Daily Devotional

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

I don’t think I have to tell you that we are living in perilous times. We see disaster, strife, depravity, and suffering all around us in various forms. We are bombarded with it on the news every night, through social media, and hear stories from family and friends and other acquaintances. And yet at the same time, the world, and even many churches seek to water down the Word of God, to minimize its meaning, and redirect its intent. We as true Christians need to stand firm on the Word of God, the WHOLE counsel of Scripture, not just the passages we like, but even the ones that make us a little uncomfortable.

This verse has a number of great commands for us. Let's go through them one by one. First, we need to watch. We cannot be huddled in our basement unaware of what is taking place around us. We need to be engaged and watchful, mindful of what is going on so that we can act and pray appropriately. A soldier is no good if he doesn’t know where the battle is, and whom he is fighting against, so must we be aware of where the enemy is trying to lay claim. As much as we might want to stick our head in the sand, we cannot!

Second, we must stand fast in the faith. We must be well ground in the Word of God. We must read it, know it, understand it, and love it. As Christians we need to be active in our
understanding of God’s Word. It is not only your local pastor’s job to know the Bible and discuss it intelligently with others. We are all missionaries in our own spheres of influence and we must always be ready to proclaim and defend the Gospel of Christ. 1 Peter 3:15 says “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”

Thirdly we must be brave and strong. In John 15:18-19 Jesus said “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” We are going to be hated by the world for Chirst’s sake, and we must not be surprised by this. But we can’t shy away either, we have to preach the truth bravely with boldness so the world may know that there is a God in Heaven Who loves them but is also just and will punish sin accordingly. If we truly love, we must proclaim the truth, not a watered down, easier to swallow version of the truth. Simply the truth.

And finally let all that we do be done with love. While the world hates us, we do not hate them back. While we confront sin, we do it lovingly, not out of hate for the sinner. We must pray and seek God for wisdom as we confront the behaviors that have become so entrenched in our culture with the truth but in a way that doesn’t destroy our witness at the same time. Jesus Christ did preach love, but He also confronted and called out sin where He saw it. Our culture today will try to say that it is not loving to call out sin, however not addressing behavior that has eternal consequences is the least loving thing you can do.

So I pray as the days get darker the Church would rise up, and we would stand out as different, not conforming to the ideology of this world but stand boldly and bravely for Christ, rooted in the Word of God and confronting sin wherever it is with love. Amen
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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