Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-24

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

If I had to choose a passage of Scripture that described the responsibilities of a Christian man, this would be it. Let’s break down today’s passage.

Be on your guard. Think of the guards at Buckingham Palace. They are focused and standing at attention. Nothing seems to distract them. Certainly, we don’t need to stand stiff and expressionless at the door of our homes, but we do need the same undistracted focus to protect what’s inside.

We never know where temptation and sin will come from, nor when they will hit us. However, we can learn from our failures and mistakes. We can figure out that being tired makes us vulnerable to impatience. We know that some media are designed to arouse improper sexual temptations. We can be alert to what we know. We don’t need to be surprised by everything.

Stand firm in the faith. Someone has said that if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything. We have to know what we believe and never budge from it. Many people attack our faith in many ways. We must stand firm in believing in the creation, the great flood, and the other miracles of the Bible. We must retain confidence in the God who cannot lie. We must believe in the accuracy of the Bible. We must trust in Jesus Christ, even when others waver.

Be men of courage. Obedience is not for sissies. We must take the initiative to protect and provide for others. We must approach life with courage and a sense of responsibility.

Be strong. Following Jesus will take you up and down some steep inclines. Spiritual, emotional, and physical strength is essential for the spiritual journey. Our strength comes from reliance upon God. We become strong by reading and thinking deeply about the message from God. We become strong by praying and by noticing God’s answers to our prayers. We become strong from the support and encouragement of other believers. With strength, we can approach life with confidence. In addition, we are prepared to carry out the next command:

Do everything in love. We can find ways to live in a way that benefits others. We can be kind and patient. We can be the one to make the sacrifices. Remember love is patient and kind. It is not proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. It does not keep a record of wrongs. It always protects, trusts, and perseveres. Love never fails.

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