Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 Devotional Word #8: CONVICTION

There I was on the edge and I just couldn't step off. 

Growing up, I was always the cautious one. I had to think through everything, then wait... and wait some more before doing anything of great risk. I was definitely NOT the kid who would jump and then ask questions.

It was the Zipline at Camp Rockmont. My seven year old vantage point made that drop off look like I was stepping into the Grand Canyon with only a harness and a thin cable holding me. The counselors reassured me that I would be safe. I thought they were nuts.

I couldn't do it. I didn't do it... at least not then. Or the next time.

There I was on the edge again and I finally stepped off. Incidentally, it was awesome and amazingly fun. Over the years at Rockmont, I would do the Zipline hundreds more times. When it became the "Triple" Zip, it was even better!

What had changed?! CONVICTION, pure and simple. My beliefs changed about getting into that harness, hooking up to the cable and jumping off the edge. I reached a point where I simply trusted it and I profoundly believed I would NOT die after all. Once I had that conviction, I was free to jump.

Conviction is a "firmly held belief or opinion." Conviction, if it is genuine, ultimately leads to action.

Christian believers throughout history have stepped out in great acts of faith - all because of conviction. It was more than simple set of doctrinal beliefs, it was a deeply held conviction that transcended this life. Criticism. Prison. Persecution. Unknowns. Facing death. Great losses. Incredible hardships.

I need to live with conviction each and every day. My children need a dad that lives our his Christian faith with a deep conviction that Jesus is LIFE! We need conviction in our world today. The Christian church needs to live with great conviction and must accept nothing less. Our nation needs people willing to stand up for what is right.

What about you? What ledge are you standing on? What act of great conviction is right before you? Where is the Lord calling you to step out in faith and act with great conviction?          

"I would rather be a man of conviction than a man of conformity." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for." ~ Howard G. Hendricks

"It's the repetition of affirmations that lead to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." ~ Muhammad Ali

"Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct." ~ Thomas Carlyle

"Strong convictions precede great actions." ~ James Freeman Clarke

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." ~ Hebrews 11:1

"... because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:5

It's time to jump!

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