I am a man who will stand firm in the faith and be courageous.

"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." - 1st Corinthans 16:13-14

Many times can read a verse and we see it in a new light than we have every seen it before. I know I must have read this verse many times but this verse really stands out now for me. Paul has almost completed his letter to the Corinthian church and is discussing future plans and mentioning last greetings and side comments to other people in the area. Amongst this closing Paul stops says these two verses and then continues in closing this letter. I feel if we stop and meditate and unpack these verses we will see a great concise short list of how we need to live.

1.) "Be on the alert" - Literally means to keep watch and be awake. The best two verses that use the same Greek word are 1st Peter 5:8 and Matthew 24:42, look these verse up to see the fuller meaning. Are you alert or are you distracted by the stuff of this world?

2.) "Stand firm in the faith" - Do not be immature infants in the faith. Ephesians 4:14-16 says it this way, "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love." Are you standing firm in your faith or look closer to an infant?

3.) "Act like men" - This actually is only one Greek word, ἀνδρίζεσθε: Andrizomai. Its definition is simple, be courageous, act like men. I find this word very interesting about how its a command, an action and a way of life, all wrapped up in one word. While being a simple command, I know I struggle with it. How easy is it to be another timid Christian who is literally hiding their light from the world. Paul is commanding us to act like men. Period. Are you ever courageous?

4.) "Be Strong" - This is not about our own strength. Ephesians 3:16 says it clearly, "He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man." Same Greek word, much fuller meaning. How can you rely on God's strength and be strong?

5.) "Let all that you do be done in love." - We are to love one another. As Jesus loved us, by our love everyone will know that we are Jesus' disciples (Jn 13:34-35). How often does our selfishness come before love? How really do we act different from the world? Can anyone really tell you are one of Jesus' disciples?

Pray that God continues the work He started in us, so that we can act like the godly man He made you to be, standing firm in our faith and be courageous.

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