Taking a step away from M.T.D. for the moment. Just finished reading 1 Corinthians. I have encouraged the congregation to read this book as we are working through it as the epistle reading during the season of Epiphany.
Many wonderful verses to consider. Today: "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (ESV) Be watchful - keep your eyes out because the devil is prowling about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. It might just be you! You are in the wilderness. Wild animals are all about you. be watchful. That doesn't mean curl up in a ball and hide from the world. It means go about your day with the watchfulness of faith. Know that you will be assailed on all sides.
Stand firm in the faith - maybe I can't get away from M.T.D. Stand firm in the one faith - the faith in Jesus Christ as the Lord as Savior. God is not a god that you use according to your whims, whenever you have need of Him. He is in your life, active every single moment. He with you in good times and in bad times. He is the One who has rescued all of humanity from sin, death and the power of the devil. Standing in Jesus Christ, that the faith that we stand firm in, not the wishy washy faith of a pluralistic society, one that stands on absolutely nothing. Stand firm in the faith.
Act like men. All right, so this one hit me as I was thinking about our Men's Ministry. The goal is to help men to live like men - Christian men. We are always talking about and studying how we can be men of God not men of the world. It is a challenge each and every day. Women - the challenge is for you too! Act like women. Be women of God. Men and women are given their identity by God. They are given their direction for life. Act like it!
Be strong. Weakness is all around us. In fact, we are encouraged by society to be weak. How? By robbing men and women of their God-given identity. By giving in to the pluralism of society. By not standing firm in the faith. Be strong - not in yourself but in the strength of Christ who has overcome and lives and reigns to all eternity!
Let all that you do be done in love. Let the love of Christ guide you. That is the love that causes you to reach out to the hurting person at work, the frustrated student in the classroom, the spouse who is struggling with temptation, the child who is lost in the ways of the world - treat them with the love of Christ. Go back to 1 Corinthians 13 for the love that is to guide you in your life. Don't be a bull in a china shop. You might have the right message but don't destroy people just because you are "right." Too many do that. Instead, reach out to others with the depth of love that God has reached out to you with. We forget too often that we too are people in need of the love of God.
God's word to guide your day.