Help the Strong

Published on Feb 26th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Help the Strong

Help the Strong

I was reading through the book of Galatians this morning and I was struck by the messiness of the Christian walk in contrast to the beauty and power of the truths of the Gospel.  Paul was right in the middle of all of this and was being moved by God to stand strong and preach the truths that are designed to bring us freedom.  At the end of the book, Paul says something that gave me pause and spoke to my heart. Listen to Paul’s heart… “From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Gal 6:17).  Paul had given his life to preach the Gospel.  He was a servant of God.  He suffered for the cause of Christ.  He was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, mocked, and verbally attacked by those he was trying to help.  He constantly had to defend his apostleship and authority to teach.  As he closes the book of Galatians you can hear the toll that this has taken on him and you can hear him say, “Enough, I have proven that I am a true follower of Jesus.”

Sometimes I think we forget that people have feelings.  Even the Apostle Paul.  He was a strong man.  He persecuted and imprisoned many Christians.  He was changed by God and now writes and speaks with great authority and is not afraid to speak out against those who oppose the Gospel.  He often speaks out with strong language.  God had so filled him with the Spirit and with the truth that he had great confidence that he was on the right side and that gave him boldness.  Yet, here we see his vulnerability as he tells them that he has had enough.  He just does not want everything to have to be a struggle.  Can’t we work together for the Gospel?

God has blessed some people with the holy courage to stand against the crowd and to lead.  They are the people who are willing to move out in front of the crowd and say that they believe God is directing in a certain way.  They are students of the Word of God and the Spirit has given them clarity about some issues or heart attitudes and they are willing to stand up and lead.  We watch as those who oppose them not only disagree with their ideas but they often attack who that person is.  We may even join in.  Do we ever stop to think that even though they are willing to lead that they too need encouragement and help?

Who are the people in your life whom you see as the strong and as the leaders?  You may appreciate their willingness to stand strong on an issue.  They may be a Sunday School teacher who is willing to stand up every week and teach the Word of God faithfully.  They may be someone in your church who has spoken out against a recent heart attitude that they have witnessed.  Maybe they are a co-worker who often speaks up about integrity or hard work.  Do not mistake their strength as a lack of need for support and encouragement.  Write them a short note of support.  Let them know that even though many are opposed to them that you appreciate their willingness to stand.

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