Stand-up For Jesus
Are you willing to stand out and stand up for the Lord? It is not easy, and it will cost.
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It is right and proper that we should mark this historic milestone. But perhaps you might be asking, what impact does an event that occurred so long ago really have on my life today?
The Protestant Reformation was one of the greatest times of revival and blessing in the history of the Christian Church, and we do indeed benefit from it to this day. While beginning on mainland Europe, it spread rapidly across the continent, and eventually reached our own shores. So, to no small degree, the Gospel liberty we enjoy right now can be traced back to the time when Luther, Calvin and the other Reformers were willing to take a stand for the Lord.
One striking feature of this mighty work especially relevant to young people is the fact that many were so willing to stand up and be counted on the side of the Lord. For Martin Luther and his co-workers and successors, it was not about keeping silent and tolerating error for the sake of a quiet life – it was about being true to the Lord, separating themselves from error and sin, and standing up for what was right.
Today, there is a pressing need for all of God’s people, but particularly young people, to stand apart from the things of this world and not to be taken up with its errors, its fashions, and its opinions. Are you willing to stand out and stand up for the Lord? It is not easy, and it will cost – it may cost friends, it may cost acceptance with others, but separation from the world and identification with Christ always leads to God’s blessing. He promises, “Them that honour me, I will honour” (1 Samuel 2:30).
In the spring of 1858 a revival broke out in Philadelphia. Rev. Dudley Tyng, a young Episcopalian minister, soon came to be recognized as its leader. One day while studying at his home he went out to the shed to check on his mule, which was driving a machine that shelled corn. As he patted the animal, the sleeve of his shirt caught in the cogs of the machine, and his arm was severely injured. The wound became infected, and Dudley Tyng fell ill and died a few days later. Before he died, however, he was asked by his friend George Duffield, if there was a message he wanted to pass on to the generation coming after him. Tyng responded by saying “Tell them, let us all stand up for Jesus.” It was this message from a dying saint to those coming after him that provided inspiration for the composition of Duffield’s hymn ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus’.
Young person, determine before God that you will stand up and stand out for Him in your generation. As you do, may your life tell for Christ, showing to others something of the glory of the Gospel!
Rev. Garth Wilson.