Passage for Study: Acts 26 … Acts 26 linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Today, Pastor Chuck Swindoll, becomes very personally challenging for his devotional readers, making reference to any or all of his readers (like me), asking if we’re willing to stand tall when the moment arises, as did the Apostle Paul before the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Roman Governor, and the Hebrew King in today’s repeated passage. And then Swindoll made reference to a now famous moment when the gracious Nun from Calcutta, Mother Theresa, now with Christ, confronted President Clinton and pro-choice Washington politicians at the 44th National Prayer Breakfast with a quiet. In a resoundingly powerful speech, she openly but lovingly rebuked any worldly government authority for any policies in the political world which promoted abortion. It was one of those great God moments in history as this diminutive Godly woman stood tall for Christ in a God-ordained and God-anointed moment; and President Clinton and pro-choice Washington squirmed with discomfort that day as God’s truth was declared by one who stood tall for God.
And then Swindoll, with these examples, gets personal, asking some probing questions to his readers. He writes, “The challenge comes in those private, unguarded moments when you face opposition to truth, … in a company board room, at the school PTA meeting, … or while seated on a plane. In those times, will you stand tall and speak the truth when a principle is at stake? Will you announce what you believe, graciously, yet firmly?” Personally, convicted by these examples and sitting here in my comfort zone, I would hope that I’d stand firmly for Christ; but I have to admit, from my past performance, I have chickened-out too many times, staying quiet when I knew God had given me the opportunity with a “divine appointment” to stand tall for Him and the Father’s glory.
God challenges us (see Matt. 5: 12 - 16) to be salt and light, doing what He pre-ordains for us to do to give witness in and to the world (see also Acts 1: 8). Oh, how I how I would desire to be bold enough to respond as the Apostle Paul or Mother Theresa did, even if it were not in such politically charged moments, as God gave me opportunities to witness to family, friends, or others.
I can recall a time when I actually did stand for Christ to those whom I loved in my family, to my parents, whom years ago I perceived were nominal “christians.” My Dad was even an Elder in his church; but didn’t have a clue as to what it took to be saved. And I felt he and my mother were lost. Well, a few years of pressed witnessed yielded first my Dad and then my mother coming to surrender their lives to Christ and be saved, my mother only 6 hours before her passing. That comfort, which came from me sharing “THE Truth” with my parents, will always remind me of the importance of standing tall when God provides the opportunity for us to witness to/for Him.
I pray that we can all STAND TALL when God gives us those moments to witness to His Name and for His truth.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, give me Your enabling grace to be salt and light in this world. Amen