“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” (I Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV)
Sometimes a particular passage in Scripture just jumps out at you. It may be because it speaks directly to something you are experiencing, or convicts you of something of which, up to that moment, you were unaware. Or perhaps its practical clarity just grabs you. I think it was the latter when I was reading I Corinthians 16 yesterday morning.
Paul is wrapping up his first letter to the Corinthian church, writing about his plans and various friends, when he writes these two sentences—five straightforward, practical commands. I am guessing they just came to his mind and he wanted to include them, and being in a time before electronic writing, he couldn’t just go back and insert them in an earlier part of his letter. I am glad he did, because these are important commands, not only for his readers at the time, but for us as well.
Be on your guard. Remember, we are in a spiritual battle with an enemy who seeks to destroy us (I Peter 5:8). Life may seem like, well, life, nothing out of the ordinary, but we live on a spiritual battlefield and we need to be constantly on guard for enemy attacks. But we need not be afraid. We can stand firm in our faith because if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) We can be courageous because nothing can separate us from the Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) We can be strong because we have powerful weapons at our disposal. (Ephesians 6:10-17) And we must fight these battles in love because, without it, we fight for nothing. (I Corinthians 13:1-3)
Today, consider what battles you are facing and how you will fight them. Paul has given you some very practical commands to implement that will insure success on the battlefield.
© Jim Musser 2013