There is total clarity around “always.” It leaves zero room for doubt regarding what it means. Always means always. Nothing less. Consider this scripture:
“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 15:58 NIV
Let’s see what the Lord might want to say to us regarding this passage, keeping in mind the operative command: “always.”
ALWAYS STAND FIRM
Dear child, share what I want ministry leaders and pastors to do, every day, for those who are leading my flock. They must set the example for what I want all Christ-followers to do. Standing firm requires my power, presence, and direction. Less of you. More of me.
Yes, Lord. May we decrease, and you increase.
Friends, as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are encouraged by Scripture to stand firm in our faith. In Ephesians 6:13, Paul writes, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” This is a call for preparedness. It is not just a physical armor but an armor of righteousness and truth that guards our hearts against the deceitfulness of sin and helps us to stand firm in our service to Christ.
Dear children, you can’t stand firm on yesterday’s success. Every day is new and fresh, and requires your renewal. Come to me every morning, before you start your day, and be filled with me. Yesterday’s bread is yesterday’s bread. The manna I have for you is fresh today, now. Come eat with me. I will feed you your daily bread.
Yes, Lord. In 2 Thessalonians 2:15, we find another reminder, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” Holding fast to the teachings of Christ is crucial. It is through His Word that we find strength and guidance to stand firm in any situation. We have a daily reprieve from slipping into selfish, self-centered behavior. The renewal of our mind is a daily endeavor.
ALWAYS BE IMMOVABLE
Dear children, do not be distracted by all the bright, shinny objects of this world. There are many distractions to take your mind off of me, and our relationship. I want your attention in every moment of every day. Don’t tell me that is impossible. Try it and you will see. You can do it if you set your mind and heart on doing so. I am worth it. I am all you will have on your death bed, and you will not take anything of this world with you. Truly, I am the only possession you need, and I will meet all your needs. I do now, whether you know it or not.
Friends, being immovable means that we do not allow the circumstances or trials of this life to sway us from our mission and purpose in Christ. In Psalm 16:8, David proclaimed, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Our focus should always be on the Lord, as He is the source of our strength. As we go throughout each day, as we notice our mind has wandered from Christ, we need to bring our focus back on Him, our Lord, Savior, Master, and Best Friend: Jesus Christ. Here is my emphasis, added: “I keep my eyes ALWAYS on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Dear children, I am. No other can say that. I ALWAYS was. I will ALWAYS be. Your destiny is with me, in Heaven. Keep your focus on me and you will never be disappointed. Whatever you go through in your human existence, good or bad, is nothing in comparison to the great joy you will having in knowing me, or the great pain for those who do not remain in eternity with me. Be immovable in your relationship with me.
Friends, in Colossians 1:23 Paul exhorts us to “continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” The very rocks cry out: There is God! He is Eternal. A modern-day trip to Israel clearly shows that. As your tour guide points to many historic moments in the history of God’s chosen people, all you see are a few rocks. There are old rocks. Very old rocks. Ancient rocks. Nothing is eternal except Christ. Over time, rocks can’t even stay on top of one another. There is nothing left except dust. Our time on earth is short. The kingdom of God is near. Be immovable in Christ. Trust in Christ, not in dust.
ALWAYS BE FULLY COMMITTED
Dear children, I want your full heart, your full mind, your full soul. Hold nothing back. You do not need a reserve for later. Each and every day, start your day with me. ALWAYS give me your all. I will ALWAYS give you all you need to honor and serve me, afresh and anew, each and every day.
Friends, full commitment to the work of the Lord entails wholehearted devotion. Colossians 3:23-24 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” The triune God of the universe of all seen and unseen writes our paychecks. Our loyalty needs to have a singular focus: Christ Jesus, Father God, and Holy Spirit. One God. Three distinct persons. A divine mystery we will understand in Heaven. Let us ALWAYS serve God with all that we have, and hold nothing in reserve.
Dear children, I am with you ALWAYS. I love you. I deeply care about you. I will never leave you or forsake you. You can depend on me. I am trust-worthy. Reliable. This world and all in it will let you down, will fail you, but I will never do so. I am here for you. Keep your focus on me.
Friends, in the book of Matthew, Jesus taught about the greatest commandment in Matthew 22:37-38, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” Loving God in this way compels us to be fully committed to His work. We are all called to be ministers of the Gospel of Christ. No one is exempt. Some have been given greater responsibilities than others, and those who have must work that much harder to stay connected to their Master. The danger for everyone is this: Be careful to be serving Christ, and not self-serving, or people-serving. If we are serving Christ, and Christ alone, people will get their needs met by Christ, through us. We will get our needs met, by Christ, through Christ. We must serve Christ alone. But we can not serve others if we are not closely aligned with our Master, Jesus Christ. We must listen to Him, and do his bidding, with his Holy Spirit, with His Love, and in His will. Not ours.
ALWAYS TRUST CHRIST’S MISSION
Dear children, you are my ambassadors on earth, to reach those who do not know me, and those that do, but need to grow closer to me. You are my chosen plan to spread my Holy Spirit throughout the earth. Satan and his demons are continually attacking my flock. You must ALWAYS stand guard against all the many schemes of your enemy and mine, the evil one and his followers. Beware, there are many that have lost connection with me, and are running their own lives, with their own agenda, and using my name to do so. Discern all spirits. Stand guard over your heart and over those I have given you to shepherd.
Friends, trusting in the investment we make in serving the Lord is essential. In Galatians 6:9, Paul encourages us not to grow weary, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Our labor is not in vain. This is an endurance test. Our life is one long marathon, with the finish line in Heaven. Let us cross that line with great joy in knowing that we have been faithful to the call that is above all callings, the high calling to serve Christ our Master.
Dear children, I will reward all who diligently seek me. Seek me with all your heart, mind, and strength. Perservere. Do not get discouraged. For I am with you to the very end of your time on earth. Be strong. Be courageous. Your work on earth will be rewarded in heaven. Trust that this is true, for it is, and you will receive from me more joy, peace, and love than you could every hope or imagine. Serving me is worth any, and all, sacrifices you make in your earthly existence.
Friends, Hebrews 6:10 assures us, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” This indicates that our service is an investment with eternal rewards. And, in my experience, tremendous earthly rewards as well, like greater peace, joy, and love, right here, right now. So, let us ALWAYS run this marathon for the prize that is the high calling of Christ Jesus our Lord!
In conclusion, as ministers and followers of Jesus Christ, let us always stand firm, always be immovable, always fully committed, and always trust in the investment we make in serving Him, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. Through this, we glorify Christ and build His kingdom. Amen.
Your aspiring servant, hopefully always …
22 June 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent conversation with God blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, reach out at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily Conversations with Christ.
P.S.S. All scripture quoted is from the NIV version of the Bible. Not because it is the best; just because it is what I have standardized on.