1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV
“Be on our guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything on love.”
In this Scripture Paul hands us a key ring, from which five keys are hanging. They are keys which have been given to us by the Lord to use on our journey of faith. They are keys to successful living – not success as measured by the very materialistic world in which we are living, but success as seen from the perspectives of the spiritual realms and eternity.
Paul was a great teacher. He had the wonderful gift of being able to encapsulate profound principles in just a few words. If followed, these principles will enable believers to not just live out their days on planet Earth, but to live well, in harmony with our Creator and in anticipation of enjoying eternity in fellowship with other believers with Him.
The first key helps us to recognise that we are living in a world where Satan has been given authority by man as the god of this world. As such Paul warns us to be on our guard against everything that the enemy can throw at us to try and take us off course. Secondly he urges us to stand firm in the faith – that means in what we know to be the truth from the Word of God. In 1 Timothy 4:16 Paul tells Timothy “to watch his life and doctrine closely”, knowing that if we get off course and finish up in deception the consequences for the believer are serious.
The third and the fourth keys urge us to be courageous and strong – in much the same way as Joshua spoke to the children of Israel as they entered their Promised Land, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
The final key reinforces the message of that wonderful 1 Corinthians chapter 13 – do everything in love. For without love in our hearts even the good things we do are of little value.
So, as you press on to make a success of everything you do for the rest of your days, keep this key ring in your spiritual pocket – and never forget to use the keys on a daily basis!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for these wonderful keys to living the Christian life. Help me, Lord, to always remember that they are intended for daily use and I pray that you will strengthen me day by day with Your Holy Spirit to live for You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.