|Vol. 16 No. 8 August 2014||
In one of the opening chapel sessions at Faulkner University this year  the President spoke. Among the things that he said was this statement: “The time has come for you to stand on your own.” I thought that was a very powerful and appropriate statement. It made me think about several things.
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6, talked about the Christian armor. In this discussion he emphasized the need to stand. The word “stand” is mentioned several times with the conclusion, “And having done all, to stand.” I believe that it is the case that the time has come for all of us to stand.
We Must Stand for What Is Right
We need to firmly and without compromise stand for the truth (Jude 3). We need to be those who can be counted as proponents of right. We need to hold forth the banner of righteousness, and never back down. We must stand for right, even if no one else around us is. As has often been said, the greatest evil may be those who believe in the right, but who do not say anything. That is how Germany could be led into the terror of Hitler’s regime, and literally millions of innocent people were annihilated because good people remained silent.
We Must Stand against What Is Wrong
Those who are proponents of evil are very often militant and noisy, actively trying to get others to become part of their evil. If we who are followers of the truth do not let our voices be heard, evil will win (Ephesians 5:11). We must stand. We must teach. We must be strong.
We Must Stand with Each Other
While we must be willing to stand alone, it is very essential that we stand together. The plan of God is that the church should stand united as a mighty army ready to go forward in battle against the enemies of God, and ready to take the great and glorious Gospel to a lost and dying world. We must be strong alone. We can be unbelievably stronger together.
The Time Has Come for Us to Stand on Our Own
The time has come for us to stand on our own. We have to make the decision that we will be strong and mighty in the Lord (Joshua 24:15). We must decide that we will overcome (Romans 12:21; 1 John 5:5). We must dress ourselves in the Christian armor (Ephesians 6:11-17). Then, we must understand that we can stand on our own, because we are never really alone (Matthew 28:19-20). We will always have God on our side, by our side and upholding our side. That makes “standing alone” not sound so daunting. “Stand then, and having done all, Stand.”
What Is Most Important?
David A. Sargent
Family, friends, teammates and the world were all in shock when they learned that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before driving to the NFL football team’s training facility and shooting himself last Saturday [December 1, 2012]. On the very next day, the grieving Chiefs decided to proceed with their scheduled game against the Carolina Panthers. The Chiefs won the emotion-filled game, but all would agree that the outcome of the game was not the important thing. Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn was asked to share his thoughts about the tragedy in a press conference after the game. Commenting on Quinn’s remarks, Mike Florio said, “Quinn’s post-game remarks were eloquent and heartfelt, and they captured perfectly one of the things we risk losing as a society that communicates primarily in snippets of misspelled words and emotions.”
“The one thing people can hopefully try to take away, I guess, is the relationships they have with people,” Quinn told reporters after the game.
I know when it happened, I was sitting and, in my head, thinking what I could have done differently. When you ask someone how they are doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you are doing, are you really telling the truth? We live in a society of social networks, with Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine, but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we are more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the actual relationships that we have right in front of us. Hopefully, people can learn from this and try to actually help if someone is battling something deeper on the inside than what they are revealing on a day-to-day basis.
Thank you, Brady Quinn, for the wake-up call!
Relationships. That’s what life is all about. Yet, all too often we take our relationships with family and friends for granted. Further, there is one relationship that is the most important – our relationship with God, for this is the relationship that will save us and give us eternal life in a place where “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
Sin disconnects, divides, and destroys us as well as our relationships with others and with God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Yet, God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16). Through Jesus, we can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) and receive the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can be reconciled to God by placing our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10) and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38). The blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from our sins and keeps us in fellowship with God as we continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
We may not be able to make sense of the tragedy involving Belcher, his girlfriend and their families, but may it cause us to come to our senses and recognize the importance of our relationships – especially our relationship with God! Won’t you establish a saving relationship with the Heavenly Father by accepting His offer of salvation, life and relationship by trusting and obeying Jesus?