Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory his army shall he lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
- First verse of the hymn, Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus. Words by George Dutfield, Jr., 1858 (Ephesians 6:10-17)
The writer of this beautiful traditional hymn, using music created in 1830 written by George F. Webb, drew his inspiration for the words from Ephesians 6:10-17. In his letter to the Christians in Ephesus, Paul writes about taking up the armor of God and putting on His helmet to protect the righteous from the evils and ways of this world. The concept of doing battle is found in many places in the Bible and it's important for Christians to realize that we are in als today in the middle of a battle for our beliefs and Christian way of life. This isn't referring to physical combat and violence although there are certainly times when that may be necessary in an evil world, but it refers to the need to have the protection of God through His Son and the Holy Spirit to insure that when life on earth is done we are enveloped in His perpetual love forever through His forgiveness and grace.
There are signs all around us of a world filled with hate, violence, persecution and other forms of darkness. In many areas, Christians are at the center of the receiving end from non-believers who have no understanding of the love that Jesus Christ is all about. And even though times are perilous, we are called upon to be missionaries for Him, spreading the Gospel and its love in all that we do. Now that doesn't mean that you are expected to just stroll into a dangerous war zone preaching for Christ although there are some among us who have done that. But it does mean that you live your life for Him, living by His example, touching others with His love that need it so much. Often, they just don't realize the joys of life they are missing and how His love can so dramatically and positively change their life.
So Christian Brothers and Sisters, Stand Up for Jesus and be a soldier of the Cross, strong and resolute in professing your faith by the way you live and the way you handle all that is thrown at you in this world. And when He again returns, whether it is in our earthly lifetime or later, we will be rewarded with a richness that we can't even imagine.
Dear Lord, We thank you for Thy love, grace and mercy which has the potential to provide for us beyond our wildest dreams. Help us to understand and follow the Cross to that wonderful future awaiting us with Thee in heaven above. In Christ's name we pray, Amen.