EVERY GOOD WESTERN MOVIE ends with a showdown. A showdown is when the hero of the story confronts his or her opponent to settle a serious conflict. In the movies, the hero always comes out victorious over his enemy and defeats evil.
We all have conflict in our lives. It’s called sin. Some people try to hide or run away from their troubles. Is that you? It’s time to stop running. It’s time for a showdown.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:2-28. What do verses 21 and 22 mean to you?
How did sin and death enter the world?
Who saves us from sin and death?
What can you learn about Jesus in these verses?
Why is Jesus’ resurrection so important to us? To you personally?
Have you asked Jesus to save you from the sin in your life? Explain.
What sins are you battling today?
What conflicts are in your life?
Paul wanted the Corinthian believers to understand how important Jesus’ resurrection was to their faith. Without it, he said their faith was worthless. Christianity is pointless if Jesus isn’t alive and at the right hand of God. It is His death and His resurrection that give us victory over sin.
Because Jesus was victorious over sin and death, you can be, too. You can have the freedom not to be restrained, bound, or trapped by your sin. Will you choose to follow Jesus who gave His life and rose again to give you life, or will you follow a world full of sin and death?
It’s up to you. It’s high noon. What is your choice?
Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order to know what has been freely given to us by God. —1 Corinthians 2:12
HERE’S SOMETHING YOU may not know: Murfreesboro, Ark., is home to the only diamond mine in the world that allows the public to search for and keep any gems it finds—for a small fee, of course. My family visited this tourist spot last summer during a week that boasted 100 degree temperatures. We paid our fees to enter the park and rented the necessary equipment: shovels, pails, and strainers. Our excitement grew with every display we stopped to read, complete with headlines recounting 7-carat wonders. Even the sight of multitudes of bedraggled fellow -“miners” digging in 37 acres of dirt did not deter us. We had visions of a great discovery. And since we had seven “miners” in our family and two diamonds on average were found each day, we figured our chances were good.
Our enthusiasm did not last long. Squatting is hard, and it was hot. After about an hour of digging, sifting, kicking, changing spots, and questioning why we ever thought this was a fun idea, we quit. It was a unanimous decision, quite possibly the only one of the entire vacation. We chalked it up as a learning experience.
In today’s passage, Paul informed his readers that spiritual wisdom doesn’t come by experience. It isn’t a matter of human intellect or sitting under the best teachers. Paul pointed out that the ability to discern what is of Christ and what is not comes from the Holy Spirit. And as a Christian, it’s been freely given to you by God.
Wisdom is key to a successful life. And God has given it to you in the form of the Holy Spirit. Trust Him!
Do you base your relationship with Christ on past spiritual experiences or how much you know about the Bible? Acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s guidance, not what you do in your own power, as your only means of becoming a “spiritual person.”
How does Scripture describe the condition and abilities of our own reasoning in today’s passage? In Romans 8:7? How are you refusing to submit yourself to God’s leadership?
Make a habit of praying each day that the Holy Spirit would grant you spiritual wisdom.
Read This Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. —1 Corinthians 15:24
I was never good at relay races. Whether I was -handing the baton to the guy ahead of me or reaching for it, the team lost time if I was involved in the hand-off. But that mental picture of a relay race hand-off is important. It’s a very real picture of one person giving another person complete control over something.
That’s what today’s key verse is talking about. When Jesus returns, He’ll claim His people and hand His conquest over to God the Father.
According to Paul, there are some basic laws of Christianity. In other words, it all adds up. Once Adam sinned, death entered the human race. Christ conquered death, so we can conquer death and spend eternity with God. In the end, Christ will gain control of everything. When that happens, all will be as it should be.
Since Christ was resurrected, we know that the grave is not the end. Death is not the final word. Because of Christ’s resurrection, Christians have hope. Christianity is more than a do-good religion; it is the answer to life and death. It has eternal implications.
When Jesus returns, there won’t be any miscues. He’ll win the war; He’ll hand the kingdom over to His Father. Rest assured that God has everything under control, even the future. Don’t live in fear of the end of the world. You have hope.
Today’s devotion stressed that God has everything under control, even the future. Does that give you a sense of confidence and peace? Why or why not?
Read Hebrews 9:26-28. What do these verses teach you about Jesus’ return? How do these verses show you that God has everything under control?
Heavenly Father, I pray that I will be ready for the resurrection, and I look forward to the day everything is placed at Your feet.