October 15, 2012

Stand // Day 1

STAND – Leaving an Eternal Footprint

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”  2 Chronicles 20:17 (NIV)

We’ve all heard the expression: “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” It begs the question: “What are you standing for?” I’ve been asking myself that question over my study break, and it has compelled me to examine my own heart and ministry for the time that I have remaining in this world. It’s what led me to develop this new series I’m calling STAND – Leaving an Eternal Footprint. But even more than a new series of sermons, it has become the theme for the balance of my life.

Knowing where you stand brings clarity to your life. It reduces the stress of indecision and gives you a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It gives you purpose and meaning. You know that you matter, and God desires to use you to accomplish an eternal purpose. It gives you convictions you refuse to compromise. That was the case for Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Liddell. You may remember the movie, “Chariots of Fire.” Liddell was called the “Flying Scotsman.” On Friday, July 11, 1924, Eric Liddell won the 400 meter Olympic Gold medal in Paris. Liddell was a devout Christian. He knew where he stood, and he was unashamed to stand even if it meant giving up his dream for a gold medal or representing his country in a race he was favored to win. Why? He refused to run in a heat held on Sunday because of his personal convictions and was forced to withdraw from the 100 meter race which was his best event. Choosing instead to run a more difficult 400 meter race on Friday, Liddell went to the starting blocks where an American Olympic Team messenger slipped a piece of paper to him with a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30: “Those who honor me, I will honor.” Liddell ran the race with the verse in his hand and claimed Olympic Gold and new world record with a time of 47.6 seconds. When Eric described his race plan, he said “The secret of my success over the 400 meters is that I run the first 200 meters as fast as I can. Then, for the second 200 meters, with God’s help, I run faster.” His performance in the 400 meters in Paris stood as a European record for 12 years.

So what are you standing for in your life that gives you purpose and meaning? For the next 30 days we are going to be challenged to define our relationship with God and take our stand. It will be unique and different for each of us, but it will take the same depth of conviction to carry it out. I want to challenge you to join me for the next four weeks in taking a stand by:

•  Committing to attend church each weekend during this series.

•  Offering to host a small group in your home one night a week for the next four weeks that will encourage others to leave an eternal footprint as well.

•  Inviting a family member or friend to share the experience with you.

I’m already pumped about what God is going to do in our lives as He takes us to a whole new level in leaving an eternal footprint to bring lasting hope to every heart.