By the Grace of God
1 Corinthians 15:10a and 15:56-58 state, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain...The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
Each of us is a product of the grace of God. We would not be who we are if it were not for His grace alone. Because of the grace we have accepted as His child, we have the capability to find victory in overcoming sin and death. I thought it was interesting that the word in the original Greek for "thanks" used in the above verses was the same word used for the word "grace" in the above verses. The word is "charis" in Greek meaning "graciousness, (the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude), acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanks."
This definition alone is worth meditating on...
We could say from looking at the definition that "But by the GRACE of God I am what I am" could be translated "But by the GIFT, JOY, or PLEASURE of God I am what I am." Yes, it's a gift of God that He made us His. Yes, we are His joy and made for His good pleasure. Truly, amazing GRACE!!!!
We could also translate "and His GRACE toward me was not in vain" to "and His BENEFIT, FAVOUR, GIFT, PLEASURE toward me was not in vain." In other words, our life will not turn out useless because God chose us and finds pleasure in using us. He gives us the power we need to do what He has ordained for us to do from before we were even conceived.
In the phrase, "but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," let us consider the the word "thanks" as graciousness and its reflection in the life as suggested by the definition. This "thanks" should be reflected in our life by acts of gratitude because of the divine influence
Christ has had on our hearts. True thankfulness is demonstrated by the way we respond to His grace.
Finally... or "THEREFORE"...those of us who recognize this amazing GRACE and are truly THANKFUL for it should be "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." If we
understand that because of this grace our life indeed has purpose, then we will BE STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE in this grace. "Always abounding" means "to superabound, be in excess, to excel, to be more abundant, to exceed, to increase." In other words, we should always strive to excel in the work of the Lord.
May we continue to abound in the work of the Lord knowing that our service to the most high God is not in vain.We pray blessings upon you all as we prepare our students and our hearts for the grade level transition.