We're almost at the end of our summer series, The Story. Sunday's message from Pastor Mike Abbamonte is a few days behind us now, and the question is: did you leave it in your seat?
As we looked at the story of the prophet Elijah, Pastor Mike asked some tough questions:
"Will we stand up for Jesus with the same amount of passion that we stand up for our political affiliation?"
"Single folks, if you're dating someone, are you willing to look [them] in the eye and say, 'If Jesus is not the center of our relationship, then there is no relationship'? That's standing up for Jesus."
"Husbands, will you look at your wives and say, 'we've got to do a better job of putting Jesus at the center [of our marriage]. Wives, will you challenge your husbands to help you do that?"
So as we're wrestling with Sunday's message, here's some encouragement from Pastor Mike:
What we should remember about Elijah is that he stood up to the prophets of Baal in the face of death - he knew God had his back. Ahab, Jezebel, the false prophets, not even a nation of people worshiping a false god would scare Elijah away from representing the one true God, Yahweh. The faith of one man helped keep God's story continuing.
The same holds true for us today. It takes Elijah-like faith to stand up for our faith and, like Elijah, God is with you. He'll never leave you or forsake you. If one man with authentic, non-wavering faith helped continue the story, imagine what a large group of believers with authentic, non-wavering faith can do today!
Remember Jesus' words when he spoke to His disciples:
Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." - Luke 9:23
Jesus wants you to follow him with everything that you are. He wants you to stand up for Him everywhere and in every situation. When He tells us to take up our cross He doesn't say it's going to be easy; in fact He knows it will be hard. We have one thing on our side: nothing and no one can stand against the everlasting power of the God of the Universe. That's an amazingly strong promise on God's part, and we should be excited to stand up for Him. It may be in your home or at your job. It could be in your marriage or with your kids.
Always remember to stand up for Him because His death and resurrection show how far he was willing to go to stand up for us.