Friday, September 28, 2007

Stand Up!

Preachers seldom face as large an audience as confronted Dudley A. Tyng on a March day in 1858. More than five thousand men were gathered in Jaynes' Hall in Philadelphia to hear the beloved preacher. At the time, the city was being stirred by a great revival. There was a certain charm and appeal about this speaker. He seemed to find just the right words to stir his listeners. He was so moving and convincing in his message that he drew thousands to those gatherings.

Three weeks later, he was dead. The city was shocked when it read of the accident that had claimed him as its victim. Mr. Tyng had gone to his home at Brookfield, near Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately Mr. Tyng suffered a fatal accident on his farm. Shortly before he passed away, he was briefly conscious. Those by the bedside heard him whisper, "Tell them to stand up for Jesus." Undoubtedly, it was the message he wanted carried to his friends in the minister's union who were conducting the city-wide revival.
There was one acquaintance in particular, to whom these words came as a challenge. George Duffield, pastor of the Fifth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, had been the late preacher's intimate associate and close fellow worker. To him it hardly seemed possible that one so beautiful in spirit and so dedicated to the Master's cause could have passed so abruptly from the scene. He began thinking that Mr. Tyng's final words should be translated into some enduring form of memorial.

The following Sunday, when the time came for the sermon in his own church, Mr. Duffield preached from the text in Ephesians 6:14: "Stand therefore." At the close he read a poem he had written, "Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!"Probably he never dreamed that he had written a great hymn. A copy of the lines was given to his Sunday school superintendent, who in turn had them printed on a special leaflet so that they could be sung by all the children.It could not stop there. The words seemed to fire men's souls throughout the land. When George Duffield made a trip to the battlefront in Virginia a few years later, he was deeply stirred as he heard thousands of army men sing "Stand Up! Stand Up for Jesus!"

The lyrics to a song from several years ago say “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Truly if we do not stand for Christ then we will fall to all the temptations and tricks that Satan can muster. Standing for Christ means just what Ephesians 6:13 says; “Take up the whole armor of God”.

Each day we must “put on” this “armor”. The interesting thing is that even the knights of old could not put on their armor themselves. They had to have a page or servant help them. We cannot obviously put on righteousness ourselves; we must have God’s help. We would not dream of adorning ourselves with our own salvation, truth, and shield. All of these things comes from God, and He alone will make sure that we are ready to be able to stand for Him.

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in His strength alone;The arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own.Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer;Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.
George Duf­field, Jr.

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephesians 6:11-13

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