Standing Together

Published on Apr 16th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Standing Together

Standing Together

Last week I had the privilege of attending a conference with 7,500 other men and women in the arena where the Louisville Cardinal basketball team plays. This conference consisted of those who have chosen to come together to uplift the truth of the gospel. One of the last things we did together this year was to sing “O Church Arise” (the last thing we did was pray together and sing the Doxology…so cool!). Here are the words to “O Church Arise” by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty:

O Church, arise, and put your armour on;
Hear the call of Christ our Captain.
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given.
With shield of faith and belt of truth,
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies;
An army bold, whose battle-cry is Love,
Reaching out to those in darkness.

Our call to war, to love the captive soul
But to rage against the captor;
And with the sword that makes the wounded whole,
We will fight with faith and valour.
When faced with trials on every side
We know the outcome is secure,
And Christ will have the prize for which He died,
An inheritance of nations.

Come see the cross, where love and mercy meet,
As the Son of God is stricken;
Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet,
For the Conqueror has risen!
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This victory march continues till the day
Every eye and heart shall see Him.

So Spirit, come put strength in every stride,
Give grace for every hurdle,
That we may run with faith to win the prize
Of a servant good and faithful.
As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When with Christ we stand in glory.

Aren’t those amazing words that just speak to your soul? I am so encouraged when I hear them sung. Here is what made all of this extra special. Not only were there 7,500 other men and women singing with me but standing to my left was a very good friend who is standing for Jesus in all things in his life and to my right was my son who was at the conference with the church he now serves at. It was an overwhelmingly emotional time for me as I stopped singing and just listened to so many others lift up their voices to Almighty God and then to hear my son singing as loud as he could these great words of testimony and faith. It was one of the first times I realized that my son is a fellow warrior in the kingdom of God. He has answered the call to war and has given his life to rage against the captor. He is still my son but we stand together, side by side, him in Buffalo, me at exit 7A in New Jersey, to be part of the army bold whose battle-cry is Love. What a privilege and blessing.

There was a song that was somewhat popular when my children were growing up that kind of stuck with me. The singer has left the faith but the principle of the song is still good – We may only see a shepherd boy (David) but God may see a King. As you look at your children today, see them through the eyes of God who has, Lord willing, chosen them to be part of his kingdom. Fan the flame of their faith and their gifts. Prepare them for service in the kingdom of God. It is very important that they do well in school but it is far more important that they are preparing themselves for the role God has for them in the kingdom.

 

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