Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)
What could Paul say? What could he write to a church that was struggling with division and immorality? How could he encourage the leaders to lead and the church to follow? He did it by writing a letter to be read to the church. At the end of this letter, he gave them a final admonition. Paul, who used so many military and athletic metaphors, writes like a commander preparing his troops, like a coach inspiring his team at halftime. He writes, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” We would do well to listen to these words today. We need to be on our guard against those things around us that would rot our souls. We dare not be asleep on the watch. Watching, when trouble and temptation come our way, we need to stand firm. It is not the time to run, to cry over past sins; rather, it is time to hold our ground. In repentance and rededication, we dig in and fight the fight for our faith. And this takes courage. Doubting is fine, but not when the battle is upon you. Look to God, shout out a prayer and move ahead with His strength and courage. God is here; He is with you; in Him, you will be strong. So today, may God give you all you need to be all you can in Him. Be on your guard, stand firm, have courage and be strong.
Dear Father, I come in the wonderful name of Jesus and ask for Your strength and courage. I ask that You would help me as I stand guard and stand firm in the faith. Help me so that I can do all that You have called me to do. In Jesus’ name.
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