and there is coming a day when death itself will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14-15).  Until that time may we live for Christ each day growing in our relationship with Him.  May we keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord in all circumstances.  He will always lead us to victory in all things.  He is continually producing within us His character and His nature (Gal 5:22-23)

 

For the message of the cross

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV

Those who are lost and perishing simply see the message of the cross as foolishness.  We live in a day and age where few believe in God and His existence.  Many have made themselves their own god.  During the apostle Paul’s day many worshiped idols.  But in our time the focus of people’s worship is simply themselves.

The technology of our day has made life easy and comfortable.  Many see no purpose in believing in God because they see no need for Him in their lives.  Because if they believe in God they are accountable for the lives they live and few today desire to be accountable for the choices and decisions they make on a daily basis.

But for those who believe in Jesus Christ the message of the cross is the power of God.  It is the message of the cross that sets us free because our sins have been nailed to the cross.  Our righteousness is found in Christ alone.  When our faith has been placed in Jesus Christ, His righteousness if applied to our lives.  May our eyes and hearts be fixed upon Jesus and prepare our hearts daily for His soon return.

The greatest of these is love

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  This is an incredible and power scripture and statement.  There is nothing that compares to the love of God.  It is God’s love that led Him to create humanity and it is God’s love that led him to put in place the plan of salvation because He knew that Adam and Eve would choose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

It was His love that led Him to come to this earth and it was His love that held Him to the cross.  As we grow in Him we come to know His love and it transforms our lives.  So many in the world today desire to know what true love is.  They seek after the emptiness of this world and the entire time they are placing themselves in greater bondage as they partake of the wickedness and deception of the enemy.

But in Christ we find true love.  In Christ we find who we truly are.  In Christ we find the destiny and plan that God has for our lives and it changes everything.  We learn to rest in His love for us.  We learn to let go of this world and its desires.  Every desire of the world is simply a road to destruction.  But as we set aside the things of sin and wickedness for the glory of God we come to find true love that is only found in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NKJV

What the world presents as love is not love at all.  What the world often speaks and presents as love is simply lust.  But when we examine God’s word we see that the greatest thing we have in this world is the love of God.  As we grow in our relationship with God, His love fills our hearts and lives.  We begin to see the world around us through the love of God.  It is the love that God has for us that led Jesus to the cross.  It is God’s love that held Jesus to the cross.  In everything that Jesus did He did it because of the love He has for us.  May we be filled each day with God’s love and impact the world around us with the love of God.  We know that the love of God suffers long, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked.  God’s love is amazing and as we come to know Him we simply come to know and understand the depths of His love for us.  May we draw near and simply seek His face with our whole heart.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 AMP

If the love of God is absent from our lives then we have having.  The apostle Paul speaks of four things in these verses; speaking in other tongues, the gift of prophecy, faith to move mountains, and giving all our possessions to feed the poor.  If we are without love none of it means anything.  At the end of chapter thirteen the apostle Paul states that these three remain; faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  If we are truly a disciple of Jesus Christ then we must be filled with the love of God.  If we are truly following Christ then everything we do must be done in love.  It is impossible to walk closely with Christ and not be filled with the love of God.  Those who fail to have the love of God working in their lives are those who fail to follow Christ correctly.

There are some who allow pride in their spiritual growth to blind them and truly believe that the gifts they have been given are because of themselves.  All that we have is simply because of who God is.  We are simply saved by grace and we are equipped by God’s grace.  God distributes the gifts of the Spirit according to His sovereign will.  We have been chosen by the Lord and it is He who empowers and equips us.  If we are truly walking in love then we are also walking in humility.  Humility will guard our hearts and will enable us to become Christ like in all things.  Our eyes will not be focused upon ourselves, but will be focused upon the Lord alone.

 

The things God has prepared for those who love him

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—

1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

The things that the Lord has prepared for us on this earth and in His kingdom are far greater than we can ever imagine.  Jesus simply calls people to trust and follow Him.  He told us for anyone to follow Him they must deny themselves and pick up their cross.  For some throughout the centuries this has meant laying down their physical lives for the gospel.

But no matter the cost it will never compare with all that the Lord will pour out unto our lives in eternity.  We cannot fathom in our limited human understanding the glorious riches that await us in God’s kingdom.  From examining the death of Jesus on the cross it is evident that what He has prepared for us is far greater than anything we can imagine.

Each day upon this earth we will have challenges and trials along the way.  But God has a divine design for everything we will face during this life.  He is continually shaping and molding us into the image of who He is.  When we are born on this earth we are born into sin, but it is through Christ that we are set free.  The Lord is continually restoring our lives and it simply takes place as we trust and follow Him.

But have not love, I am nothing

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:2

No matter what spiritual gift we have been gifted and anointed by the Holy Spirit, if we have not love we are nothing.  Everything we do must be driven by the love of God.  When we walk in the love of Christ we will walk with integrity and humility.  There are many today who claim titles for God’s kingdom when in fact they are nothing.

Many in the charisma masquerade as messengers of the Lord, when in fact they are tools of the enemy to infiltrate the camp of God and cause division, chaos, and discord.  But in this hour we must draw near with confidence to the Lord and become serious students of God’s word.  The more time we spend in the Lord’s presence the more we become sensitive to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The more time we spend in God’s presence the more we are transformed and the more we grow in God’s love and are filled with God’s love.

The more we are transformed into the character and nature of Christ the more we see things through the eyes of Jesus.  When Jesus walked this earth He saw every person as a lost sheep without a shepherd.  Even the very Pharisees who cried for Him to be crucified He was filled with love for them.  As He hung from the cross beaten and bruised beyond recognition He cried out Father forgive them for they know not what they do.

We live in a world filled with broken people.  Even the terrorist today who desire to destroy all people upon the earth are simply lost sheep without a shepherd.  Let us do all things in love and walk in love.  For when we walk in God’s love, grace, and mercy, we shall see the glory of God manifest in our day.  It will drive us to deeper places of prayer and it will drive us to sow the gospel where ever we go.  Without love we are truly nothing.

Or do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

19 Or do you not know that your body is a [a]temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from [b]God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB

Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  He lives within us when we come to Jesus Christ and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  We are called to be living sacrifices unto the Lord.  Where ever we go and what ever we do we take the Lord with us.  Our lives should be used to glorify the name of Jesus in all things.

Realizing and coming to understand that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit will change the way we live our lives and will impact the things we allow ourselves to get involved in.  We live in a day and culture in which sexual immorality is glorified.  In every form of entertainment and media sexual immorality is placed on a pedestal and many fail to understand the bondage they are placing themselves on a daily basis.

As born again believers and followers of Jesus Christ our lives should reflect the character of Christ.  Sex is a beautiful and wonderful thing and should only take place in the context of marriage between a man and woman.  When God designed marriage He designed it between a man and woman and we see thing in the first two people He created in Adam and Eve.

Today this has been distorted by the culture and world we live in.  Any one who would proclaim God’s design for marriage and sex is labeled as a bigot and hate monger by those in the world to simply silence them.  But we need to understand that when we give our lives to Jesus that our bodies no longer belong to us.  Everything we are belongs to the Lord and is to be used for His glory.  If we currently find ourselves involved in things that we should not be we need to ask the Lord for forgiveness and turn from those things immediately.  To play games with sin is a very dangerous and destructive activity.  Everything we do carries with it consequences.  We will reap what we sow.  If we sow to God’s kingdom we shall reap the benefits of God’s kingdom.  But if we sow to the sinful nature we will reap destruction.  Our King is coming soon.  May we daily prepare our hearts for His return and turn from the wickedness of our day.

1 Corinthians 13:6-7: It does not rejoice at injustice

It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].  1 Corinthians 13;6-7

The love of God is an incredible thing and there is nothing in this world that compares to it.  Jesus came to this earth and personified what the love of God physically looks like.  Jesus never sinned and never did anything wrong.  He was rejected and He was hated for simply speaking to the truth.  He chose the cross, He chose the crown of thorns, He chose the pain and humiliation of Calvary simply because of His love for us.

It was His love that held Him to the cross.  It was His love that led Him to come to this earth and lay down His life for humanity.  All of us who are born again today and follow Jesus Christ simply do so because of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

Those who are lost in and broken in the world today are looking and seeking true love.  Many are seeking love in the darkness of the world and are simply being taken advantage of by Satan’s lies and deceptions.  God today is seeking a generation that is filled with His love and is simply a house of prayer.  He is seeking a people who simply desire to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  May we be the sons and daughters that God desires us to be.