Day Five: “Everything…Do Everything in Love!”

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV)

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.” – Galatians 5:6b (NIV)

Everything we do, we do it in love. That has been the ‘one thing,’ the ‘main thing’ of the whole letter. Everything we do must take place in the reality of putting others above ourselves. It’s this love that continues to shape our calling, it’s this love in Christ that gives us the strength and ability to do what needs to be done so that the gospel is proclaimed in love and Christ is glorified in our churches.

Love will be victorious. Love will overcome. Love will win despite what the outcome may look like, the seemingly futility of the means, or how great the conflict feels.

We rely on the Holy Spirit’s empowering and gifting to express this love more. We do this together. We guard one another in love. In love we stand firm in the gospel for one another. We are courageous for one another. We stay strong, persistent until the very end, building up one another in love. That’s the ‘basics’ providing a prime of place for love in the church.

Today in prayer, let’s commit to loving our churches and campuses ministries again. Let’s ask for the Spirit’s empowering, gifting, and resolve to express this love together even more. Let’s sing to, “I Turn to Christ” (click here) by Matt Redman.

– TR


Day Four: CS = “Be Courageous; Be Strong” (B.S.C.S.)

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong14 Do everything in love.”

With these last two ‘basics’ (BSCS) many commentators believe that these two imperatives, “Be courageous; be strong” echo the language of Psalm 31:24, where precisely the same two verbs are used.

Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
 So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the Lord!

“Of course, Paul’s simple and straightforward exhortations make perfect sense to a reader who does not hear the Psalm echo, but those who do hear will understand that strength and courage are rooted in love for God and set in opposition to boasting and arrogance. Authentic strength is grounded in trustful waiting for the Lord…” [R. Hays]

Perhaps the hardest part of love is seeing that it completes the transforming work that it was expressed to do. No matter what, carrying it through to its beautiful outcome. This kind of enduring strength and courage cannot be derived from self, but only from God. We can be strong in love for one another to the very end because we know that God is and will always work victoriously in love.

Let’s use Psalm 31:23-24 as a framework for how we pray today for our churches, campuses, families, and friends. Pray for God’s ‘outcome’ in our lives. And let’s worship to, “Cornerstone” (click here) led by Hillsong.

– TR


Day Three: S = “Stand Firm in the Faith” (B.S.C.S.)

1 Corinthians 15:1–2 (NIV) – “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.”

 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV) – “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

“‘Stand firm in the faith’…echoes the words with which Paul opened and closed his chapter on the resurrection (15:1–2, 58). The Corinthians are reminded here to ground their identity in the gospel by holding fast to the message that he proclaimed to them…we stand in the proclaimed word, not in our own subjectivity.” [R. Hays]

“The use of ‘in the faith’ in place of ‘the gospel’ is clear evidence that in Paul from the very beginning this noun can refer to the content of what is believed as well as to the activity of trusting itself.” [G. Fee]

We stand in the proclaimed word, not in our own feelings or ideas about how best to live. We stand in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is our starting point, our identity, our ending point…In Christ! In Christ! In Christ!

What a glorious calling, to be in Christ and love like Christ. Let’s thank the Lord for saving us and ‘placing’ us securely in Jesus. Let’s worship to, “Forever” (click here) by Kari Jobe

– TR


Day Two: B = “Be on Your Guard” (B.S.C.S.)

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) –Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

These four imperatives are the ‘basics’ (BSCS) of taking responsibility for faithfully growing together in Christ and proclaiming the gospel in His love. You never grow out of these as the church loving each other in Christ in this broken world.

The first ‘basic’ is to “be watchful” or “alert.” This imperative occurs elsewhere in the NT, including Paul, in eschatological contexts, urging watchfulness in light of the Lord’s return. Live ready for Jesus! But it can also be a call to watchfulness with regard to sin in general, to sinful or divisive influences (Acts 20:31), or the enemy (1 Pet. 5:8).

Paul is urging us to ‘be watchful and alert’ to the things that are not of Christ in our lives and together as His people. Help each other see and be aware of the things we may not see…the blind spots in our faith. Make a pattern in your life to seek God’s kingdom first, eagerly desiring and expecting His coming in moments with power and love. Make the most of the opportunities He gives us as His church. And be diligent knowing what is building your life and our lives together.

Let’s pray that we will be an ‘alert’ church, praying and loving each other out of the ‘blind spots’ of sin and into His kingdom and love first. And let’s once again sing/pray this worship song, “One Thing” (click here) by Hillsong.

– TR


Day One: “And1 Thing, Love!”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) – “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

“The four commands [v.13] correspond to what an army commander might say to someone on guard: keep awake, stand firm, be brave, be strong! The guard must stay awake and alert in case of any danger. Not only so; he must know his ground and not give way. When actual danger threatens, bravery is required to face up to it. When he has to deal with it, he needs to act with all his strength.

“Paul sees the church in Corinth in danger from many things. You can’t just drift along in the Christian life, hoping things will work out somehow. Precisely because of the nature of the gospel itself, those who are embraced and called by it have to take responsibility for what’s going on. He wants them now to assume that responsibility for their own spiritual health, and for the ongoing work of the gospel. At every stage they will need each one of these commands. But, in the process…‘Everything you do must be done in love;’ that has been the keynote of the whole letter, and Paul wants to remind them of it…” [Wright, N.T.. Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians. 234-235]

This week let everything we do be in love. Let’s pray and ask the Lord to help us take loving responsibility for seeing the gospel flourish in our churches and ministry. And let’s sing/pray the worship song, “One Thing” (click here) by Hillsong.

– TR