1 Corinthians 16:13-14 "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.
It takes a great deal of courage to live as a Christian in our modern world. There are so many powers at war against the life with Christ that all of us daily need His wisdom, His power, and His guidance. We need the quiet, steady courage that He alone can give through the assurance of the forgiveness of our sins.
Our Savior knew that very clearly. For that reason the entire Bible is a book of love and sympathy and courage. Its pages are full of cheer for those who are weary in heart. It brings new hope to the disappointed, the defeated, to those who have failed, to those who have crushed and broken lives. The voice of our Savior in His word, "Take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33), will fall over the world as the sound of courage from heaven -- a courage we can never have of ourselves.
And the greatest thing of all is that this courage always comes to those who need it most. When Saint Paul was discouraged, our Savior said to him: "My power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Before He can put His strength into us, we must know that we have no strength of our own. But when we confess that, humbly and penitently, then His courage comes to us full and brave, and the treasures of His grace make us strong and unafraid.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, Help me to remain confident in Your love and care for me at all times. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
Today's Bible Readings: Exodus 31-33 Mark 3:1-19
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