Happy Wednesday! Today in 1 Corinthians chapter 16 we will read two small verses that have great power. Have a wonderful day and a great Thanksgiving.
“13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[c] Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
Paul continued his instructions to the Corinthian church. Paul not only instructed to use spiritual gifts, love and encourage one another, and support the church financial but the key verses in his instructions were,
“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.“
While reading verses 13 & 14, I wanted to explore the text to see the meaning of these phrases/words in the English dictionary or thesaurus.
Be on guard – phrase. If you are on your guard or on guard, you are being very careful because you think a situation might become difficult or dangerous.
Stand firm – Definition of stand firm. : to refuse to change a decision, position, etc.
Be courageous – courageous. If you are a courageous person, you face danger or stand up against the odds without flinching.
Be strong – able to withstand great force or pressure. Secure. Well built.
Sisters and brothers as you share the faith, or listen to others, or help build up the church remember to be on guard. There will always be someone willing to distract you from your God ordained purpose, mislead you because they are lost, or manipulate you to do things simply because you say you are a Christian. Be on guard, use discernment and pray about everything.
When you stand firm, stand firm in what God’s word says. Listen for the truth not someone’s version of the truth. Read the word for yourself and keep standing firm on it. Don’t be swayed to the left or the right. Keep your eyes focused on God.
Be courageous enough to step out on faith. Be as bold as Peter in Matthew 14:27-29, “27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.” (NIV) We all know, shortly after Peter took his eyes off Jesus because he was afraid. Sisters and brothers, don’t take your eyes of Jesus – be courageous.
Finally, be strong sisters and brothers. While the winds and the waves batter our boats, the winds howl like the terror of a wolf and the enemy’s prowl and heavy breathing is upon us remember God is the one who is in control over everything. God has been given authority over in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Trust His strength, be strong because you are secure in Him. Allow God to continue to build you up.
Sisters and brothers as you prepare for time with others this week remember to love – do everything in love and while you love, be on guard, stand firm, be courageous and be strong. God loves you!
Father God, thank you for your love toward us. Thank you for showing us your love in many different ways. Lord, there is no greater love than the love that you provide. Lord, when we don’t receive love as we expect to receive it, help us to trust your love for us. Help us to accept and believe that your love is enough. Lord, forgive us for the times when we did not recognize your love. Lord, forgive us for the times when we failed to love others as you have called us to love. Lord, will you please cover those who are lonely, who are looking for love and those who are grieving the love of someone else. Lord, fill their hearts with an abundance of your love and acceptance. Lord, comfort them beyond measure and help them to trust your love without doubt. Lord, help us to be on guard in a healthy way – your way. Lord, help us to stand firm in our faith even when family, friends, strangers or our flesh desires for us to go another way. Lord, help us to be courageous and strong in you. Build us up in your mighty word. Be with us all and remind us of the true meaning of giving thanks. Lord, thank you for giving your life for us. In Jesus name, amen!
Keep praying! Keep Trusting! Keep believing!
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