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Stand Your Ground In Love

Stand Your Ground In Love
    Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. 1Corinthians 16:13-14 (NKJV)
    Many of the letters in which the Apostle Paul wrote, were ended with this type of exhortation; Stand fast. He did this in the 13th chapter of Romans, as well as the ending of Thessalonians.
    In this particular writing he is actually telling them to be strong like men, and to stand like men. In the NIV version, it is translated even more articulately as to Be men of courage.
    This term to Stand Fast comes from the Greek word Steko, stay-ko; which means to be stationary or to persevere. So this is an encouragement and an exhortation to be stationary; not to back off or away from what you know to be right.
    So Paul is telling the reader to not back down, to hold on to what you know to be right, or righteous. Be tuff as nails. But then he follows this tough line of defense with,
    Do everything with love.
    Q:Why do it in Love? We need to look back in 1 Corinthians 13 to get that answer.
    And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1Corinthians 13:2 (NKJV)
    So it doesnt matter what we do in this world unless we do it with love. Jesus told us, All will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. And He gave us a new commandment in John 13:34 when He told us to love one another as I have loved you.
    This all sounds good on paper, but what exactly is love? How should we respond when someone is being rude to us, or is demanding their own way, or perhaps we know theyve got some attribute, which makes us want to scream?
    We can find the answer in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as it tells us: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (NLT)
    We must understand that this love that Paul is referring to is a special type of love that comes from God. We cannot in our own abilities create this type of love by ourselves.
    The name of this love is called Agape love.
    There will be times when we find that we are unable to love someone in the way that has been described above in 1 Corinthians 13, especially when someone has been mean to us, or has hurt either us or someone we love. It is important for us to turn to God and to ask Him to love (Agape) them through us.
    This is the way it will be for everything in our life that is good. We cannot do it on our own, but we must turn to God for the power to do it.
    This power comes from the Holy Spirit that lives in our heart. When we ask God for His help, and when we allow Him to do what He wants through us, then we can know well have the ability to do all that He has asked us to do.
    If we do not seek God for help every day, and in every situation we face where we are challenged to do right, but are tempted to do wrong, then we will fail. When we fail, it hurts others and us.
    It especially hurts the ones that dont know God yet, because they are looking to us to see how we will handle the situation. They do this because they know that we are Christians. They know we are supposed to be like Jesus Christ, and so they want to see how Jesus would handle the situation.
    So, the next time you are tempted to return an angry response to someone who has hurt you, or has offended you, or your beliefs, just remember; Stand fast, in the faith, be brave, and strong, because God is blessing you with a chance to share His Agape love with them.
    STUDY QUESTION: How are we to conduct ourselves in everything we do, according to 1Cor 16:13-14?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to Stand Fast today in your faith, to be brave, and to it in love?
    APPLICATION: Let God Love others through you. You will be surprised what He does.
    Father, Thank You for Your strength to do what I know to be righteous. Thank You Lord for my bravery and willingness to proclaim Your great message, and to do it in Your perfect love. Fill me today with Your Holy Spirit and Agape love. May others see You in the way I conduct myself. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000