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January 17, 2019, 2:04 PM

Keep speaking, for someone is listening; Keep standing, for someone is watching


Writing this blog today is interesting. I was supposed to meet a church member here at the local coffee shop and bookstore, but he had to drive a friend from his apartment building to the hospital and thus had to cancel. I then turned to various administrative work which can be done in a coffee shop. 

Today I am within earshot of a photographer meeting with a personal injury lawyer discussing marketing. They are going through various scenarios they might video or photograph to compel citizens to use their service if they are injured in an auto accident, mishap at work, or what have you. There is an air of respect and courtesy, even if the photographer secretly thinks she is an ambulance chaser; he is being respectful to gain a client, perhaps, but he is engaging her and asking good questions in order to understand her business and do his best for her and her lawfirm. 

It all reminds me to stand up, stand out, and stand firm. "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter." The words of St. Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians (2:15). And, over 15 years of ministry in a traditional Lutheran church body (www.lcms.org), I've had a good number of people ask me about our traditions. They have also said that our standing in these traditions was a great inspiration to them, and that as we did so, they were encouraged to "keep the faith" in their own lives. 

It is a good reminder that--ESPECIALLY when things feel the worst, or most terrible, it is THEN that you must stand. Ask God for the strength to keep standing, and He will give it to you. The Father is remarkable this way; He will always help you glorify His name, even if standing means lying in a hospital bed and expressing your faith to those around you.   

Two or three times in ministry, the LORD has reminded me of this, and it's easy to forget. But it must be spoken and reviewed all of the time so that we don't forget. STAND. PRAY. PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6). In so doing, you will save yourself and your hearers. 

That last word was spoken to Timothy the young pastor by St. Paul, and applies to preachers; however, it also applies to laymen in the sense that laymen, too, proclaim Christ's death until He comes again (I Corinthians 11). Laymen are the Body of Christ through which preachers are called to minister and speak the Gospel among them. 

You have an important role today, right now: STAND. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you do this, and you will notice that many appreciate it. They need it. They need you to be strong; therefore, 

1 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
ye soldiers of the cross!
Lift high his royal banner,
it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
his army he shall lead,
till every foe is vanquished,
and Christ is Lord indeed.

2 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
the solemn watchword hear;
if while ye sleep he suffers,
away with shame and fear.
Where'er ye meet with evil,
within you or without,
charge for the God of battles,
and put the foe to rout.
 

3 Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
stand in his strength alone;
the arm of flesh will fail you,
ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armour,
each piece put on with prayer;
when duty calls or danger
be never wanting there.

 


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