Standing Tall for Jesus
April 1, 2004
by Franklin Graham
I remember the day my wife, Jane, and I took our youngest son, Edward, to West Point. Early in the morning, thousands of families gathered in Michie Stadium. A man got up and said, "Thank you for giving your sons and daughters to the United States Army." While that thought was still sinking in, he announced, "You now have 30 seconds to say good-bye." We barely had time for hugs before Edward marched off across the stadium and disappeared.
After we went through parents' orientation, they had a swearing-in ceremony at Trophy Point. All of us were eager to see our children again. But now we hardly recognized them. Their heads were shaved, they were in uniform, and they were marching with chests out, heads back and chins up. And suddenly I saw Edward. The posture we had been trying to teach him all his life, West Point accomplished in six hours.
At West Point, they teach the young men and women how to stand. I like that. Cadets look you in the eye, put their hands out and say, "Nice to meet you, sir," or "Yes, sir," or "No, ma'am." They know how to stand.
In the world in which we live, we need to know how to stand. Lots of folks aren't "standing right." Spiritually speaking , they are slumped over, or they bend with the wind. We need to stand—and stand tall—for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember the rich young ruler? He asked Jesus what good thing he had to do to inherit eternal life. I think he sincerely wanted to do what was right. But he loved his money more than he loved his own soul. So Jesus said, "Give your possessions to the poor, and come follow Me" (Cf. Matthew 19:21). But this young man would not do it. He wasn't willing to pay the price. He wasn't willing to take a stand.
Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of darkness. Deep down in his heart, Nicodemus wanted to know, "What do I have to do to be saved?" He was a religious man. And Jesus said, "Nicodemus, religion is not enough. You've got to be born again."
Friends, that word to Nicodemus is true today. If we want to take a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ, if we want to be counted in His kingdom, men and women must be born again. There is no shortcut. There is no way around it. And to be born again, people have to hear and understand and trust in God in heaven, who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to shed His blood and die on Calvary's cross for our sins.
That's why we have to take a stand. It's our job to tell people. The world will try to stop you. They want you to compromise.
Stand strong and tell it like it is. If they yell at you and mock you—great. They did that to Jesus and to the early Christians, too. But the Apostle Paul wrote, "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" (1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV). Let's do it. Let's stand tall for Jesus.