Will You Stand?

prayer

photo and video courtesy of youtube – link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nIr4zBz18E

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33

courage noun: (1) the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. (2) to have the courage of one’s convictions, to act in accordance with one’s beliefs, especially in spite of criticism.

When I was growing up in America, it never occurred to me that I would one day be faced with the situation I am today.  I was raised with certain ideas: that our country really was founded on freedom and that all men are created equal in the eyes of God.  These freedoms are elucidated and clarified in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I am supposed to have the right to free speech (not hate speech), I am supposed to have a right to practice my religion, (as does anyone else) and I am supposed to have the right to pursue liberty and justice for me and mine (not at the expense of others).   However, the older I get, the more and more I am experiencing these same rights eroded by opinion, circumstance, political correctness, and worse yet, by laws.

Yesterday, a young man took a stand in what he believed was his right.  It is incredulous that his actions are even drawing all this attention (some supportive, some exceptionally critical).  A high school senior, a young man of academic excellence and I suspect, exceptional character, stood up and challenged the “wisdom” of his elders, society and the laws of his state.  Yes, indeed.  He dared to recite the Lord’s Prayer to his classmates and teachers at his graduation.

Sad that it has come to this, that a young man of conscience has to “sneak” God into the public forum.  I am betting the angels were clapping right along with some of those boisterous classmates yesterday.  Personally, were I there I would have been on the bleachers yelling, “Hoop, there it is!” and applauding very loudly.

So here we are in the 21st century, we are told that we are not a Christian nation by our government, that we must deny (or forget) our Judeo-Christian heritage, and that we can practice our Christian beliefs as long as we do so very quietly.  We are being censored.  Sometimes it makes me crazy….but then I remember.  God predicted all of this a long time ago and Jesus constantly warned the disciples about it then and in future. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” .John 15:18-20

I know I am not alone, across many ages, ethnicities and creeds when I say that life in this century leaves me wondering, “What next and how low can we go”?

So, what can WE do?  We are told in scripture that wide is the road to destruction and narrow is the gate to life.  So we must choose.  Not once.  But everyday.  We must choose to be the person who swims against the current, to stand in what you know is right, to love your friend and love your enemy…but mostly to trust in God, and trust in Jesus also, because He has already overcome the world.

What that young man did was courageous.  It shouldn’t have to be defined as that, but it is. For those who agree with him, it will not be easy going. It is most likely not going to get any better. But we are told to persevere anyway.  2 Timothy 3:10-17But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Everyone has heard the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” that’s common vernacular of what Jesus warned us about before, that we will suffer for what is right, but that we will be blessed.  So I ask, Will you sit this one out, or take a stand? That young man did take his stand.  Many more have and will follow after him.  But know this, “Do not fear their threats[a]; do not be frightened.”[b]15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter

Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.  1 Peter 4:16

I’d say it is time….Time to get out of our seats.

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