FIRST CITY CHURCH OF CHRIST
"...a church of Christ meeting in Vincennes, Indiana..."
"He Rose Up"
Larry R. Ping II
Luke records “having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up” (Acts 14:19-20). The reader should be impressed with the fact Paul “rose up,” though he was thought to be dead. Did you know there are some things over which we will have to “rise up?” Consider these few.
1. Rise Up Over Temptation. The Bible records several facts about temptation. It is “common to man” (I Cor. 10:13). Temptation begins with the devil (Lk. 4:13) and ends with a falling away (Lk. 8:13). Man plays a part in temptation, as James writes “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:14). With this all being true, we must constantly rise up over temptation. The Lord encouraged His followers to “Pray that ye enter not into temptation” (Lk. 22:40). Paul’s pen promises God “will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (I Cor. 10:13). Rise up over temptation, before “it bringeth forth sin” (James 1:15).
2. Rise Up Over Discouragement. The idea of discouragement is “being disheartened or dismayed.” These types of feelings can lead to an unwillingness to live, work or obey. Discouragement is the result of various troubles. The children of Israel were “much discouraged because of the way” (Num. 21:4). Similarly, the way in which our life is traveling can yield feelings of discouragement. Recall, ten of the Promised Land spies “discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them” (Num. 32:9). Even words can be a source of discouragement. We need to rise up over discouraging ways and words, and echo the call of the apostle “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Php. 4:13).
3. Rise Up Over Self. Paul cautions individuals “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Rom. 12:3). The praying, proud Pharisee was certainly in his own way (Lk. 18:11). He, as many are, was guilty of seeking his “own glory” (Prov. 25:27). We must rise above ourselves, and not be “high-minded” or “wise in your own conceits” (Rom. 11:20, 25). We must adopt the Lord’s mind and “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Php. 2:4).
4. Rise Up Over Criticism. It is hard to be criticized. Destructive criticism, that which is meant to tear one down should be immediately tossed out. It is of no use, and should not be dwelt upon. Constructive criticism, that which is meant to help one become better and more knowledgeable should be accepted and used accordingly. Paul criticized Peter as “he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him” (Gal. 2:12-13). From time to time, we may face constructive criticism of this sort, and we must accept it humbly (James 4:10). From time to time, we may meet destructive criticism. Rise above it, knowing this life is about pleasing God, not man (Gal. 1:10).
5. Rise Up Over Persecution. Timothy was told “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Tim. 3:12). Heed the Savior’s words and “rejoice” (Matt. 5:12). Rise up over it, knowing a great and eternal reward awaits.