Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Fifth Marvelous Hero!

What a great VBS. Attendance was good all week. Thanks to all who had a part in VBS! Without our teachers, cooks, registrars, helpers, decorators, counters, and on and on and on and on, VBS could not happen! THANK YOU!

Our last hero is the apostle Paul. We called Paul a weak hero. Paul writes of some of his weaknesses in 2 Cor 11:23-39, "Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?" All his suffering plus his physical limitations (2 Cor 12:7?) could have caused him to make excuses, but he knew he was strong because of God in Christ (Phil 4:13).

Paul also calls himself the least of the apostles and the chiefest of sinners. He humbly admits to weakness as a sinner who can only rely on the strength that comes from God.

The story is told of a young boy who lost his left arm in a rural farm accident. His parents enrolled him in a Judo class hoping he could relearn some confidence. The instructor taught him what he could and what a boy with one arm could learn. He taught him one particular throw and had the boy practice it over and over until he perfected it. The story goes on to reveal the boy became champion at the next tournament, defeating opponents who had trained for years. When he asked why with one move he could defeat all the more experienced martial artists his instructor replied -- "your one move can only be defended by grabbing the left arm." The boys weakness became a strength when he listened to and obeyed his master. Hhmmm?

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