This may be the most important post I've ever written. It comes after the challenge was presented by our pastor this last week in church. "What do you stand for? Stand up and be counted. " It was a challenge to take a stand for Christ - to publicly and openly share my faith, my salvation, my redemption and my knowledge of a Savior who died for all. So please allow me to share this with you.
Today was SYATP. What does that stand for? See You At The Pole. I remember it well. My first efforts to coordinate this activity at Rustburg Middle School were in my eighth grade year. I was told by the principal that I couldn't put up posters and it would be best for us not to join and pray so we didn't upset anyone. I was a stubborn 13 year old and chose not to listen. I didn't hang posters but I did ask my friends to join me at the flag pole. It was a small group, less than 10, but we gathered together, joined hands and we prayed. We took a stand for our faith. We took a stand in a public school setting to let others know we wanted to share the love of Jesus.
I was never the kid afraid to back down from my beliefs, nor was I afraid to share my beliefs with others. I'll never forget the self-proclaimed atheists in high school who went head-to-head with me debating the bible. It was an eye-opening experience for me because it taught me I must know what I believe - inside and out - and be able to not just defend my faith but to live it out so that what I believe is witnessed in my life.
More than 20 years later, I am now using this blog as I've done so many times before to share. This isn't just about taking a stand and publicly proclaiming that I love Jesus and believe He is the only Saving way to eternal life with a Holy God. It's also my accountability. You see, I don't always choose wisely. I don't always live this out daily. I don't always represent Christ's love and compassion. When I'm tried, frustrated, annoyed, irritable, (pregnant - that has to be a disclaimer, right?!) I often let my flesh react without being led by the Holy Spirit to guide my words and deeds. I don't always respond the way I know God would want me to.
So here's what else I need to openly share. I'm human. Being a Christian is not about a "title." It's not about an expectation. It's not about rule-following. It's about a life - every single life - needing forgiveness of our fallen sinful flesh. It's about choosing to follow Christ in all things - it's not just being a fan of His - it's knowing Him. It's a daily intimate relationship meant to grow and mature. It's a free gift given to anyone who will receive it.
Today I'm taking a stand, not just to claim I'm a "Christian," but to share with you how much I desire - even more, how much He desires - to see you put a soul-surrendering faith in His sacrifice for you on the cross. He paid the penalty for your sin - all of them. We're all sinners needing a Savior and He died just for you. Today I'm sharing the most important message I could ever share - that Jesus Christ desires an intimate and personal relationship with you. He created you. He died for you. He loves you. I know it may be hard to grasp but there's nothing more important than accepting Him and recognizing the eternal impact of your choice to follow Him.
Won't you take a stand with me?