May 13, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:56-58.
John Kasich a former nine-term congressman and television host has written a new book called, "Stand for Something - The Battle for America’s Soul.” I heard John talking about this on Fox News this morning. He thinks this is the problem with our country - that few are standing for anything. But some are. On the one hand, you have people like Pat Tillman who gave up a career, fame, and riches of professional football to join the Army Rangers. We know that tragically he died in Afghanistan. On the other hand, you have some people in the sports world who will take steroids or other banned substances and lie about it to reach the top of their profession.
This is a battle of good versus evil. A battle of the moral versus the immoral. A battle for lives of hard honest work against instant gratification by whatever means necessary. John Kasich says we who make up this country need to stand for something or this country is going down the tubes. I think what we need to stand for is…Jesus. And that’s exactly what the apostle Paul tells us that we need to do in, 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” "Stand firm.”
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day in the United States and you may not think this a Mother’s Day devotional but it is. This is a Mother’s Day devotional, a Father’s Day devotional, an Uncle and Aunt devotional, an how-to-be an American Patriot (or a patriot in your country) devotional all rolled into one. Because you cannot be a good mother, father, uncle, aunt, a patriot, a good son, or daughter unless you stand for something. That something you need to stand for is a person whose name is Jesus Christ.
Consider for a moment the word, "stand.” What does this mean? Here are some definitions that I found:
"to be in an upright position, or put something in an upright position.”
"to remain in a particular place without moving.”
"to resist or bear something without being harmed or damaged.”
"an opinion that somebody has or an attitude that somebody adopts.”
The way Paul uses the word "stand” could include all of those definitions. However, it is in the military sense of the word that Paul is urging us to "stand firm.” Here are two of the definitions of the military use of the word, "stand”: "a halt made, especially by a force that has been retreating, to give battle (As in Custer’s last stand.).” Also, "to fight resolutely or give battle, often after having been in retreat.”
Do you hear what Paul is saying? He is saying to the Corinthians and to us. "Stop the retreat!” "Stop giving in to what this world wants!” "Stop giving in to what the devil wants!” "Stop giving in to the instant gratification, whatever feels good do it philosophy of life!” "Stop it!” "Stand up, and fight!” "Stand up, and fight for what is right, and good!” "…because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58c).”
When you fight and when you stand up for the Lord Jesus - your efforts, witness, and your sacrifices are not wasted. They are never in vain and they will be remembered for eternity.
You can make a difference with your life but to do so you are going to have stand up for Jesus. Will you?