Standing Firm with Abe and Paul


Abe & Paul

Weaving together quotes from a famous one and The Famous One

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.

Love the Lord Your God

Deut 6-5 imageThe YouTruth in Deuteronomy 6:5

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

It’s clear from this passage that loving the Lord is not a part-time affair. In fact, it’s not only a full-time affair, but it’s an “all-in” affair. What happens in the activity of real life often looks different. It’s easy to behave differently in the workplace than at church. It’s easy to behave differently on the ball field than in your Sunday School class. Compartmentalizing your life is not God’s idea. You (and I) are called to be full-time, all-in lovers of Him. This is required if you are to call Him “Lord.”


The verses in Deuteronomy that follow our passage above give us some key teaching as to how to do this:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

If you are a parent: Sharing this love commandment (and all of the other commandments for that matter), with your children is a great way to go all-in. Two things are at work here: Children learn by following the examples of their parents and the respected adults around them. Knowing this will encourage you to be a full-time lover of God.

If you aren’t a parent: Share it with any children you encounter!

Regardless of your status as a parent:
Speak! Talk about it! When you get up, let your voice be filled with your love for the Lord. When you are at home, let your love for the Lord be on your lips. When you are out and about, let your words reveal your love for the Lord. End every day verbally expressing your love for the Lord. Remember that we speak with the words of our mouth and the actions that follow them. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an action is worth ten thousand! So include in your love speech, prayers to the Lord for help in walking the walk too.

Make today an “all-in” day for the Lord!

You Have Been Called Into Fellowship

1 Cor 1-9 imageThe YouTruth in 1 Corinthians 1:9

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

When you became a believer in Jesus, you also became a “fellow.” That sounds kind of weird, doesn’t it? But understanding your relationship with Jesus in this context, reveals the depth and closeness God longs to have with you. So let’s follow this through for a while!

It is easy to understand Jesus’ superiority. He is God after all! It is also easy to understand your inferiority to Him. You are not God after all. While these assessments are true, they can often create a sense of distance between you and Him. God does not, in any way, wish for this. Thus your status as “fellow.”
A fellow, is generally defined as a member of a group having common characteristics, like-mindedness, and a common mission or purpose. While God wants you to fully lean on Jesus’ superiority for leadership and wisdom, He also has called you into partnership with Him as He goes about bringing His Kingdom’s presence into the world. That makes you one called into fellowship with Him.

An earthly superior, let’s take a king for example, may exert his authority over his subjects from the distant confines of an unapproachable castle, demanding obedience with impunity. But Jesus is a King of a completely different order. Jesus is a faithful King that calls you into a deep, personal fellowship with Him! And His demands are intended to bless you richly, draw you ever closer to Him, and to give you amazing Kingdom work to do!

So enter today knowing that you are not a mere subject. You are a blessed fellow, in a blessed fellowship with God’s one and only Son, with a blessed common purpose. Carry it out today!

Whatever You Do

Colossians 3-23-24 imageThe YouTruth in  Colossians 3:23-24

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Are you looking forward to just another mundane day at the office. Well God has an antidote for that. You inject it directly into your heart and it not only cures workday “blahs,” but returns a huge reward too.

There is a great difference between work done for the Lord and work done for others. Here’s the typical workplace chain of command: you work for your boss, who works for upline managers, who work for executives and shareholders, all working ultimately for your company’s customers. You get paid for the work you do, your boss gets paid, the executives get paid (much more!), and so on. God has a different authority structure and payout plan.

God’s idea is to replace the word “work” with the word “serve,” and the word “boss” with the name of Jesus. When you adopt an attitude of service to the Lord in your work, two incredible things happen. First, your work becomes a “heart thing” instead of just an obligation and a paycheck. Second, because your heart is behind it, you become more effective at the work you do. Jesus gets right in the middle of work that is done whole-heartedly for Him. The work becomes less about what your company pays you to do, which can be very limiting, and becomes more about the eternal reward the Lord promises you and the glorious purpose for which He has you in your workplace.

Work today, as working for the Lord, with the assurances of compensation far beyond a paycheck and effectiveness supplied by Jesus Himself. See what a difference it makes!