|Today’s Scripture: Watch ye,… 1 Corinthians 16:13a|
|We all want to be successful in life. As Christians, we should want to be successful in our spiritual lives as well. As we look at these verses in 1 Corinthians, we will see five tips for success. However, they are not just suggestions by God; they are commands. There is a guarantee for success here if we follow these things.
The Apostle Paul gave these commands to the church at Corinth. Each one of these commandments is basically the opposite of the things he was dealing with in the church. The first thing he tells us is to be watchful. Watch means “to be awake, to be vigilant, to be on guard”. One excellent example of “watching” is in our nation’s capital.
At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C., the Tomb Sentinels, part of the Army’s 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, stands guard every hour of every day. No matter what the weather, whether freezing snow, pounding rain, or raging hurricane, they never give up their post. They have guarded the tomb since 1948. There is very little probability that anything will ever happen at the cemetery, but they will not abandon their guard. They are ever watching and ready.
Being distracted is the opposite of watching. The Corinthians were distracted by many things, and the Apostle Paul had to deal with them: contention, immorality, pride, divorce, alcohol, and misuse of Spiritual gifts to name a few. They had taken their focus off what mattered and were no longer watching as they should have been.
God’s Word tells of several things we need to be watching out for. We need to be watching for temptation (Mark 14:38), the Devil (1 Peter 5:8), and false prophets (2 Peter 2:1). If we are not careful, our sin nature will cause us to fall. The Devil is “seeking whom he may devour.” He will not give up in his attacks against us. We also need to be aware that there are others around us who will try to take advantage of us.
Another thing we need to watch for is the Rapture. We know Christ’s return is very near, and that should cause us to be better servants for Him. Knowing He will come again should cause us to keep our lives pure and to share salvation with everyone we are able to reach. If we follow God’s commandment to watch, we can have confidence that we can be successful in our spiritual lives.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.