THE HOLY BIBLE – 13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ~ New Living Translation (NLT)
4 Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. ~ Psalm 30:4-5 ~New Living Translation (NLT)
THOUGHTS: Nearing the conclusion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he continued to speak to them as a father would to his children, especially in light of everything they were facing at the time as a church under persecution. In light of everything that we face in our world today, I was extremely encouraged by Paul’s blessing, because here’s what I got from the first two verses above. Paul admonished the church to:
Be on guard, or be alert – Don’t you feel some days like it may have been better if you had just stayed in bed? It is so obvious that Satan is out to tear us down at every possible opportunity. Paul, in telling the Corinthian church, is also telling us, to be strong in our relationship with the Lord, so that we will be armed with God’s love and His power and His strength, to face any and all circumstances that Satan may fire our way. Imagine leaving home with an armed guard by your side, and one who knows all things, sees all things, made all things and who happens to be the one who loved you enough to have given His very life for you. Wouldn’t that be an ultimate way to guard your way and keep you alert to the attacks of Satan that are just lurching around the corner?
Stand firm in the faith – Friends, it’s impossible to do this if you don’t have faith. Likewise, if you don’t maintain, and grow in your faith, do you really have something that you can trust when under pressure? I would encourage you to get connected to God in Bible Study and Prayer, and further strengthen your faith by getting with folk of like faith as often as you can. ‘Iron sharpens iron’ is a phrase used in the Bible. I would suggest to you today that not only do you need the strength and encouragement of other believers, but they need you also. As your faith is sharpened and strengthened, you become better equipped to not cave in to the things of this world – Satan’s tools that he has placed to trap you;
Be courageous – I believe that we must be willing to stand up for what we believe, and often this will involve a courageous spirit, especially to one who is generally timid in life;
Be strong – This is especially important, because folk are judging whose inside of your heart based on your actions, your attitude and your words. When we consider all that God has done, all that He is doing and all that He has prepared for our future in heaven, and then to imagine that He is the one controlling us, protecting us and guiding us, whom then shall we fear?
Do everything in love – It’s so easy to do loving things for those who show love towards us, but we know all too well how challenging our job is when folk are unkind to us. Perhaps we should take our eyes off others and stay focused on God, then perhaps we will more easily ‘do everything in love’ knowing that God will be pleased with us? Imagine the smile on His face when He recognizes that we have depended on Him and done amazing things for others, knowing that we are aiming to please Him, regardless of how others may react to our actions?
I realize that I have gone a bit long today, but friends would you take note of these two verses and my commentary, then read the two verses I included from Psalm. Don’t you see that we serve a most awesome God, and that joy will come in the morning, regardless of what the night has revealed? My earthly energies are geared towards honoring, worshipping, pleasing and adoring the God that I plan to spend eternity with. Where do you spend your energies each day? The above information gives you guidance on how God expects you to spend your day!
PRAYER: Father, You are awesome, and I thank You for conveying Your principals, Your character, Your will and Your encouragement to us through your Holy Word. May it be a light to our feet and a constant guide to our path each and every day, so that others may see and believe on You. I ask these things in the name of the One who gave it all for me, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!