Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ESV
The closing tone of Paul’s letter was clear, strong and firm, calling for the church to love. The setting of cultural and individual immorality and idolatry challenged the faith of Christ followers. Thus Paul’s charge in verse 13. Christian’s also faced the temptation of defecting and divisiveness within their own ranks.
Paul repeats the theme of love, which seemed to have been a much needed command. The strong words in verse 22 affirms Paul’s deep concern and desire for the church to live a life of love!
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.  If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!  The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.  My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen. 1 Corinthians 16:21-24
The world says, Put your best foot forward! We Christians, especially spiritual leaders like myself, get lured into the Superman syndrome. It’s as if we have our super hero suits and masks on, pretending to live and lead lives of holiness and righteousness. Of course as leaders, we are not to show “too much weakness” lest our congregations think we are too human.
Pastors can be swayed into becoming executives, leaders, church directors – rather than Biblical teachers, guides and shepherds. I too, must be watchful and warn others to be the same. I too must stand firm in the faith and call others to this posture. I too must be strong and act like a man, calling others to live likewise! AND I TOO, MOST IMPORTANTLY, MUST DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE! NO IFS ANDS OR BUTS! NO EXCUSES, REASONS OR JUSTIFICATIONS! LET ALL YOU DO ROD, BE DONE IN LOVE!
OH JESUS! I NEED TO STRIP OFF THE SUPERMAN SUIT AND PUT ON THE SUPER LOVE HEART!
Daddy God – Would You please help me to love genuinely, deeply, sincerely and not superficially. Have mercy on me Lord, and forgive me for being insincere and fake, leading with impure motives. Why do I love, serve and do what I do? For the Love of God and people or because I’m wanting attention, applause and affluence? OH GOD, HAVE MERCY!