Recently speaking to a group, they asked repeatedly for a handout. I wanted to provide it, but I only had two points. The presentation would appear ill-prepared and lacking if the white, 8-½ by 11 sheet of paper listed only:
- Stand up.
- Look up.
The talk was that simple on paper. It is so much more difficult to actually live in our West Coast, near-post-pandemic, deconstructed societal atmosphere.
These points are based on Jesus’ teaching on our response in a challenge. Specifically, how we are to respond at the end of times, as he discusses with His disciples in Matthew 24.
Jesus gives two points: Stand Up and Look Up.
A 70’s evangelical sermonette asks, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to arrest you?” Hyperbole used to make a point.
It is less hyperbole today. The risk of arrest is low, but the risk of being “canceled” is extreme. If not canceled, maybe slapped with discrimination or having your business picketed or being seen as a narrow-minded bigot or mandated to provide unaligned insurance coverage or being seen as “one of them” by your neighbors, friends or even family.
Matthew 10:22, You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
That is all true. That is the potential risk, yet, Jesus still calls us to Stand Up. In fact, to stand tall. Stand as one who stands for the One that cannot be defeated.
Galatians 5:1, Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
It is critical that in these challenging times that you, Stand Up. Stand for your faith. Do not shirk back. Stand upright for Jesus.
It is more important now to stand up than before the pandemic. As others shirk back from trusting Jesus and a Biblical world view, we must stand tall and true, and we must…
We do not stand by our own power. We only stand rightly as we look up. We look to God for strength. Do not trust in our own power but trust in Him. Look to Him. Realize that He is the source of all help.
When we look up, we cannot help but reflect the love of Jesus. Looking up our face should reflect the adoration of God for the world. We aren’t standing out of some military position or even a place of strength. As we stand with our eyes gazed up to Jesus, we seek to serve. We shine His love.
1 Corinthians 16:13, Be alert. Be firm in the Christian faith. Be courageous and strong.
When we look up to Jesus we can’t help but have our heart broken for today’s confused world.
As we look to Him and not to ourselves, God gives us the movement and miracles we need. Consider Moses who looked to God as he was stuck between the Egyptians and the Red Sea. God divided the waters and Moses led his people through.
Consider King Josephat who was told by God not to fight. God said, stand up and look to Me. A leadership challenge for the King. God not only gave him a plan but the encouragement. God said, “Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.” God delivered Josephat and his people.
Today is not our battle. Today is God’s battle. The good news is that He has already won (lest we forget). So as the pressure mounts on Believers and especially leaders, we are calling Puget Sound business leaders to STAND UP and LOOK UP.
This is not our time to shirk back. Stand Up!
This is our time to pivot toward Him. Look Up!
Luke 21:19, Stand firm, and you will win life.