Today in God’s Word
2 Samuel 6; 1 Corinthians 16; Ezekiel 14; Psalm 55
Today we see that Paul makes a couple of stern statements in the close of his first letter to the Corinthians. First he gives a command in 1 Cor 16:13 that we be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, and let all that we do be done in love. This is curious because our culture would not associate strength and firmness and manliness with acting loving. Yet Paul puts these together and expects it to be so. Perhaps he is adding love as a clarification that we need to be cautious not to lack love while be are busy in our manliness…or maybe he means that acting in love is the sign of our manliness.
I don’t have an answer other than to observe another strong statement he makes a few verses later in 1 Cor 16:22. Here he says that someone who does not have a love for the Lord is to be accursed. Paul is serious about love. He seems to say that if we lack love for Jesus, then we are accursed. So like he has been saying about practicing spiritual gifts and now about manliness, if we do do do, but we do not love… we are nothing.
May we have a deep love for Christ and for others and may we indeed be watchful for the schemes of the enemy and our own deceptive hearts. May we stand firm in our faith, trusting the Lord regardless of our circumstances, knowing that he bears us up and works all things for our good. May we act like men, servant leaders who sacrifice for others and who give up their rights and who love Jesus. May we be strong by relying on the strength of the Lord and by surrendering only to the Lord and by abiding in Christ. May we love our God and the church and our neighbor.
Soli Deo Gloria!