Monday, October 25, 2021

Devotionals for the Heart: Stand Up and Stand Out for Jesus Christ

Out of Place
A devotional by Glynis Becker

“Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” –Matthew 5:16 (NASB)

When was the last time you felt out of place?

When have you felt so conspicuous you were sure that everyone was watching you?

A few weeks ago we went to see our daughter in the marching band at her college’s homecoming game. I’m embarrassed to admit that until we walked through the doors to the stadium, it had not occurred to me to wear something with the school logo or even the school’s colors! This was a weekend trip and I had only packed a few clothes, so I didn’t have any options to change into.

As I sat in the stands with my bright green shirt sticking out in a sea of maroon and gold, all I could be thankful for was that I hadn’t accidentally worn the colors of the opposing team!

My embarrassment eventually gave way to an enjoyment of the beautiful fall weather and an exciting (though losing) football game. This experience made me think about how much my situation mirrored the Christian life.

That crowd of cheering spectators is the world. And me, standing in the midst of it with a shirt that doesn’t match, represents the Christ-follower. It makes us uncomfortable to be different, but Jesus Christ reminds us to be strong in that place. He prayed to the Father for us (Christ-followers) in John 17:15-16 (NASB): “‘I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them away from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.’”

Standing in the crowd is good. Standing out from the crowd is even better.

Several Old Testament books were written during and about the time of the Jewish exile in Babylon. These Jews were forced from their land and homes and sent to live among their enemies. The Jews stood out from their Gentile neighbors, just as Christians today stand out from an unbelieving world. But God gave words to the prophet Jeremiah during that time that I believe we should take to heart ourselves. He said, “‘Seek the prosperity of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord in its behalf; for in its prosperity will be your prosperity.’” (Jeremiah 29:7 NASB)

God has created us for this time and this place. While our eternal home is with Him in Heaven, we need to be mindful of our work in this world too. The world we live in will remain broken until Jesus returns to Earth to take us home and make all things right. We should eagerly await His return and promise of restoration. At the same time, we must continue to seek justice, share truth, feed the poor, build the kingdom, and love others here, even if we will never see the perfection of those things in our lifetime.

My grandmother used to say that too many Christians are, “so heavenly-minded that they are of no earthly good.” Let’s do good while we’re here, but never forget that our true home is elsewhere. Don’t be afraid to stand up for Jesus and stand out in this world!

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the courage to stand for you, especially when it’s hard. Remind me that this world needs love and justice and freedom. Help me to remember that Your words of truth are the only keys to all those things. Help me to dwell here in the world lightly, always looking forward to being present with You in Heaven. In Your powerful and precious name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.  

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two college-age children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting.

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