Stand Up for Jesus

The Apostle Paul preaching in Athens
The Apostle Paul preaching in Athens

Daily Reform, Day 89

Galatians 2:11 & 1 Corinthians 2:1-4

From the Reformer

Paul goes on in his refutation of the false apostles by saying that in Antioch he withstood Peter in the presence of the whole congregation. As he stated before, Paul had no small matter in hand, but the chief article of the Christian religion. When this article is endangered, we must not hesitate to resist Peter, or an angel from heaven. Paul paid no regard to the dignity and position of Peter, when he saw this article in danger. It is written: “He that loveth father or mother or his own life, more than me, is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37).

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

When the Gospel lesson is read on Sunday mornings we stand out of reverence for our Lord. Do we stand for the Gospel during the rest of the week? Perhaps we allow ourselves to be overrun by the everyday affairs of life so that we will not be aware of where we might take a stand for Christ. If we stay busy enough we may not feel the shame of not defending the faith. After all, there are really smart people out there and they speak better than we do.

It does not matter. Stand! Moses was the stuttering voice of God to Pharaoh. Paul himself said that his speech was weak and his wisdom wanting. Yet in both of their lives God’s message was demonstrated with Spirit power. His power was displayed through Moses because he went and stood before Pharaoh. If he had not stood before Egypt’s ruler, what reason would God have had to act? God’s power was shown through Paul because he stood up with trembling legs to those who distorted the Gospel. If Paul had ignored the occasion, the Spirit would have had no occasion.

Perhaps the Spirit of God will move powerfully through you today. If so, he will not do so by suddenly making you wise or giving you lofty speech. The power of the Spirit will be manifested through you miraculously when you stand despite being afraid of having nothing to say. It is when all you have to say is that Christ was crucified for you that the Spirit of God will move powerfully. The grace and power of God will work through you (2Co 12:9) as he did through Moses and Paul. But first you have to stand up.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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