Do everything in Love!
Scripture reading for August 25th: 1st Corinthians 16:1-24
Paul closed his letter to the Corinthians with and encouragement and warning. He had dealt with many problems in this church and knew that there would be forces of opposition that they must watch out for. Mature believers are aware of the bigger picture and try to help the younger believers to stand firm.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage, be strong. Do everything in love.” (1st Corinthians 16:13) Rolled up in this short word of encouragement was Paul’s heart of love for these brothers. He had shared God’s word with them to build their faith. Faith would guard them by the truth and enable them to stand against every attack of Satan and their flesh. These men would need courage to live by faith. In the culture of Corinth, many temptations abounded tempting them to live in their flesh and enjoy the world’s pleasures.
If we all do everything in love, there would be no need of laws! Paul had taught them about how love was patient and kind. Love wasn’t rude or boastful, but considered others and their needs. (1st Corinthians 13:4-8) Love was what God was about and the love of God had been given us who believe by the Holy Spirit. Love would protect them and guide them into the will of God. Love would never fail to accomplish good! Faith expresses itself through love to make us pleasing to each other and God. (Galatians 5:6)
Paul encouraged these Corinthians to love in deed by preparing an offering. He told them that Timothy might come to see them and that they should help him and encourage him as he worked in their midst. He also told them that Apollos might come too. Love would not divide around these teachers, but would bless them.
Love should be expressed among themselves as well! “Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him. Come, O Lord! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.” Paul personally closed this letter with encouragement and love! All love came from a love of Jesus Christ, who was coming! These are words we can use today!