Stand Up, Speak Up

Hi from our house,
Snow fell this week. We were in need of moisture, so it was a blessing in that respect. The snow was preceded by some rain, also. The good news here is we only got about 4 or 5 inches of the white stuff.
It was a rather uneventful week. I did make a trip north and bring back a few bales of hay that I had sold. We had planned on going to the other house and work on a project there, but decided to put it off for awhile.
We watched the Super Bowl game Sunday night, but weren’t really in to it, as none of our favorites made it that far. I don’t do the half-time show, and the commercials don’t seem to be as entertaining as they once were. I wonder if I’m becoming somewhat disinterested in the whole thing?
As I observe the actions of people who claim the name of Jesus, that is, those who call themselves Christians, I recall a devotional thought I had a few years ago. It came from being around livestock, and relates to the behavior of young bulls that I brought home from the sale. Before I would put them in with the older bulls, the new arrivals spent a little time in a separate pen, while they got accustomed to their new surroundings.
The newcomers would stand at the fence, bellowing and pawing dirt, trying to put on a show of strength and voicing their opinions. As soon as I would open the gate and let them in with the older bulls, they suddenly became quiet and tried to blend in with the others. When released into the larger pen, the young bulls seemed less inclined to make a show of their strength, and made every effort to be unnoticed.
I see this kind of behavior in Christians from time to time. Inside the friendly walls of our churches and Bible study groups, we voice our opinions and boast of our strength in the Lord, but when we get out into the real world, those things take a back seat to public opinion. We just try to blend in and keep quiet. The Lord had some things to say about this.
“I tell you whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8-9). Also, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).
Fellow believers, let us not just acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord in our safe Christian circles, but out in the world as well. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. We are called to be separate from the world, not to blend with it. Our message is even more important outside the walls of the church. It is a message for the salvation of the world!

Stand up, Stand up for Jesus,
Pastor Jerry

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