Growing up, I always thought it’d be cool to be a superhero. Mostly because, well, flying sounded like it would be AMAZING. But also because superheroes stood up for what was right regardless of how dangerous or how scary the situation. Their conviction drove them to find the courage to stand up to evil, even when no one else seemed to care or stood by petrified in fear. No matter what, the superhero came to the rescue.
Given the chance, I thought that jumping into the storyline of my favorite superhero comic book sounded like something I would want to do with my life. I guess it’s because when I was kid, I didn’t realize that I was already part of an amazing story already. No one ever told me that it didn’t take some super power to act like a superhero.
I have a feeling there are a ton of kids out there who feel the same way. That’s why we’re taking the months of June and July to discover what it means to Stand Up: Get in the Story as we learn more about conviction.
Conviction is standing for what’s right, even when others don’t.
Let’s take Jesus for example. Even for Jesus, the Son of God, it wasn’t always popular to do the right thing. Sometimes doing the right thing meant hanging out with tax collectors, blessing the little children, or even forgiving someone who had done something wrong. No matter what it was that Jesus needed to do, He did it because it was the right thing to do.
But doing the right thing often made Jesus stand apart from some of the rich and powerful people of His time. They didn’t always like what He was doing or saying, but Jesus never let those crowds persuade Him to go against what God, His Father, wanted Him to do. Even when it meant going to the cross to die, Jesus knew that it was the right thing, and He did it.
Jesus was able to live with conviction because He knew the will of His Father, and that gave Him strength and courage. In the same way, God has given us the ability to know what is right and the ability to do it. You see, when we are fueled by God’s character, we will stand up for the things that matter to God.
We start the month talking about Jesus’ conviction as we find Him praying in the Garden of Gethsemane right before He is arrested. In Matthew 26:36-46, we find Jesus talking honestly with His Father about everything that’s about to happen. In the end Jesus submitted to His Father’s will and went to the cross for us.
Bottom Line: Jesus showed us how to stand for what’s right. Even though Jesus prayed for another way, He willingly gave up His life to save us. He showed us that even though it’s difficult, we can stand for what’s right.
Starting in week two, we begin looking at a person who showed conviction throughout his whole life, even when he was in captivity. In Daniel 1, we meet Daniel and his friends who chose to follow what God says even when it meant they could get in trouble.
Bottom Line: When you know what God says, it can help you stand for what’s right. The best place to find out how you should show conviction is God’s Word. When you know what God says, it makes it easier to figure out when and how you should stand for what’s right.
We will continue Daniel’s story in Daniel 2. The king had a strange dream and had no idea what it meant. When his advisors couldn’t explain it either, he decided to put them all to death. Daniel found out about this and stuck up for the advisors. With God’s help, Daniel helps the king understand his dream and saves all the advisors in the process.
Bottom Line: When you stand for what’s right, you stand up for others. Sometimes you stand up for something that is true, but often when you stand up for what’s right, you can help others who are affected by what you’re standing up against.
We’ll close out the month of June by looking at how Daniel’s friends also showed conviction. In Daniel 3, we look at the familiar story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. When faced with bowing down to an idol or a fiery furnace, it wasn’t a question for them—they were willing to do the right thing. When the friends did what was right, God stepped in and rescued them from the furnace. Because of their conviction, the king realized that God was the true God and should be worshipped.
Bottom Line: When you stand for what’s right, others can see God. Standing for what’s right isn’t always easy, but when you do, it makes it possible for others to see why you have conviction in the first place. Because of how you stand up, others can see how awesome God is.
Because showing conviction and standing up for what’s right isn’t always easy, we thought it would be a great idea for the kids to memorize 2 Thessalonians 3:13 “Don’t ever get tired of doing the right thing.” The best place to find out how you should show conviction is God’s Word. When you know what God says, it makes it easier to figure out when and how you should stand for what’s right.
We’re looking forward to a great summer of helping kids discover that God created them in His image to join the story that He’s telling in the world. We hope they figure out how they can Stand Up and have conviction in their lives as well.