God Almighty, Creator of the heavens and earth, created man and God willed that man would be given freewill. In other words God gave man the power of choice in everything, including who man would choose to worship and serve! If you do not choose God make no mistake you will choose someone or something and the Bible calls those things idols. To choose yourself to worship, to have control of "your life" is to reject God, to serve money is to reject God, to choose power is to reject God. Choose wisely for it will not be for this very brief time on planet earth but rather for all of eternity!
Today is about standing up, showing up and speaking up, we have made our choice, we choose Jesus Christ and that choice carries with it responsibilities.
For instance what is Showing Up? Around the holidays people camp out over night, or sometimes for several nights waiting to get a free billboard size t.v.! The ones that show up first, the ones that are willing to inconvenience themselves are the ones who are rewarded. What about the ones that Show Up for Jesus? Following Jesus' Resurrection who was it that got to see Jesus and talk with Him first? Mary Magdalene and the other women, why were they rewarded? Because they showed up! They came early in the morning and instead of the body of their Lord they were greeted by an angel. They ran and told the disciples just as Jesus had instructed them and the disciples didn't believe them. When Jesus appeared to the disciples He rebuked them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart not to believe what the women had told them. Read Mark 16:6-14. Do we inconvenience our selves to get up early to meet with our Lord Jesus every morning, any morning?
What about Standing Up? David took a stand against the giant Goliath because he had dared to taunt the armies of the living God! The apostles stood up against the high priest and the chief priests and elders who ordered them to stop using the name of Jesus, they said, "we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard, we must obey God rather than men" The apostle Paul stood before kings and preached the Good News of Jesus Christ, everywhere he went he stood and proclaimed Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Savior! How am I Standing Up for Jesus? Do I proclaim Him as Lord before non believers or do I fear the reproach of man and stand by saying nothing?
Now about Speaking Up! Bartimaeus a blind beggar heard that Jesus was coming by and he yelled out to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" There were many in the crowd that day that tried to shut him up, but Bartimaeus would not be denied or shut down by man he cried out all the more and Jesus heard him and called for him and healed him! Mark 10:46-52. There are people in our lives that will try to shut us up, but we like Bartimaeus must keep crying out for Jesus and He will hear and answer our petitions.
The other aspect of Speaking Up must be the in the witness of our mouth, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord to the world! Not just in witnessing but in proclaiming the truth of the Word of God! Jesus said that we as believers in Him are the light of the world and that we are to let our lights shine in such a way that God would be glorified. Light exposes things, lies, darkness, if we are not speaking up then we are hiding our light under a basket! Christians are not to be a stealth people, secretly serving God! Jesus said in Matthew 10:26-27, "Therefore do not fear them...What I tell you in the darkness speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops." And again in Matthew 10:32-33 Jesus says; "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
One last Up the most important Up of all it is Jesus promise to all who have believed in His name for salvation, redemption and forgiveness of sins. Jesus speaking in John 14:3, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be Caught Up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."
So we must Stand Up, Show Up and Speak Up for at any moment we may be Caught UP!