“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV)
In 17 words, Paul provides the Christian disciple with a challenge for every day, and a charge for each life.
“Do everything in love”: Act for others as one would act for self. Live to please our heavenly Father.
“Be strong”: If the Holy Spirit of God is your strength, you are strong indeed. His strength never flags. His power never fails.
“Be courageous”: Going against “conventional wisdom” with God’s wisdom; swimming upstream; standing alone in one’s convictions; or choosing the narrow gate requires moral, physical, and spiritual courage. Choose — then be!
“Stand firm in the faith”: Conventional wisdom, enlightened self-interest, and fashion are “currents and tides.” Faith is the disciple’s anchor, and the word of God is the anchor’s chain.
“Be on your guard”: Thieves do not steal things that have no value. As a person of inestimable worth and value, there is a bounty on your life. Guard your heart, your thoughts, your motives, and your affections against theft and/or misuse by unworthy agents. – Luther