Summary: Christian Living
Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Title: Three Ways to Be Motivated
Focus: Christian Living
Introduction: The definition of “be” points to three basic factors: (1) identity, (2) quality and (3) condition of a person or thing. We push the “be” or “don’t be” all the time. For example, be happy, be grateful, be kind, be loving, etc. don’t be grumpy, don’t be selfish, etc. If the goal of the Christian is to be like Christ, then we have some work to do. (verse)
On 1 Corinthians: Paul planted a church in Corinth (city was swimming with idols and immorality). Church was having some issues (divisions, lawsuits, sexual sins, bad worship, and immaturity). Paul wrote to confront, correct, and instruct the Christian community on how to live. He declared “Don’t be like the world, be like the word (Jesus)!”
On Corinthians 15: In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul explained how if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead then Paul is a liar and faith is a waste of time. However, Paul screams Christ has risen from the dead (Apostle = eye witness), the world will end, and those that believed in Jesus through faith are living a life that is worth it because we will live forever with Christ! So while you here on earth waiting for Christ’s return we must be motivated to do three things…
#1: Be Strong (“Steadfast” - 1 Corinthians 15:58a)
• Explanation: Steadfast means to be firmly fixed in place or determined.
o Paul to Colossians - “You must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly (Be Steadfast!) in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.” Colossians 1:23
• Illustration: The Colossians had a “settled faith”—established (“grounded” like a building on a strong foundation) and firm. Paul did not doubt that they would continue to be strong because they were fixed in place in being like Christ!
• Application: So what does it look like to be steadfast in everyday life?
• Use Scripture – Don’t know it? Get to know it! READ!
o Live Biblical Truth: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:15 NASB).
• Read it then live it. Don’t make it difficult than it needs to be or overcomplicate. Minds and hearts must be shaped and molded by living out scripture in an everyday context.
• “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.” John 8:31
• “May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2
#2: Be Steady (“Immovable” – 1 Corinthians 15:58b)
• Explanation: Immovable is a lot like being steadfast however immovable means one is not incapable of being sidetracked (emotionally or physically) from their purpose! This has huge implications as Christians!
o Paul’s desire or purpose for the people was to be unmoved by the false teachers of the day (Ephesians 4:14 – Don’t be a wave, be a wall!).
• Illustration: A hen will sit immovable through the most violent storm with her chicks gathered safely beneath her, that they might be protected from the elements.
o “I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” Luke 13:24
• Application: What does it look like to be immoveable/standing strong in our everyday life? How can we hold fast to the teachings of Jesus when it seems like everyone is going their own way?
o Be in Constant Prayer: Prayer protects us from spiritual anorexia. It fills us, fuels us, and finds us. It protects us in the hardships of life! 12 times in scripture Jesus goes to prayer in times of conflict and contemplation!
o Be Happy (“rejoice!”): An attitude of joy comes from those of strong faith. Remember we are full of faith, hope and love! We trust in one that is always in control!
• “Take heart (be happy), because I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” John 16:33
• Don’t make it more difficult or overcomplicate. Show people the little differences in your life!
o Be “filled” (Ephesians 5:18) and “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 4:30) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing … singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
#3: Be Successful (“Abounding” – 1 Corinthians 15:58c)
• Explanation: Paul was quick to point out that when the Christians were steadfast and immoveable “success” was sure to follow. This didn’t always come monetarily but in the abounding love and grace of Jesus Christ.