Monday, January 28, 2013

1 CORINTHIANS 16:13-14

In my Bible reading this January I have run across several verses that for what it's worth, I've skipped or glossed over or I dunno how I largely missed them... but nonetheless they have stopped me dead in my tracks.  But anyway, here they are in the English Standard Version.


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

Seriously, does it get any more clear than that?  I'm still blown away that verse 14 hasn't become the logo of some t-shirt company.   1C1614 should be the logo.  The NIV simply puts it "Do everything in Love".  Bam.

I spent the majority of last week wrestling with life and faith and ministry with 3 other pastors/long time friends at a house in Coronado.  It's an annual piece of my life to try and stay sane.  Anyway, here's 5 questions we kicked around that might be worth pondering today:

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING OUT FOR?

I think this question can be seen in two ways.  First, what danger lurks around the corner?  What is it that you need to be aware of that can rob your life of joy and peace and hope?  The scriptures speak of a thief that comes to kill and destroy the things of God in us. BE WATCHFUL.

The second way is more positive.  Like where have you noticed the work of God around you?  Kinda like how I noticed this verse.  What has recently stood out to you about God or faith that you previously didn't notice as clearly?

WHERE DO YOU NEED TO STAND YOUR GROUND? 

This question gets to the important stuff.  For me it is essentially, "what hill are you willing to die on these days?"  Where will your faith stand firm?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "ACT LIKE MEN?"

I looked it up in the greek and it's just a one word command.   It has a root that is the same root we find in words like "anthropology", so it has a flesh and blood feel to it.  It can be translated be brave, be courageous, or act like a man.  All the translations that are more intentionally gender neutral choose "be courageous" since Paul was writing to both men and women in this letter.  But regardless of it's entomology.... the question is still, "Are you doing it?"  Are you taking responsibility for you life and faith and family and in what areas do you need to be courageous or "man up"?

WHERE DO NEED TO BE STRONG?

In what area of your life do you have to exert the most energy to stand your ground?  What leadership piece of life is requiring the most strength from you?

ARE YOU DOING ALL OF THE ABOVE WITH LOVE?  IF NOT, WHY NOT?  

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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