Scripture Reading: I Corinthians 16:13,14
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (I Corinthians 16:13,14)
These are some of Paul’s concluding words in his first epistle to the Corinthians. He is giving pastoral advice that we need to hear. We live in a world that is filled with temptations, difficulties and pain. We are in a huge spiritual battle that wages within us — “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want” (Galatians 5:17). We often fail to recognize the power of the flesh. We get careless and let our guard down.
We also fail to understand the schemes of the evil one — “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of their dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Our three great enemies — the world, the flesh, and the devil — attack us subtly and powerfully. It is so easy to fall into sinful thoughts and practices.
Thus we are given these words — “Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” We must stand firm in our faith and fight the good fight.
Lord, grant me grace to be on guard and to stand firm in the faith. You are my only hope.
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