Tag Archives: stand firm

Acts 22-28; What Would It Take?

I read about Paul’s life and think – could I have endured what he did and still stay faithful to the Truth? How many times would I have to be falsely accused before I quit proclaiming Jesus as God? How many friends would I have to lose, or towns I’d have to leave, or prison sentences I’d have to serve before I’d say, “Enough is enough?” Could I stand before kings and governors and boldy proclaim the Truth about Jesus?

But those aren’t the questions God is asking me today. His questions sound more like: “How many times are you going to ignore Me when I nudge you to speak to your neighbor about Me?” “How many conversations are you going to redirect when the subject turns to Me and you get uncomfortable?”

God’s not asking me to stand firm in front of kings. He’s asking me to stand firm in front of my family, and sometimes I can’t even do that. He’s not asking me to go to prison or be beaten because of my faith. He’s asking me to go to dinner with that person He’s laid on my heart.

What would it take for me to deny Jesus, to go along with the crowd, to convince myself what someone believes is not my business?

I’m ashamed to say.

May 15 – The Deceiver

2 Samuel 13-15

Absalom, King David’s son, was pretty devious. First he plotted, then carried out his plan to kill Amnon. Then he decided to turn his attention to his dad. Absalom wanted to be king. And he could be patient.

He started by sitting at the city gate, greeting people as they entered. What a nice guy, they must have thought. Then Absalom began talking to them, listening to them, sympathizing with them.

Next, after he had gained their confidence, he began throwing out little suggestions to undermine David’s kingship. “Too bad I’m not judge, ” he told them. “I’d take care of things for you.”

Pretty soon, Absalom had a following. Then he made his move.

Satan uses those same tactics. He doesn’t always present himself with pitchfork in hand. In fact, he can be charming, intelligent, funny, and patient.

He’s a funny gay couple in your favorite sitcom. He’s a rationalization for a sin you’ve committed. He’s a look at someone else with whom you compare yourself and say, “I’m not as bad as she.” He’s a talk show host who promotes positive thinking, or a TV preacher who says you have power within you to get what you want. It’s the popular notion that you must put yourself first in order to be happy. It’s the pressure to tolerate false beliefs and sinful choices. It’s that “Don’t judge” abuse of His Word.

Satan has been called “the deceiver.” Do we recognize his tactics to take our eyes off Jesus, to doubt our faith, or compromise that which God wants us to hold firm? Let’s use Scripture as our plumb line, our rule book and guide. If what we hear doesn’t agree with the Bible (and not just a verse here and there) let’s reject it as an attempt by Satan to subtly win us to his side.

Father, I pray for your children. May we be grounded in Your Word, may we recognize the lies, and stand up for the Truth. Defeat Satan in our lives, in the lives of our loved ones, and in the world.