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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Faithful to Christ OCTOBER 31


If it he possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Rom. 12:18.

Some people have the idea that Christians should be at peace with all men, that they are to never ruffle or cross anyone. This is not always possible. When tempted to compromise or sin, when called upon to stand for what we believe, conflict arises with other people. When a young man takes a stand to be firm for the right, honest, and clean, others who choose the wrong way may become antagonistic toward him. When Elijah took a firm stand against King Ahab, the king confronted him and said, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel" (1 Kings 18:17).

A Christian witness sometimes stands in the way of other men's choices to do the unchristian thing. People do not like for us to "break up the party." So there may arise considerable ill feeling, even resentment. It is not easy for young people to stand alone in such circumstances. They do not wish to be rejected by their friends.

Although there are times when to stand alone brings admiration and applause, often it is the other way around. None of its can live the truth as it is in Jesus without disturbing some people. We cannot let that determine our course of action.

Our faith must issue in moral and spiritual commitments. A lot of belief never goes beyond thinking. We must be prepared to render a verdict in the spirit of Christ. We must say with love and firmness, "I will not act as if I am ashamed of Christ. I will stand up ready to he counted." In every age Christians have found it impossible to avoid conflict. It was said of the disciples, "'These . . . [men] have turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6).

Some people are afraid that the Christian will go to extremes. The cry is for compromise. It is easy to avoid conflict or reproach by keeping silent.

But our love for Christ must not lead us to subordinate the truth to popular opinion. Our faith is not one thing in doctrine and another in practice. Do not look bewildered if someone stands up for Christ. Every day God is on the lookout for people like this. He listens for voices that confess His name.

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