Standing Firm with Abe and Paul

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Abe & Paul

Abraham Lincoln said, “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

The Apostle Paul said it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Paul and Abe have something pretty cool to say here. Follow this two-step plan:

Find the right place. Stay there.

Seems pretty simple, yet I’d dare say many of us may find it hard to do. One of the reasons for this might be that we tend to presume that where we are now is the right place. Once we open our hearts to the possibility that we might not be at the right place, we can actually get started with step one…

Finding The Right Place 

How do we find where the right place is? How do we evaluate the place we are to determine whether we should keep on walking or dig our heels in? Wouldn’t it be great if a large “Right City Exit Ahead” sign appeared along the highway or a “Right Blvd.” sign was posted at the correct intersection?  Well if we search Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians for this signage, lo and behold, I think we find it! Here’s the kicker. Paul’s road sign tells us that the right place is not a place at all, but an attitude. The right place is devotion to the work of the Lord and faith that His glorious purposes will be done through it. Giving ourselves fully to the Lord’s work puts our feet in the right place—on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ. Once there, it’s on to step two…

Standing Firm

The Rock upon which we are stand, is not a fixed location but an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus as our Savior and Lord. This Jesus, is not a passive, stay-put Lord, but one that is always at work in the world, always directing us to those He intends for us to reach in His name. So we must set our feet on the Rock of Jesus and be ready to rock ‘n’ roll with Jesus! Standing firm is not standing still. It is resolving to keep close to Him and the work He has for us, no matter where it takes us.

Lincoln did it. While battle plans changed, political coalitions changed, world affairs changed, He stood firm on the work He felt the Lord calling him to do—unite our nation.

Paul did it. When the Spirit said, “Don’t go there,” he didn’t. When the Spirit said, “Help us over here,”  he went. When he was with Jews, he remembered their customs. When he was with Gentiles, he tailored his witness to their culture. But he stood firm on the truth he preached and the fervency with which he preached it.

We must do it too – We must never refuse to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must be willing to follow Jesus where He leads us, to love those He loves (that’s everybody), and to proclaim Him always. We must never stand firm in the place of our choosing if it is not the place of His choosing. We must never stand in firm inaction when loving action is called for.

You and The Way Out: Temptation and Our Faithful God

1 Cor 10-13 imageThe YouTruth in 1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”


Temptation is a powerful enemy. In our broken world, we will face temptations. No one, no matter how strong in their faith, will be exempt from this condition. In this passage, the nature of temptation and the nature of God are put on display. Understanding both natures is the key to “the way out.”

The Nature of Temptation—Common
Temptation is common to mankind. A card-carrying members of mankind, we face common temptations that every other card-carrying member faces. No one gets to claim that their temptations are more severe than anyone else’s. Our response to temptations we face is what creates seeming severity. It is not the temptation that is more severe, it is the mess that is made in response to temptation that makes it more severe.

The Nature of God—Faithful
No temptation can bring you down without your permission. God always puts His governing hand on the temptations you face to ensure that they, by themselves, cannot overtake you. If you, wittingly or unwittingly, install additional weaponry to temptations, then it can overtake you. God always provides a way out. All you have to do is to take it. This can be hard to do, particularly if a pattern of being overcome has established strong resistance to his way out. Remember, it is not our lack of resistance to the temptation that is the problem. It is a strength of resistance to God’s way out that is the problem.

Keep a keen eye out for The Way out today. When temptation comes, and it will come, you will be able to endure it and emerge victorious over it.