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The Scriptorium

Last Words

For the Corinthians and for us. 1 Corinthians 16.13, 14

1 Corinthians 16 (4)

Pray Psalm 142.1-3.
I cry out to the LORD with my voice;
With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path.
In the way in which I walk
They have secretly set a snare for me.

Sing Psalm 142.1-3 (5, 6).
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
With my voice, O LORD, I cry—hear my plea for mercy, LORD!
My complaint mounts up on high, bringing You my troubled word:
Refrain vv. 5, 6
LORD, You are my Refuge strong! O receive my plaintive song!

When my spirit faints away, You my falt’ring pathway know;
where I take my journey they traps have hidden to my woe.

Read 1 Corinthians 16.1.14; meditate on verses 13, 14.


1. How many commands did Paul make in these verses?

2. What is the guiding command for them all?

In these two verses, Paul summed-up every instruction he had written to the Corinthians in this first epistle.

Watch: Pay attention to what’s going on in your life. Guard against temptation. Keep your ego in check. Make the best possible use of the time of your lives. Fulfill your calling.

Stand: Keep your feet firmly grounded in the faith of Jesus and His Word. Be like a tree, planted by living water, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, the tokens of love, the benchmarks of holiness, and power for effective witness to the glory of God in every aspect of your life.

Be brave: No more going-along-to-get-along with the wrong-believing world. Stand out for Christ! Unfurl your Christian colors. Be prepared for whatever the world might throw at you, and do not compromise your witness.

Be strong: Literally, “Be a man!” or, as he has previously implied, “Grow up!” Take on the character of Christ unto Christian adulthood. Flourish in gifts for ministry. Work to edify your brethren in the Lord and to contribute to the growth of the Body of Christ.

Love: Without love, all the above will be useless. Love God so that you grow in Christlikeness, and you will love your neighbors as yourself.

Well, that’s about it. Now, get busy.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Nehemiah, warned the people to be careful, now that the enemy had been riled up over the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and he said to them: “Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night” (Neh. 4.9). They were told to pray for their safety and to work to protect themselves. “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Ps. 50.14, 15). I will watch my heart and my ways and glorify God. I have been warned to do so.

“Stand fast in the faith”
Paul told us to dress for the battle: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…” (Eph. 6.13, 14). We can stand fast because of God’s protective clothing. We just need to put it on.

“Be brave”
Moses had a word for the people before he died, as he sent them on to complete their journey into the Promised Land. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31.6). We can be brave because we are never alone.

“Be strong”
Paul told us how to be strong even when we aren’t. This is what Jesus said to him:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
And because of this truth, Paul was able to say, “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12.9, 10). Jesus’ grace is sufficient to make us strong even in our weakness.

“Let all that you do be done in love”
John wrote of the reason why we must do it this way: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 Jn. 5.2, 3).

Jesus explained how this works out within the Kingdom framework: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me”

(Matt. 25.40, 45). Our behavior has consequences. Assuredly, we either hear a “Well done” or a frightening “Depart from Me”.

When our children were young and questioned our thinking, we told them, “Because we said so”. Enough said. When God tells us this is the way it must be, without question, we must do it, because He is Sovereign, and because “He said so.” Absolutely enough said.

For reflection
1. What does it mean for you to “watch”? What are you watching for? How?

2. How do you know when you are standing fast in the faith, brave and strong as Paul commands?

3. What can you do to make sure that love pervades all you are and do in the Lord?

A Christian is always in danger, therefore should ever be on the watch. He should be fixed in the faith of the gospel, and never desert or give it up. By this faith alone he will be able to keep his ground in an hour of temptation. Christians should be careful that charity not only reigns in their hearts, but shines in their lives. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16.13-18

Pray Psalm 142.4-7.
Pray that God will liberate you from sin and self to a life of serving others and bearing witness to Jesus. Call on Him to be your Refuge all day long.

Sing Psalm 142.4-7.
(Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
LORD, look to my right and see: None takes notice of my plight.
Is there refuge left for me? Is my soul out of Your sight?
Refrain vv. 5, 6
LORD, You are my Refuge strong! O receive my plaintive song!

Hear my cry, LORD, I am low! They are strong who seek my soul.
Jesus frees from every foe; He will keep and make me whole!

Out of prison lead me, LORD; thanks and praise to You shall be.
Righteous men armed with Your Word will Your grace bestow on me.

T. M. and Susie Moore

Growing in prayer
Growing in Christ begins in and is sustained by prayer. But how can we improve our prayer life so that we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord? Our free online course, “Perspectives on Prayer”, can lead you to a deeper and more satisfying prayer life with the Lord. Watch this brief introductory video, then enroll for the course and download the materials. Get a friend or two to go through it with you and strengthen one another for the work of prayer.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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