Be Alert!

26 Jul

I have been inspired to meditate on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 over the next 5 weeks.  Our interim pastor, Dr. Leonard Dupree, preached on 1 Cor. 16 this past Sunday morning, and these two verses in particular spoke to me.  They are a series of brief, pointed commands.  And I believe that they outline some of the key elements to being a strong disciple of Jesus in today’s world.

I really like the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation of this passage.  Here it is:

“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every [action] must be done with love.”  –1 Corinthians 16:13-14

This week, I’m meditating on what it means to “Be alert!” Other translations say, “Be on your guard.”  I see this applying in a number of ways:

  • Be alert to open doors of ministry.  Earlier, in 1 Corinthians 16:9 Paul talks about a great door of ministry opportunity that has opened for him.  What doors of ministry opportunity is God opening up for me every day?  Am I missing them because I’m not on the alert?  Am I failing to see people with compassion the way Jesus did?
  • Be on your guard against temptation.  1 Peter 5:8 warns us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  This echos the warning God gave Cain in Genesis 4:7.  What are my spiritual blind spots I need to be especially aware of?  What wrong attitudes or motives do I tend to struggle with?  Do I have a tendency to complain, to get my way at any cost, to be judgmental of others?  What are my weaknesses that Satan tries to capitalize on?  Greed? Lust? Pride? Materialism?  I need to be on my guard and alert to these tendencies so I can avoid those pitfalls
What about you?  How do you need to be more alert and on your guard in your personal and family life?  What ministry opportunities do you need to keep your eyes open for?  What areas do you need to guard against temptation and wrong attitudes?  What are your blindspots?  What kids are falling through the cracks in your ministry?  What issues and topics have you been avoiding teaching on or addressing with your students?

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