1 Corinthians 16
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians comes to a close. This church, planted and so loved by Paul, is a spiritual mess. They receive quite a rebuke from Paul with many words of “do not”, “stop”, “quit.” In his final instructions, Paul offers up military-like commands to turn the spiritual battle back around.
WAKE UP! The first instruction is to be watchful. To be aware and alert and on guard. We can’t sleep through this life and hope for the best. We must be alert to the devil. He prowls around seeking to devour those of us caught off guard; those of us half asleep. He’s crafty and subtle and manipulative. He whispers just enough truth sprinkled with lies. If we are distracted or lazy, we fall for it without even realizing it. We must be watchful of temptations we are faced with. Fully awake and aware to see them for what they are. We need to be awake and aware of false teachers. Aware of losing our passion; of apathy and indifference. The Corinthians in their spiritual stupor had become victims to all of these things.
STAND FIRM in the faith. Know what we believe. Stand up for what we believe. Bold and upright, full of confidence. Hold on to the Word of God; the Gospel; the truth. It is sacred and far superior to human knowledge and “spirituality”. Do not be distracted or deceived.
ACT LIKE MEN. In other words, GROW UP! Don’t remain a spiritual infant. Continue to mature in faith and grow in courage.
Be STRENGTHENED. We need the strength that comes from the Lord; from the mighty Holy Spirit within us. This is a race…a spiritual war. This battle isn’t for wimps. We need to be strong.
In all, LOVE. Binding it all together must be love above all. Love in all things. Love in action, not merely feeling. It’s the secret sauce.
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