Will The Real Follower's Of Christ, Please Stand Up
While out in one of the neighborhoods of the inner city, I decided to make a stop to visit with and pray for one of the mother's I had met on a previous occasion. I had not called her to let her know I was in the area, I just thought I'd hurriedly run in to say hi, and pray with her, and go on about my business. All around me I could see the usual sights and goings on of the city. There were children playing in one area, watched by attentive parents, while down the street a little further, close to the corner, was a group of young men of varying ages, holding a conversation with a couple of attractive young women. As I parked my car near the curb, and proceeded to step out, one of the young men came up to me and asked if I needed anything. But before I could answer him, my attention was drawn to some gang graffiti on the wall near where I was going. When the young man realized that I had taken notice of the writings on the wall, he proudly said to me, " We represent our hood."
I quickly told the young man that I was there on other business, and he turned to walk away. I asked him if he knew the mother I had come to visit, and after I had told him her name, he replied that she was his grandmother, and that she was inside. This time he turned toward the house and headed for the walkway, while motioning to me to follow him in. Once inside, I thanked him for his kindness and the courtesy he had shown towards me. But I couldn't let him go without asking him what he meant by, we represent our hood. He seemed surprised that I was concerned enough to ask him. But he told me, I can't give you the whole story now, but to put it in a nutshell, all of the guys in this area stand together for our homes, and for what we believe.
I Remembered Stephen
After my visit and prayer was done with the mother, I got back into my car and headed out of the area. But as I drove down the road in one direction, I could still see the young men and women standing near the corner in my rear-view mirror. Soon, after traveling a couple of blocks, the group could no longer be seen, their sight had been blocked from my vision by cars and buildings, but the young man's words were still fresh, and came back to replay themselves in my remembrance. " All of the guys in this area stand together for our homes, and for what we believe."
As I continued driving, my mind began to visualize another young man that stood for what he believed. This young man was named Stephen. Stephen was the first Deacon of the Early church. Stephen was chosen by the Apostles when the numbers of the church were increasing, and help was needed in the daily ministration to the mothers. Stephen was a man full of faith and power, and Stephen did great wonders and miracles among the people.
Many of the Religious groups of that day, The Libertines, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those of Cilisia and Asia disputed with Stephen. But they could not stand up against his wisdom, or the spirit by whom he spoke. Then they conspired with other men, accusing Stephen of speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God. They stirred up the people to a near riot, and brought Stephen before the Sanhedrin. And while seated before the Sanhedrin, people still could not help but notice that Stephen's face was like the face of an angel.
If You Stand For Jesus, He'll Stand For You
Stephen stood before the Sanhedrin, and gave them a lesson about God like they had never heard before. Stephen took them all the way back to the days of their father Abraham, when God called him forth from his father's house, and made a covenant with him to bless his seed. Stephen brought them on a generation by generation journey to the present, expounding on all of the prophets God had sent to offer redemption and relationship.
After they had their fill, and couldn't take anymore of having to come to terms with themselves, by Stephen's words, they ran upon him, gnashing their teeth, and took him to be stoned.
But the bible tells us, Acts7: 54- 56, That as they proceeded to take Stephen, that he being a man full of the Holy Ghost, looked up to heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
If you happen to be slow, like myself, here it is step by step. Where ever we read in the bible about Jesus, after his ascension, we are always told that Jesus is " Seated" at the right hand of the Father in Glory. But here, for Stephen, we see Jesus, " Standing" at the right hand of God.
It makes me to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that when we stand for Jesus, Jesus will stand for us. We are going to be reviled, slandered, rejected, and persecuted. But I encourage all, Stand for the only one that was worthy to stand for us. We as Christians, should be like that young man, we should stand for what we believe. We should Stand for our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. After all, he stood for us first. Will the real follower's of Christ, please stand up! Share your testimony or leave a comment as to how Jesus has stood for you.