13,14 “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”
1 Corinthians 16:13,14 (NIV)
When I was a young child, I stooped beneath a big bush to retrieve a ball I was playing with that got away. Unwittingly, I also walked into a “beehive” … and ran out with 37 simultaneous stings across my back and head.
It shocked my respiratory system and threatened my life. I got stung, but good. That experience marked me for life.
Scripture here stings us with five beneficial “bees” that God wants powerfully marking our lives, infecting us deeply, defining every move we make. Let’s take a closer look:
BE ON GUARD. Bring a sense of watchfulness and vigilance to all my daily decisions. Be ready to defend at any moment, ready to strike out, strike back. Reject passivity and eliminate a too casual lifestyle.
BE FIRM IN FAITH. Make the adjectives “steadfast” and “committed” describe my spiritual life. Trust God no matter what, and believe that to have Him is to have enough. Be immune to spiritual coercion and moral compromise.
BE COURAGEOUS. Live life fearlessly. Let courage loose any time I am challenged at my core, even if it is just practicing the courage to listen, to be silent, to wait.
BE STRONG. May “unbreakable in spirit and principle” define me. I want my life to stand up and be tested, to rise to challenges, to be resilient, to hold up physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
BE COMPLETELY LOVE-DRIVEN. “Do everything in love” is what the Bible says. That means that my real, core motivation for everything must be pure, selfless, sacrificial love.
What a great fistful of Killer BEs! Let's let them sting us for life and move us to a marked maturity that helps us become all we were meant to be.
Reflect: How well are you guarding your heart, your household, your thoughts, your emotions? Where does your guard need to be raised? Are you operating firm in faith, immune to spiritual coercion, or practicing moral compromise?
Is courage truly defining you? Are you making “Be strong in the Lord” a good part of your daily self-talk? How much of your motivation is love?
Might these be good Scripture verses to memorize?
A prayer to consider: LORD, thank You for stinging me with 1 Corinthians 16:13,14. Anchor me in these five charges. I see them in Jesus. May they play out in me by your Spirit.
Render me fearless, firm in faith, courageous and strong to the finish. Help me to let love win every time, for Your glory and my joy in You. Amen.