Friday, April 25, 2014

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in Love.

          In closing his first letter to the Corinthians Paul gives us a summary of how to live a successful life. We have already given our lives to Christ and received salvation; now it is a matter of living it.
          “Be on your guard,” he says, but what do we guard from. Proverbs tells us, “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).” Christ has made our hearts new and now we must protect it from being corrupted again. Our life flows from our heart, so guard it and protect it from evil.
          “Stand firm in the faith,” is his next statement. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not of ourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).” Our salvation comes by faith and all the blessings of God are received through faith. So stand firm in what you believe and don’t let doubt or unbelief move you.
          “Be men of courage.” We all strive to be courageous, but we must realize that courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is standing up in the face of fear and knowing that our God is bigger than whatever obstacle is in your way. If you weren't a little bit scared it wouldn't be courage.
          “Be strong.” This next statement seems so simple, but let’s look a little deeper, Where do we find our strength? “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10),” and the “Joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).” We also see that Paul rejoices in his weakness, because that is where God gives him strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). Our strength comes from God, so be strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10).

          “Do everything in Love.” This statement wraps it all up and ties everything together. Jesus told us to Love God and Love people. He said that sums up the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). God looks to the heart, so if all you do is out of Love, even if you mess up it’ll be ok, because God will see your motive. So above all else I stress to you: walk in Love. Love is the fulfillment of all things. Let the Love of God flow through you.

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