The Last Word is Love

Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 16

Today we finish the final letter written by Paul to the Corinthians. Of his thirteen letters to them, this final message is the only one that finishes with love. As with all of his glorious writing I feel more connected to the people of the Corinthian church and to Paul. For me, the most significant piece of today’s letter begins in verse 13:

“Be watchful and stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

 Five final instructions. Five objectives to live by in order to truly follow Jesus Christ. These instructions were written in the present tense. They are meant to be a living, ongoing journey. I wrote these five instructions with notes next to each of them that pertain to how I can live like a Corinthian. I’m going to share them here in hopes that it might inspire you to write your own response to Paul’s 5 final instructions.

Be Watchful

  • Jesus could come at anytime. Would I want Him to meet me tomorrow? Is my behavior, my speech and my actions a representation of my Christianity?
  • Watch for those that seek division rather than unity. Am I taking part in divisive conversation that compromises His church?

Stand Firm in the Faith

  • Social media, marketing and societal pressure can often lead me astray. Am I placing worldly goods above God? Am I putting Jesus at the center or my iPhone?
  • I know the enemy uses temptation to convince me to put other God’s before Him.
  • Am I standing strong in the face of the enemy? Am I giving in to temptation when I’m not around my Christian friends?

Act Like Men

  • Well….I’m a woman but I think what Paul is telling us here is to be courageous. Be a dangerous witness.
  • “Man or Wo-man up”

Be Strong

  • We can do all things through Christ. Paul is urging us to be strengthened by his love and mercy. We know that we are too weak to do it alone but through the Holy Spirit we are bolstered by His eternal strength.

Let all that you do be done in love

  • Love the Lord first and then love one another.
  • Challenge yourself to find something to love in every person
  • Reach out to someone that needs Christ’s love

 I love these “rules” set forth by Paul. They teach us how to be united as a church and how to truly live with one another until He comes again. When I finished studying this chapter, I began to imagine God watching us all as if we are on an episode of Survivor! He knows what each of the challenges will be and he wants us to rise as Jesus taught us. At the end of his letter, Paul finishes with love:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” 1 Corinthians 16:24

 If you are reading today, my love is with you.  Have a great week.