MOST BIRDS FLY together, in numbers–in flocks, but the eagle is a proud bird
and dares to fly alone. The eagle is a fearless bird with great strength
and courage. He does not lean on others but can take independent action and
chart his own course.
Don’t we admire the solitary flight of the “lone eagle”? The other birds do
not seem to impress us so many times. Take, for example, the starlings and
the blackbirds – Don’t they sometimes just seem to get on our nerves? We
can see they are not at ease unless they fly in throngs. We just don’t seem
to admire them as we may admire an eagle.
We would like to address our young people along this line. So many times we
may come up with the weak excuse, “everybody’s doing it!” But just because
friends and relatives may be weak and sinful –this does not give you a
license to do that which is “low and sensual.” In our day-and-time it may
seem easy to just go with the “in crowd,” but remember, it takes strength &
courage to stand alone! Think of the noisy flights of the blackbirds and
starlings... OH, HOW OBNOXIOUS AND IRRITATING! Why not show some strength
and courage and soar like the eagle–DARE TO STAND ALONE!
DANIEL IS AN EXAMPLE
Sure, we remember Daniel stood alone. He contended for truth and right, and
in turn, gained a great victory! This young man was a slave, a captive of a
foreign king. He rose to a position of honor and trust, because he dared to
stand alone. He won the favor and trust of the king. In the first chapter
of Daniel, this young man wasn’t about to take a popularity vote when he
refused the king’s wine. But he was willing to show CONVICTION – and he
stood for principles which were right.
May we ever keep in mind – To obey God is not a sign of weakness! It takes
courage to stand for the right principles in life – contend for the truth!
Solomon said “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the
evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no
pleasure in them” (Ecc. 12:1). While the masses are sowing their “wild
oats” it would be well to read some of Solomon’s final words, “Let us hear
the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for
this is the whole duty of man” (Ecc. 12:13).
TO OUR DEAR YOUNG PEOPLE
You cannot afford to flock with others who would tend to jeopardize your
eternal happiness! The Lord said, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do
evil....” (Ex. 23:2).
Stand for right, even if you stand alone! Remember, when one stands with
God – that’s a winning majority! God Will not allow you to suffer defeat
when contending for right! I do realize there might come hardships and
there might be trials and tribulations in our lives. Paul told Timothy;
“Yea all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecutions.”
But God will help you even as he did the apostle Paul. This grand old
apostle wrote “the Lord stood with me and strengthened me;” (2 Tim. 4:17).
Even in severe trial Paul was not dismayed, “We are troubled on every side,
yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Cor. 4:8).
With God by his side Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me” (Phil. 4:13).
We are saying to our young people, “You do not have to rely on the CROWD to
make your mark in life!” We encourage you to exercise enough “faith and
courage” to STAND FOR TRUTH & RIGHT! DARE TO STAND ALONE! EAGLES DO NO FLY
8586 Wilderness Trail
Scotland, AR 72141
[Via THE OAK LEAF published
(2/13/1977) at Winthrop, AK.]
= = = = = = =
THOSE WHO, under ordinary circumstances would be his closest allies, for the
Christian, may become his bitter enemies. Jesus said, “Think not that I am
come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I
am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter
against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And
a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or
mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter
more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and
followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall
lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt.
It is only human to want to be liked and accepted by others. Most young
people want to look and act like their peers. It is human to walk with the
crowd, but a true Christian will stand alone. It is a normal human feeling
to want to follow the people, to blend in, to drift with the tide. But
godliness demands that we part from the crowd and stem the tide. The Lord’s
calling is “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith
the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor.
Often we see a natural tendency to compromise conscience and follow social
popularity and religious trends for the sake of personal gain or pleasure,
but God calls on us to sacrifice all this on the altar of truth and duty.
The battle-scarred apostle Paul wrote, “No man stood with me, but all men
forsook me... Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me”
(2 Tim. 4:16,17). This was in reference to his “standing alone” in the
civil court. He was imprisoned for his believing and teaching the Truth in
opposition to the Roman world.
The Truth of God has been out of fashion from the very beginning when man
exchanged it for the heady lie of Satan. Although laughed at and scorned by
the entire world for his strange belief, his teaching and foolish work, Noah
built an ark and saved eight souls.
Abraham wandered and worshiped alone. The Sodomites probably sneered at the
simple shepherd, continued following their passions, and finally fed a
fire. Daniel dined and prayed alone. Elijah sacrificed and preached
alone. Jeremiah prophesied and wept alone. Jesus loved and died alone.
And of that lonely way His disciples must walk, the Master said, “Straight
is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be
that find it” (Matt 7:14).
To the “few”, concerning their mistreatment by the “many” headed down the
“broad way,” Jesus warned, “If ye were of the world, the world would love
his own; but because ye are not of the world... therefore the world hateth
you” (John 15:19).
The children of Israel in the wilderness praised Abraham but persecuted
Moses. God’s people, in the days of the kings, praised Moses but persecuted
the prophets. The court of Caiphas, the high priest, praised the prophets
but persecuted Jesus. Sometimes the church praises the Saviour but
Multitudes now, both in the Lord’s church and the denominational world,
applaud the strength and courage of the patriarchs and prophets. They
admire the faith and dedication of the apostles and martyrs but condemn as
stubbornness or foolish those of us who, by the same faith, stand for truth
today. Needed in our day, are men and women, young and old, who will obey
their convictions of truth and duty at the cost of fortune and friends and
even life itself.
Let’s look for a few moments at Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He was
one of the seven chosen to minister to physical needs in the early church.
The Scripture says that the apostles told the brethren: “Wherefore,
brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy
... and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and
Philip, and Prochorus... ” (Acts 6:3-5).
Later in that same chapter we read of Stephen’s arrest. The court engaged
him in a hot debate. (v.8). Stephen’s courage and wisdom shined through.
He used the sword of the Spirit, Word of God, to destroy their arguments.
He was full of faith and power. God had taken full control of Stephen’s
life. Faith puts all things in God’s hand. All of us must step out by
faith and put our all into the hands of God. Who is in control of your life
and action, you or God?
The opponents of the Faith came out to argue against Stephen (v.9). They
could not defeat him in debate so they trumped-up charges against him. They
accused him of saying things against Moses and the Temple of God. Remember,
what the Devil can’t dig up, he’ll make up. Keep in mind, you will be
falsely accused by Satan’s hoard when you seek to serve God.
Look at the courage of Stephen “standing alone” (v.10). They were not able
to resist the wisdom and power by which he spoke. He got this wisdom from
God (James 1:5), and his knowledge from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit
(Luke 21:15). Friend, don’t be afraid to stand alone for God! We are not
to keep our faith a secret. The true Christian will not really be alone
since God is with him or her.
Stephen’s face looked like the face of an angel (v. 15). There was a
“heavenly glow” in his face. Among his persecutors that day was a man
called Saul of Tarsus (Paul) who heard his message and saw Stephen’s face.
When you stand alone, you never know who is watching you. If you spend time
with the Lord, people will be able to see it. You will remind people of
Jesus. On their own Peter and John were not able to do and say what people
were seeing and hearing. But the people “took knowledge of them, that they
had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
In chapter 7, Stephen preached to his Jewish captors an overview of the
history of the Jews. He talked about Abraham and Joseph, Moses and the
Prophets, David and Solomon. Stephen charged then with rejecting the Holy
Spirit in the past, and doing so even now. Now they had rejected Jesus and
had crucified Him. They are continuing to refuse the Gospel. When are they
going to stop resisting the Holy Spirit?
STEPHEN IS ATTACKED
Stephen preached the truth to them and they became so angry that they
gnashed their teeth. Like snarling animals, they probably growled and
showed their grinding teeth. We sometimes are afraid to stand alone for
Christ because of the intense hatred that some people show for Jesus, but to
serve Him we must take a stand! This is how we become valuable to the Lord.
Stephen looked up into heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of
God. He saw Him standing rather than sitting. Jesus is our lawyer (1 John
2:1). When someone attacks his client, a lawyer will spring to his feet to
defend his client. It’s as though Jesus would defend Stephen! But it was
rather the time to welcome Stephen to his well-deserved “rest”. Stephen’s
view of Jesus was not blurred at all by what was going on against him. He
had his eyes on Jesus, but then he cried with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not
this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (Acts
We are taught, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). Are we ready? There are many forms of
persecution. We must be prepared for Satan’s attack against us regardless
of the form. Many of us have been warned of this from youth.
When we were young, as we headed off to school, many of us were reminded
that we were the only Christian there – the only true representative of the
Lord. If you are a young Christian, our hope is that you receive that kind
of encouragement. If not, you will need to remind yourself. We hope, too,
that this message can reach young Christians who must stand alone in the
world of sin – young Christians who honestly desire to please God.
Have you been forced to stand alone? This can happen in many places. It
can even happen in your home. Some have obeyed the Gospel, but no one else
in their home is a true Christian. Parents and siblings might have all
refused Christ and now they refuse your new-found life in the Lord. You
might find yourself one light in the midst of darkness. It may be that
“friends” will no longer be friendly. Don’t be discouraged!
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an
example, that you should follow in his steps." When they hurled their
insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.
Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” This is your
opportunity to show to those around you what a Christian really is. Don’t
forget, the Lord is counting on you!
TAKE COURAGE – YOU ARE THE LORD’S
Christians are never alone, because God is on their side. No matter how
insignificant you may happen to feel, just remember the Lord is with you.
He promises, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
All Christians, young and old, should encourage one another to stand, to
even “stand alone” if need be, and do the right thing in any and all
circumstances. May the Lord bless us all as we strive to stand for Him!