“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NKJV)
As Paul closes this letter to the Corinthians he gives them a series of final thoughts. The words found in these two verses are as deep as they are powerful. If we are to follow through to the end in our Christianity we must keep these two verses in our heart.
The first verse is a series of battle commands. The types of commands that have been offered by commanders on the field for centuries. Consider them for a moment:
“Watch” – Be watchful, for the enemy may present himself at any time.
“Stand fast” – Do not run or hide. Hold the line in the time of battle when the enemy comes at you.
“Be brave” – Literally “Show yourself to be a man.” Do not falter in the field. See the fight through to the end.
“Be strong” – In the sense that it is used here it means: give it everything you’ve got. Leave nothing in reserve.
If we are to fulfill our duties as Christians we must be watchful, stand firm in the faith of God’s Word, be brave without wavering from truth, and use everything we have in the service of God.
However, there is one other thing Paul says to these Corinthians: “Let all that you do be done with love.” We can stand for truth, fight the enemy, and win the battle – but lose the war if we do not have love in our hearts for the souls of others. Love must be a part of our stance for truth, and it must be seen in all that we say and do. Love does not require us to compromise, nor does it insist upon weakness. In fact, true love requires truth, honesty, integrity, and strength.
Let us always be mindful of Paul’s commands as we seek to live our lives as Christians. Let us never waver in standing for truth, but let us also never leave any doubt of our love for others and our desire to save souls.