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Saturday, May 21, 2011

If you were to take a strong stand for the Lord, what would be the cost? What might happen to you?

Exodus 23:2  tells us.. “Don’t go along with the crowd in doing evil and don’t fudge your testimony in a case just to please the crowd…”

At one time or another, we all deal with the pressure that’s put on us to conform to the norm, or to act in a certain way.

How successfully we handle that pressure depends on us—how we feel about ourselves and the kind of inner strength we develop, how clear we are on what we truly believe.

The truth is it’s much easier to follow the crowd. This puts a new light on the scripture where Jesus says that wide is the gate and broad the way that  leads to destruction..
To enter by the narrow gate requires courage..It requires our moment by moment decision to “die” to any desires to please the crowd.. and to be willing to be unpopular.. There is a cost involved in following the Lord.. I just read Luke 14:27,33..
We truly need to fix our attention on God.. To recognize what He wants from us and respond.. Unlike the cultures around us that is always dragging us down to its level, we need God to allow God to bring out the best in us..
I often think of Noah.. Most people who lived in his day were swept along with the crowd.. Noah followed God’s commands..
Genesis 6:1-3, 12, 7:1
That’s just hard to imagine! The results though was they were the only ones saved from the flood! -

Pontius Pilate is another  example of someone who gave in to peer pressure..
Matthew 27:24-26
I believe that Pilot knew that Jesus was innocent but he caved in to political pressure..He abandoned what he knew was right when he decided to please everyone else to keep himself ‘safe’..
My goodness! Even Job didn’t escape this!! Job 31:34 because I so feared the crowd and so dreaded the contempt of the clans that I kept silent and would not go outside--
We all must be careful not to make choices based on preferences to the majority.. We will fall into compromise if we fear men above honouring God’s will..

I myself need to remember this daily! It’s not about making people ‘happy’ but honouring  God.. take Him at His Word.. and following hard after Him..

I am constantly ‘preaching’ to my son who just turned 13 and has to deal with peer pressure.. I tell him not to be driven by fear and be concerned about what others think of him.. and not to compromise what he knows is truth.. It’s just peer pressure that we feel we need to compromise our Christian values.. This is so dangerous!! It is a difficult lesson though, and I realize that I must first walk this way before I can influence my son or others to do the same…  God’s advice in the bible is quite clear.. Proverbs 1:10-15..’do not go along with them..!!’..

And as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:8.. We stand true to the Lord whether others honour us or despise us, whether they criticize us or commend us..”

We must also remember this and keep this truth close to our heart if we are to stand.. Jesus cares for us and loves us despite if the whole world seems to be against us because of our choices to honour Him..We don’t have to be concerned about what others think of us.. I pray we would all be like the apostle Paul.. He stood faithful to God whether people praised him or condemned him.. He remained active, joyous and content even in the most difficult times!! Lord help us to stand true to You and to refuse to compromise our standard of living to please men!!

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind"……….       Romans 12:2 
I found this and think it’s a great summary of biblical examples on this subject.. so I am including them here..

  1. In the days of Noah, the crowd perished and only eight survived (Genesis 7:13,21–23; 1 Peter 3:20).
  2. After the flood, the crowd wanted to build a city and a tower, and they did not want to fill the whole earth even though God told them to do this (Genesis 11:1–9; compare 9:1,7).
  3. In the days of Abraham, the crowd wanted to worship idols, including Abraham’s family (Joshua 24:2).
  4. In the days of Moses, the crowd worshipped the golden calf (Exodus 32).
  5. In the days of Joshua and Caleb, the majority of the spies were afraid to conquer the land (Numbers 13-14).  The majority did not believe God.
  6. In the wilderness, the overwhelming majority of Israelites dropped dead (Numbers 14:29,30,32; Hebrews 3:17–19; 1 Cor. 10:5).
  7. In the days of Samuel, the majority of Israelites wanted a king so that they could be like all the other nations (1 Samuel 8:4–7).
  8. In the days of King Saul, the entire Israelite army was afraid of giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:11,24), but one young lad dared to be different (1 Samuel 17:32).
  9. In the days of Elijah, there were 450 prophets of Baal and only one prophet of the LORD (1 Kings 18).  God was with the one and God was against the 450.
  10. In the days of Micaiah, there were 400 false prophets and only one true prophet (1 Kings 22).
  11. In the days of Daniel, the crowd bowed down to the giant golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar, and only three men refused to do so (Daniel 3).
  12. Jesus said that the majority (the crowd) is headed for hell and the minority is headed for heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).
  13. It was the crowd that yelled "Crucify Him!" (Matthew 27:22–23; see how Pilate followed the crowd in Mark 15:15).
  14. In the days of the Reformation, the majority of the religious people in Germany did not understand that salvation was by faith rather than by works.  Martin Luther stood alone with God.  God plus one is a majority!
  15. In the days of the man of sin (the Antichrist), the crowd will follow the beast (Revelation 13) and will take the mark of the beast.  The minority will follow Christ even if it means being killed for their faith.

Love Mary J
Keep on persuing love.. IT NEVER FAILS..

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