Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 – Day 259.Sept 17 – True Convictions

Passage of the Day: Job 27 … Linked for study …

My Journal for Today:
One last run through in Job, Chapter 27, has Chuck Swindoll reflecting on the great church reformers of the 16th Century, men like Martin Luther in Germany, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland, and John Knox in Scotland. These were men, like Job, who stood for they believed in their time against the going tide of the church culture, even to the point of dying for their faith.

Apparently Swindoll had just returned from a tour of where these men had lived and proclaimed their faith in the face of the tribulations of their day. And I identified with Pastor Chuck; because my wife and I have been blessed to be in Switzerland and stood on the spot of where Calvin had to flee from France because of his reformation beliefs and where Zwingli had stood in a pulpit and preached what many considered heresies in those days. These were men who stood for truth in the gap of public trials and some of them went to their deaths, being burned for their faith.

And in Job 27, verses 5 – 6, we read our hero Job, who had been maligned by his three friends, standing up, with personal integrity, for what he believed. He says, …
5 I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6 I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it;

my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.

Now I have to ask myself, in the spirit of the Apostle’s challenge in 2nd Cor. 13: 5 - link provided, “Would I stand up for my faith as did Job or Martin Luther? … Would I be willing to die for my faith as did young Cassie Bernall in the infamous Columbine High School massacre?” I would hope so; but Chuck Swindoll says that Job and these others were likely able to do what they did in the face of dire circumstances because they had prepared their hearts to stand in the gap with three disciplines of their faith.

Using Job as our example, we need to be able to REFLECT ON OUR PAST. When we face loss, physical ailment, or crushing circumstances, as Job certainly did, it’s good to look back and be grateful for what God has done for us in the past. Then it’s a good discipline to REHEARSE OUR PRESENT, acknowledging to God any confusion or quandary in which we find ourselves. And finally, as we read about Job in this Chapter 27, it’s a necessity for us to REAFFIRM OUR FUTURE, by declaring openly where we stand for Christ. As one, like Job, does these three things that one will find that God will pour His enabling grace into our stand for righteousness; and we’ll be able to stand in the gap for our God in the face of the most dire of circumstances.

Oh, how this is my prayer for yours truly as the tenor of our times becomes more and more hostile to the Christian way of life. Who knows, … one day we may be called upon, like a Job, or a Luther, or a Cassie Bernall to stand before a tribunal or even a gun and answer the question, “Are you a Christian?” And at that point I need to know what God has done for me, that He is allowing such troubles in my life for my good, and that I must always stand for His glory … no matter what transpires in my life.

Will I be ready and able to stand? I pray I will.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, prepare me today for what may happen in my future … that I’ll be willing and able to stand for You … no matter what! Amen

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