Stand Up and Stand Out

I rocked a Nashville Predators hockey game last night. They played the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed that there were no fights the whole game, but over all, it was awesome. I really like watching how people got into the game. You could tell the locals – they knew when to yell mean things at the other team in unison. They were like a choir of bullies. I felt like one of the only people in the place without a jersey. Thankfully I was rooting for the right team. That wasn’t the story for everyone though…

There was a family sitting a few rows away from us that were bold enough to rock some Maple Leaf jerseys right in the middle of a bunch of Nashville fans. Their jerseys are bright blue and white – there’s no mistaking them. I think that’s they way they liked it though. When the Maple Leafs scored, that family seemed to be the only family in the stadium cheering. Meanwhile, we slithered down in our seats in shame, trying to pretend that our team didn’t just get scored on. It never worked. Watching that family reminded me of how a Christian should look in the world…

We should stand out.

That doesn’t mean we should all be wearing Christian jerseys and only hang out together, but it certainly means we shouldn’t blend in. That family could have gone without the jerseys and they didn’t have to cheer when the Maple Leafs scored, but they didn’t care about standing out. They rocked those jerseys with pride. Live your life for Christ with pride. Stand up and stand out.

We should be bold.

Don’t be scared to stare the enemy in the face. Forget about the consequences of obeying Christ’s call on your life – He’ll take care of those. Be obedient and be bold. Do crazy things for Christ. Live as though God really is in eternal and in control of everything.

We should be consistent.

I’ll bet any game the Maple Leafs play where that family can attend, they rock those jerseys with pride. They don’t change jerseys to fit in with the crowd. I’ve lost count of how many people have told me they don’t go to church because they’ve met too many hypocrites who go to church. Don’t be someone’s excuse not to go to church! When you live for God and the world, you tell the world that God isn’t enough. He’s cool, but not quite enough. You have to take extra supplements of the world to truly be satisfied. Live as though Jesus is all you need, because He is all that you need!

Tomorrow night at Awaken, I’ll be teaching on the first 25 verses of Acts 8. A huge persecution breaks out in the days following Stephen’s death (Acts 7) and Christians fear for their lives. They were simply obeying what Christ had commanded, and now this?! Of course. That’s what happens.

Think about it this way…
How are Acts 1:8 and Acts 8:1 related?

Acts 1:8 – But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 8:1 – …At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

When you obey 1:8, expect 8:1. It’s part of the experience.

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