Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong. Everything you do should be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16.13,14
Do you like compact lists that help you to be a better person? That is what Paul has given us here. This makes up part of Paul’s final words in this letter to the Corinthians. You have heard it said that we save the best for last. The four points that he shares with us are not wimpy. Quite the contrary. Stay alert. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3.10 that the day of the Lord will come as a thief. If you have ever had the misfortune to be robbed, you know the terrible feeling with which it leaves you. If we do not keep watch, we could be lost due to our lack of vigilance. Stand firm in the faith. Paul tells us 1 Corinthians 15.2 that we are being saved if we hold firmly to the message that he preached. Otherwise, my faith is vain. It is of no value. How do I know that message today? By reading the Bible. Show courage. It is said that courage is not the absence of fear. Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1.7 that God does not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3.6 not to give way to fear. Fear is so detrimental to our lives. It can hold us back and keep us from being all that God wants us to be. Be strong. When I think of strength, I think of an anchor. We need to be firmly grounded in our faith and in our hope. Do everything in love. Decision. Love is my decision to obey let come what may. As a follower of Christ, one who loves Jesus, I must not be a wimp. I must be a warrior. A love warrior wanting to take the world for the One who made redemption possible. Are you following Paul’s advice in your life?