Stand Firm and Grow Close - 1 Corinthians 16:13-24

Stand Firm and Grow Close

We all need encouragement and a time to refresh in the Spirit. Someone's, we are so overwhelmed that it is hard to see the finish line.

How often are we standing firm, but remaining stagnant?

How often are we the encouragement that others need?

1 Corinthians 16:13-24
13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

15 Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— 16 be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. 17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, 18 for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people.

19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
Paul closes his first letter to the Corinthian church by heeding some caution. “Be Alert!” Stay focused and pay attention. We are in perilous times and the enemy is at hand, waiting for us to lose focus. We are called to stand firm in our faith. How many times do we get distracted from God’s will in our lives? How often are we swayed and do the easy thing instead of the more difficult right thing to do? Paul says to ‘act like men’, but what he means is to act with maturity as an adult and act with spiritual maturity. Act with courage and obedience while having confidence in the power of the Lord.
Paul also commands us to be strong, but how can we be strong? How do we grow the strength of our faith? We do this by spending time in prayer with God and spending time reading and digesting God’s Word. We can also grow stronger by being completely reliant upon Him in times of trials and tribulations.
Paul also gives an example of selfless service and devotion to God’s ministries. Paul says that he was ‘refreshed’ by their presence and fellowship. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but God wants the devotion of our hearts. When our hearts are humbled and submissive to His will, then we can be used in great ways. How often are we being refreshed with fellowship from our brothers and sisters in Christ? How often are we the source of refreshment to our brothers and sisters in Christ? Paul says that we should encourage and recognize those that are devoted to God’s work. The children’s church teachers and helpers, those who clean the church, the ones who print the bulletins…they all work behind the scenes and deserve recognition and appreciation. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way, but sometimes stepping in and volunteering every now and then can help take a burden off of them and allow those dedicated workers to be refreshed in the Holy Spirit.

Paul directs us to stand firm in our faith, but not to be stagnant. In order to resist, we must grow stronger in Christ, taking steps in faith. Grow in your spiritual maturity and find the time to spend growing closer to Christ. Devote yourself to the furthering of God’s Kingdom, and heed the calling of service if that is the will of God in your life. Encourage those who are serving, because sometimes it can be easy to put it on ‘cruise control’ and forget the ‘why’ behind serving. Be the refreshment that your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ need.

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