Have you ever heard the song “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”? From the time I was a toddler, my dad would sing this hymn to me any time he needed me to stand up—to help me get dressed, to get off the couch, to do a chore. He would sing, and I would pop up. It worked every time. Years later, those words still resonate in my spirit. That old hymn begins like this:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
Ye soldiers of the cross!
Lift high his royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
We are Christian soldiers for King Jesus to fight against spiritual darkness. Likewise, God has set in place earthly checks and balances, like the police and military, to preserve and protect our communities and nations against wrongdoers. Romans 13:3-4 (Amplified Bible) lays out God’s purpose for law enforcement and what our relationship should be with them:
“For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation.  For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer.”
As a way to thank those who protect and serve the Colorado county where Charis Bible College’s main campus resides, Andrew Wommack Ministries and Charis hosted an appreciation banquet and fundraiser for their local first responders this past September. Hundreds from the county participated in honoring their firefighters, law enforcement officers, medical technicians, and paramedics. All first responders and their guests ate for free. Each guest also had the option of paying for an individual ticket, sponsoring a table, or donating funds directly to a first responders’ fund. In total, the event raised $55,712, and the money was split evenly between the Ute Pass Regional Ambulance District and the Northeast Teller County (NETCO) Fire Protection District.
After the fundraiser, a public response was issued from the NETCO board:
“We would like to say thank you to the citizens of Teller County, the sponsors and donors, along with Mayor Neil Levy and master-of-ceremonies Debbie Miller, but especially Andrew Wommack Ministries/Charis Bible College and staff for hosting the First Responder Banquet and Fundraiser. It was truly a wonderful evening and we are honored to have received such praise and appreciation.”
Through the nonprofit organization Shield616, AWM also provided upgraded armor to local police departments. Sixteen body armor kits were purchased and donated by AWM, enabling God’s servants to stand strong and be protected.
As I think about the results of this generous gift to a group so underappreciated, I can hear my dad’s voice:
Put on the Gospel armour,
Each piece put on with prayer;
When duty calls or danger
Be never wanting there.
Remember the first responders in your community this Christmas. If you’re not in a position to give to them financially, at least pray for their safety. John 15:13 (AMP) says, “No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment] than to lay down his own life for his friends.” As God’s agents, first responders are demonstrating a great love—Jesus’ love—to the community through their service. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can be a blessing to them this Christmas season. Serve each other in love as your heavenly Dad sings over you:
To him that overcometh,
A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory
Shall reign eternally.
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