Verse for the day: I Corinthians 16: 13, 14
Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
St Paul is reminding the church in Corinth to be on their guard spiritually. He wanted them to wake up, to pay attention to their spiritual lives and their knowledge and devotion to God. Their lack of spiritual watchfulness was the foundation of the Corinthian church’s sinful condition.
Most of the time spiritual indifference and spiritual ignorance are the root problems in our lives.
This Lent, we need more than merely changing our behavior. We must be on our guard, with a focused awareness of His care and protection and His love for us as His children.
We live in a culture in which truth is regarded as relative. Our society waffles at the concept of objective, unyielding spiritual truth. It is dedicated to spiritual and ethical pluralism. If we are to be the witnesses God wants us to be, and if we are to have the relationship with God that He wants for us, then we must follow Paul’s admonition to stand firm in the faith. It is when we live out the Gospel of Christ in our daily lives, through the discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that we become more Christ like.
God wants us, in the midst of our spiritual watchfulness and our commitment to stand firm in the truth of the faith, to act courageously as Christians.
To be men of courage spiritually would be unpopular, perhaps even unacceptable, behavior in society. It could mean loss of stature in with our peers, perhaps loss of jobs and economic opportunities, and loss of friends.
We are in this world to achieve the standard that God has set.
Spiritual maturity demands courageous application of the truth, unfettered support of what we know is spiritually true and the standards that are true, and bold opposition to what we know is false. This maturity comes through our indulgence in the fast rigorously. God showers His grace and strength on us when we give ourselves completely to God’s will.
We cannot do anything by our own strength, only by God’s might and support. We need to submit to the strengthening power and work of our Savior. When we submit ourselves to God, He fulfills His promise to strengthen us. And what is the strength He gives us? It is the strength to stand firm in spiritual knowledge and truth and to courageously apply spiritual truths in our lives.
Today, we must stand firm in spiritual knowledge and truth and apply them with courage. Our part is to be on guard, to recognize and know what is spiritually right and wrong, and to act with courage. God’s part is to strengthen us.
Christ likeness is the solution to our problems as individuals and as a church. Do everything in love, incorporates the Christian’s life of serving God unreservedly and putting others above ourselves. Applying this principle of love for Christ and love for each other meant a radically different church, sold out to Christ and untainted by the world. Our goal is to be like Christ!
Help us, Lord, with the grace of your Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Jesus Christ through our lives, our words and the opportunities you set before us each day. Amen.