Tuesday, June 20, 2017
As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15(NLT)
Years ago a leader in a church I served disagreed (rather strongly) with a decision I had made. In the ensuing “discussion” I was trying to explain how I saw the circumstances and the reasons behind why I chose plan “A” rather than plan “B”. The leader could not see it from my perspective and got frustrated. His frustration took the form of an angry tone of voice and a shouted: I know what I believe; don’t confuse it with facts!
That was not the kind of standing firm with a strong grip Paul the apostle had in mind! Rather, Paul was encouraging the church to stand firm in the pathway of all the teaching he had passed on to them.
In the past several decades we have seen a loosening of the grip on Biblical truth, in favor of rationalizing human, sinful behavior. The result in our day is a wave of individualism that has weakened the church and body of Christ. It is easy to see some of those results in the life of the local church:
· Church attendance comes in a distant third or less when compared to the beach, mountains or sleeping-in
· Biblical standards of morality are merely suggestions – or just passed-off as superstitions of a past culture
· Biblical authority is no longer questions; it is blatantly discarded, or, worse, denied as false.
It is rare to see a firm stand in the things of God today, and we can thank intolerance for accepting and learning the Word of God. After all, how can anyone stand firm in the will of God if the Word of God is not known?
What is it upon which you stand firm and grip strongly?