The Righteous Rise

two boxers in a ring

Today’s post was born while I was reading the book of Proverbs. Some of you may not identify with the subject – good – but for those of you who do, I pray it helps with heals and encourages.

Back in the 1970s, there was a famous singer/songwriter. He was the first “rock star” of the Jesus Music movement, so, being at the front, he received vicious verbal abuse. Many sermons were preached against him. There is little doubt that he struggled to live a holy life. He was a flawed person; I can’t throw the first stone (John 8:7). However, when I began my return to Jesus, his music provided a bridge for me. I was a 1970s hippie playing in a rock and roll band. Larry showed me how I could live for Christ.

Shot Down

Larry was known for changing the lyrics to his songs with no advanced notice. The two verses I’ve included from his song “Shot Down” had at least six versions. The one I used is #6. Here are two of the verses:

​I’ve been shot down, talked about
Some people scandalize my name
Here I am, talking ’bout Jesus just the same

I’ve been knocked down, kicked around
But like a moth drawn to the flame
Here I am, talking ’bout Jesus just the same

– Larry Norman (1947-2008)

God’s Wink

Before we move to God’s Word, I want to share how God winked at me.

In the 1990s, my family and I returned from the mission field dazed and confused. We had a house in Florida, a family in Indiana, and a job offer for me in Salem, Oregon. We moved to Salem. We settled in and began searching for a church home. We found one and loved our time there.

We were active in the church and praised God for blessing our family with a great church home. One day, I learned that our church home was also Larry Norman’s. Salem, Oregon, was where he lived. I felt like God winked and had a small grin when He let me discover this.

One Wednesday evening, Larry did a brief concert and Q&A for the church’s youth group. Some adults also attended, including my wife and me. God allowed me to tell Larry what a positive impact he had on my life. My wife took a picture of us standing together. This was before digital cameras, so, sadly, the pic wasn’t very good, but I still have it.

It Was Not Just Larry

If we read Acts 17:5-8, we learn about the time a riot broke out because lies were told about the Apostle Paul.

Jewish leaders were jealous of how God was using Paul, so they rounded up some known troublemakers to form a mob and start a riot – I’m glad this never happens today. So, the mob was out for blood. They searched everywhere for Paul but didn’t find him; they did find where a Christian man named Jason lived. They attacked his home.

Angry that they’d failed to find Paul or even Silas, they dragged Jason and some other Christian before the city council. The lies poured out like water from a broken water heater. Yet, even when Paul’s destruction was attempted by a mob, Paul didn’t throw in the towel. He and Silas went to the town of Berea and preached there.

Now the Bible Verse

for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity
Proverbs 24:16

I am now old enough to have observed God defend this promise many, many times for His children. So, if you’ve been shot down, kicked around, or people have scandalized your name if people have lied about you, stolen from you, or harmed you by their evil plans, be of good cheer. By the righteousness of Jesus, you can rise again. Jesus said that His way of life was hard (John 16:33), but there is a great reward waiting for us when we successfully finish our race. You’re not a loser if you’ve been knocked down as long as you get back up; the righteous rise up!

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

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