Stick Together!

As he readies himself to bid farewell, Paul sets the bar high for the Corinthians. They have been given something that is immeasurably valuable. To be granted the ability to know Jesus as their Savior from sin and to trust in him as their life-changing Redeemer is the most precious gift in the world. Jesus had called it “the pearl of great price.”

So Paul reminds the Corinthians to stay vigilant, remain true to their convictions, overcome their fears, and persevere. It would be horrible, unimaginably tragic, to lose that pearl.

The Corinthians are also to recall what Paul had told them several chapters back about love. As critically important as vigilance, courage and perseverance are, without love it all really becomes worthless.

So, Paul reminds them, cover everything you do in love. The people that God has placed around you need that reflection of Christ’s love that emanates from you, child of God.

But most of all, know that neither you nor they are meant to go it alone. The church, and the work of the kingdom, require us to have each others’ back. And Paul makes sure the Corinthians don’t forget that others have had their back. He mentions by name just a few of those who have stepped up to insure that they had been well-served with the gospel.

Paul knows with certainty the importance — and the blessing — of the brotherhood and sisterhood of faith. Hanging together is the only option. We believe deeply we have to work as one. Or should we say, we believe deeply we get to work as one?

Because it can be — at times — a long, difficult journey. Because we need each other. Because, brothers and sisters in Christ, what we are is family.

For us, togetherness is the only way!

When we do stick together, good things result. Despite the difficulties and hardships life brings, our spirit stays refreshed. And the work of the kingdom gets done.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition” (1 Corinthians 16:13-18, NIV).

Lord, help us stick together and have each others’ back in the church so that our spirit can always be refreshed by the gospel, and so that your kingdom work of sharing the gospel can continue to move forward.

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, August 25, is 2 Chronicles 24:1 – 25:28, 1 Corinthians 16:5-24 and Psalm 102:18-28.

Header image based on "family hike" by woodleywonderworks, CC By 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

2 thoughts on “Stick Together!”

  1. Great read today about Fellowship. More importantly it emphasizes on the impotence of loving one another.

    Our Bible reading for Tuesday, August 25, is 2 Chronicles 24:1 – 25:28, 1 Corinthians 16:5-24 and Psalm 102:18-28.

    “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters, to submit to such people and to everyone who joins in the work and labors at it. I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16:13-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
    ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, you have truly blessed me with amazing friendships. Through friendship comes fellowship, and through fellowship comes the love you ask us to show one another. Thank you for the churches that you give us to worship and praise you. Lord help us to better serve you, to better share the hope and peace that comes with your gospel message. Please continue to bless the efforts of those I love in their ministries. Keep them strong in grace and truth.

    ~Paul Montenieri

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  2. Hey pastor Jeff! “The pearl of great price.” I know that The Pearl of Great Price is part of the canonical standard works of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and some other Latter Day Saint denominations, but I never stopped to think these words MIGHT be in the Bible. Never understanding why they would name a book that, and certainly not understanding the significance of such words, I looked them up. I found them in Matthew 13:

    Matthew 13:44-46New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

    44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

    The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

    45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
    —————————————————————————-
    Matthew 13:44-46Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

    44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, hid it again, then in great joy went and sold everything he owned, and bought that field.

    45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for fine pearls. 46 On finding one very valuable pearl he went away, sold everything he owned and bought it.
    Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

    Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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