Stand…

The previous two posts addressed the first two words in the title of Watchman Nee’s book, Sit, Walk, Stand, refering firstly to Ephesians 2:5-6, God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus, and then Ephesians 5:1-2, Follow God’s example, therefore as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

This post addresses Stand, the third and final word in the title.

Can you recall where you were on September 11, 2001?

I had just started a management training workshop for a group of employees in the boardroom of the Blacktown, NSW, IGA Distribution Centre. Another employee, looking a little dishevelled and apologetic for being late, came through the door. He explained that he had been up since early morning watching the television coverage of the coordinated terrorist attacks on the USA in New York and Washington DC finishing with a plea to turn on the television in the boardroom. We were dumbstruck by enormity of the events unfolding before our eyes on the television screen.

Almost sixty years earlier the American people had been profoundly shocked by the surprise military attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbour, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The base was attacked by two waves of Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes accounting for over 350 aircraft launched from six aircraft carriers damaging all eight battleships in the harbour with four being sunk.

Just two months later on 19 February 1942 the first and the largest single attack mounted by a foreign power against Australia occurred when over 240 Japanese aircraft bombed ships in Darwin’s harbour and the town’s two airfields. The town was only lightly defended and heavy losses were inflicted by the Japanese with little cost.

In Ephesians 6:11-15, the Apostle Paul draws on a military analogy of his day to exhort believers, people who have chosen the way of the Christian message:

    • Put on the whole armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes,
    • …put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand, and again
    •  Stand firm then,…

Paul from his own personal experience does not want us to underestimate the strength of our opposition nor to be caught off guard and he has in mind the preparedness of the Roman soldier, who is fully trained and equipped to withstand the assault of the enemy, when he exhorts us to stand firm.

Picture: Justin Poole

By the very nature of the sacrifice of Jesus and our acceptance of His work upon the cross we can take hold of our position in Christ – God has seated us on His right side with Christ.

Walk in love each day in gratitude for all that God has done in Christ.

Finally, stand firm in your faith.


Advertisements

Sit…

Sit, Walk, Stand, is an inspiring look at the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus written by the saintly Chinese pastor, Watchman Nee.

This is the first of three posts that briefly examine each of the words in the title to Watchman Nee’s book.

Matt’s Seat

Near the south-east corner of the Swan Pool on Lake Wendouree you will find a park bench with an inscription, “Matt’s Seat” In loving memory of Matt Jamieson, 22.12.66 – 02.03.05, Always in our hearts…Erin, Jai, Flynn.

Today is the seventh anniversary of Matt’s death following his long battle with cancer. Matt was 38 years old. A husband and father to two boys Matt had a passion for the lake and its surrounds. He was instrumental in establishing the Lake Foundation and after some investigation discovered that a master plan for the development of the lake had already been prepared by the Ballarat City Council but was laying dormant. Funds generated by Lake Blitz, an initiative of the Foundation, enabled Council working with the Committee for Ballarat, sponsors, the Ballarat Tourism Association and the Foundation to implement the master plan.

Matt’s wife, Erin, continues to work tirelessly for the Foundation helping to realise Matt’s dream. Since the start of the Foundation in 1994 there has been numerous improvements to the Lake and its surrounds and while there

is still more work to be done to realise more aspects of the master plan I’m sure Matt would be pleased with the progress to date.

More information about Matt and the Foundation can be found at http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/news/general/matt-battling-to-see-his-dream/366802.aspx and http://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/lakes-parks-recreation/lakes/lake-wendouree/lake-foundation-.aspx

Can I encourage you to take a few moments out of your day and sit on Matt’s Seat and like him dream.

Saint Luke in chapter 10 of his gospel records a wonderful little cameo of Jesus and his disciples visiting the home Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary. While Martha was distracted by all the preparations that needed to be made it was Mary who chose to sit at the feet of Jesus listening to what he said. What a privilege to sit at the feet of Jesus and be taught by him.

Today’s follower of Jesus has a greater privilege.

The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:6, And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

Imagine, seated with Christ in the heavenly realms! God has done that for us to, “show us the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7).

As I said take a few moments out of your day, sit at the lake and imagine the possibilities, the amazing benefits, the incomparable riches of God’s grace that are yours in Christ Jesus.

What difference will this knowledge make to your day?

Matt dreamed of the possibilities for the Lake and now several years down the track remarkable changes have taken place.

Picture: Justin Poole

Walk…

Of late it appears that everyone is walking. The local newspaper has a picture of a group associated with the Uniting Care Outreach Centre taking on the Kokoda Trail in June. Another picture shows a group of women taking on a 100 km walk next month to raise funds for Oxfam. A couple of friends associated with the Ballarat Bush-Walking and Outdoor Club are canoeing the Glenelg River this Labour Day weekend, no doubt taking in some walking along the way. Recently driving along the Ring Road I noticed several cars parked on the side of the road as I passed over the rail crossing. More people walking, this time the Skipton Rail Trail and of course all those people who walk around Lake Wendouree. Walkers everywhere!

 

 

Picture: Justin Poole

My son-in-law, Justin, is also taking on the 100 km Oxfam Trail Walker Challenge. He and his friend, Phil, have enlisted Allan and Paul to form the In Slow Motion team to raise funds and complete the 100 km challenge.

Last year Justin and Phil and Justin’s sister, Roslyn, completed the Upstream Challenge, a 50 km walk from Docklands to Donvale along the picturesque Yarra River. The funds they raised went toward Camp Quality.

Changes have been made for this year’s challenge. Roslyn has organised her own team, The Shufflers, and the boys are giving considerably more time and attention to their preparation.

Fund-raising walks in particular have a pattern that makes them attractive, they are well organised, they provide an avenue to raise funds for a worthy cause, preparation is a must, there is a clear goal – complete the walk, along the way there is the companionship and encouragement of the team members and the support crew, and there is the camaraderie of the other walkers.

The Christian experience is often described as a daily walk and the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:1-2 provides us with a pattern that is to characterise our walk.

He writes, “Follow God’s example…and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

Our pattern is God himself and our daily walk is to be characterised by love. This is no wishy-washy love rather it is tough love, selfless love, the sacrificial love demonstrated by Christ.

This walk demands our all.