Read This Week: 1 Corinthians 16

A great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me. Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. – 1 Corinthian 16:9, 13-14 NIV

Metaphors and analogies centered on the “open door” are prevalent. We often use them to encourage an individual or group to take advantage of an opportunity that lies before them. Sometimes, we evoke this word picture to communicate the importance of a moment and the urgency we should take to seize it. Other times, we use it to stress the wisdom needed to make the right choices and even apply it when describing the personable or inviting nature of a leadership style.

The “open door” is a versatile and powerful metaphor to teach and point us toward greater truths. The Apostle Paul uses it to state his intentions to visit the Corinthians as he concludes his first letter to them. He describes his open door as great, meaning it is something to value and regard as excellent. He uses this word because he wants them to know of his eagerness and excitement both to visit with them for an extended period and to take advantage of the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus there. Paul sees the open door he’s been given as a blessing from God despite the obstacles that stand in his way.

This heart attitude seen in 1st Corinthians 16 toward the open doors of life is a great lesson for us. Our paradigm must shift from the duty of sharing Christ with the lost and hurting to that of joy. We must be eager and excited when presented with the opportunity to serve God and others. We should see it as a blessing to build relationships and community with Christians and those far from God.

The way we view our open doors is so important because there will always be challenges and things that oppose our progress and ability to serve Jesus. Our plans can change or be derailed by people, circumstances, and sinful decisions. But, if we stay close to God, He gives us the faith, courage, and strength to see and embrace our open doors with the wisdom and uncommon sense to be successful and useful. We can effectively walk through the doors and make a real difference.

Paul had an open door of ministry, and that was important to him. May our chances to do ministry be of the same importance to us. The stewardship of opportunity is vital and we must change our lives to be in a better position to walk through the open doors that He wants us to pursue every day. Like Paul, may we place our faith in Him and His will, in spite of life’s difficulties, to lay hold of these opportunities while they are still there.

5 Comments

  1. Kathy on February 11, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    This is what God was speaking to me in this Chapter. You are to give as I put it on your heart to give. Every Christian should be a giver, because I am a giver. Come to church with your gift already prepared at home. That makes you seek Me more in your giving. You need to give from the heart and not in response to being pressured. Stand fast in the faith, and let all that you do, be done with love.

    You are to be eager and excited to serve Me and in serving others. I want you to grow in your love for my Son Jesus Christ. You can do this by praying more, by studying My word daily, and by being with other believers who can teach you more. You have to make the choice to do this daily so that you can grow closer to Me. Your actions show me what is really important to you.

    I know that I need to continue serving others and serving God. I need to do this with a joyful grateful, and cheerful heart, and not just going through the motions. If I continue to draw near to Him, then people will see joy, and they will want to have joy too.

    • Heidi on February 12, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Wow! Thank you, Kathy, for sharing how important it is to be a giver like God. He is the best giver, especially in His fruit of love and comfort, inspiring us as we ask Him. He gives us the strength to go through the trials in this world!

      One of the gifts that God gave you is to hug others for Him. You are a blessing to everyone. I love to hear God through you! I love you.

    • Jason on February 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Well said, Kathy. I feel like this statement is key to a fulfilling life of serving Christ: “I need to do this with a joyful, grateful, and cheerful heart, and not just going through the motions. If I continue to draw near to Him, then people will see joy, and they will want to have joy too.” I don’t want to go through the motions in my walk with God either. God is bigger than that. His Son is more beautiful and satisfying than that. He is worthy of more than that from us.

  2. Heidi on February 13, 2020 at 9:57 am

    1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God’s love for us).”

    What God was saying to me, “I am all about love. I am always working to help you because I love you! As you respond to me, ask Me to help you and I will help You. Spend time with me, read your bible every day so you can learn what My Will, My ways are, seek me with your heart.

    As you learn you will desire to be just like Jesus. We love to inspire those who want to be inspired. As you feel our love, you will desire to love others, inspire them to come along with us to encourage others especially those who labor in love doing the Lord’s work. Continue to build up and do all you can for everyone who loves us! My love will continue through those who want it.”

    What this means to me is to be ready to help someone as God leads you and to inspire them to love for God. Grow and desire to learn all that you can to help build up the family of God and reach out to those who respond to Him! God loves you!

    • Jason on February 17, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      I appreciate the reminder here, Heidi that teaching and inspiring people to seek the Lord and encourage others is an incredibly loving act. It takes the love of God in our hearts to pursue Him and then to build up others to do the Lord’s work.

      Jesus’ exhortation to “love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor” is the catalyst and underpinning of, as you said, “Growing and desiring to learn all that you can to help build up the family of God and reach out to those who respond to Him!” It is extremely loving to grow and help build others up.

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