1 Corinthians 16: 13-14
“13 Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. 14 Your every action must be done with love.”
My eyes are drawn to Paul’s final exhortation located within this last chapter of 1 Corinthians instructing the Corinthians to be alert, to stand firm in the faith, to be brave, to be strong, and to do all your work in love.
I can appreciate Paul’s use of synonyms to emphasize one common theme – Spiritual Awareness for the Greater Kingdom!
Jesus Himself instructed early Christians and us today to be alert and “to watch.” For example, in Matthew 26:41, Jesus stated, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” In addition, we are reminded every day that the devil prowls around seeking someone to destroy. We must consciously put on the full armor of God daily!
Paul goes on to encourage the Corinthians to stand firm in the faith – to be brave and strong. We are reminded to stay close together as believers to strengthen and sharpen one another while remaining on guard as to not become surprised by the enemy. As discussed earlier, we are not promised a life free from attack, or pressure, or persecution – quite the contrary. Yet, we face these trials and battles with bravery as a soldier in the Lord’s army.
However, with significant emphasis I add, the Corinthian Christians were to do all these things in a manner of love being humble in all things. I am again pierced to the fact that Jesus is love, and we are to live and love like Jesus.
What a bitter taste we leave in someone’s mouth when we speak negativities concerning our fellow man (i.e., peer, friend, boss, family member, church member, stranger, etc.) all while proclaiming the loving gospel of the risen Savior Jesus Christ. What discord we create by allowing the flaming and untamed tongue to lead our conversations as compared to heeding the convictions of the Holy Spirit. What confusion we create for the unbelievers when we lead with hate, gossip, lies, and all things worldly.
I pray that we are reminded to lead with love as Christ is love all while staying focused, faithful, brave, and courageous in the battle.
How will your words and actions show the love of Christ today?