"Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."
(1 Corinthians 16:3-14)
I love when Paul gets to the end of his letters. Many times he has so much to say (but is short on space/time) so he throws in a ton of one-liners. Words of wisdom boiled down to their most salient points. Such is the case at the end of 1 Corinthians. In verses 13-14 he gives us 5 points of advice to ponder...
- Keep alert... More than "don't be sluggish/lazy," I think this calls the people to be aware... keep watch... expect things to happen around you (both good and bad!)... be ready!
- Stand firm in your faith... When challenges come (see above point), lean on the faith you've built in your life. Don't waver. Hold fast. Trust what God has developed in you!
- Be courageous... Be brave. Be willing to take risks, if needed (good risks, not careless ones). Be ready to take on BIG CHALLENGES without fear.
- Be strong... Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. This is a wonderful trait to put hand in hand with courageousness.
- Do all in love... Here's the key. It's easy to neglect love when you're focusing on strength & courage... but God (via Paul) calls us to something higher. Let love be the foundation on which EVERYTHING is built!