1 Corinthians 16:13–14 (NKJV)
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
In closing out the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives a warning and great encouragement all at the same time. I think every once in a while we need encouragement like this.
Watch… This world is a terrible place sometimes. We have enemies all over the place. We have a constant bombardment of temptations of every possible kind around every corner. And of course, we have the true enemy orchestrating all of the attacks. As Paul warns us, we have to be continually watching out for this… or as the NIV puts it, on guard.
Stand fast in faith… As we walk through this world, we must do so with unwavering faith. Hopefully, we have all come to a place of dependence upon the Lord and we must stay right there. We must keep our eyes firmly planted on our Lord for His leadership and guidance. Galatians 5:1 says… Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage... As we stand fast in the Lord, He will provide the stability we need to avoid backsliding into previous sin.
Be brave, be strong… The idea here is that our steadfastness should lead us to battle without flinching. Standing up with strength inside a storm. Philippians 4:13 reminds us of course, that we can do anything in Christ. We can be brave, we can be strong because it is His strength that we are fighting with.
With love… We must make sure that everything we do, we do in love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 gives us a beautiful reminds us that without love, we are just clanging symbols. Everything we do should be with the goal of spreading the Lord’s undying love throughout a world desperate for it.
We can stand fast in our faith, we can be brave, we can be strong, we can love… because of Him who gives us all of these things.
Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.