Warmth in Giving

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-28.

When the first crop of the season ripens, it’s an exciting day for a farmer. The farmer has diligently prepared the fields, sown the seeds, and tended the seedlings. If the firstfruits are good, then the farmer can have confidence that the rest of the harvest will be good as well.

When He rose from the dead, Jesus became the firstfruits of a much greater harvest. His body had been sown like a seed, but it was then raised new, glorious, and indestructible. What is true of the firstfruits will be true of all who trust in the name of Jesus: One day, all the dead in Christ will be raised to new life in Him.

The Corinthian Christians believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead, but they weren’t so sure about their own future resurrection. So, Paul reminds them that there are plenty of witnesses who saw Jesus with their own eyes (see vv. 3-8)—and they can therefore find confidence in the promise of their own resurrection (see vv. 20-23).

Brothers and sisters, if you know Jesus, you will be raised to new and glorious life, just like our Lord. Because of this hope, we can live without crippling fear of death and instead walk in freedom because we know death is not the end. And because we know death is not the end, we know our love in this life is not in vain—it is preparing us for our future home in heaven. Indeed, love will be the culture of Christ’s heavenly city. In the meantime, our works of love in this life serve to bless others and, Lord willing, usher them into Christ’s Kingdom.

With the promise of our own resurrection, we can see that today is the beginning of the life for which we have always longed. Because we know this life is the dress rehearsal for the one to come, we can let love and joy reign in our hearts, for with each passing day, we are one day closer to glory with Christ.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice that has bought me a place with You in heaven for eternity. May I live confidently in this life because I know my hope is sure. In this freedom, may I love others well. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“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 15:58).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Healthy Living in a Sick World, Part 20: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, Biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing