Summary: If we claim to be strong in the faith or know that we are strong or maybe stronger than some others, what should we do? 1- We should bear with the failings of the weak 2- We should please our neighbor for his good 3- We should accept one another
INTRO.- We who are strong. I’ve always been interested in strength and strong men. I guess that’s a boy thing.
ILL.- I first became interested in strong men by watching Superman on TV. That was the old Superman, George Reeves and by today’s standards he wasn’t much of a Superman.
My interest in strong men increased when my Grandmother Jones had a copy of the magazine, “Strength and Health” in her house. I saw it and devoured the pictures and stories. Little 132 lb. Isaac Berger was a featured Olympic weightlifter in that magazine. At 132 lbs. he could lift 336 lbs. over his head in the clean and jerk lift. That’s more than 2 and 1/2 times his bodyweight.
There are strong men and there are strong men. The greatest strong men of all are those who walk by faith in the Lord. Noah was a strong man. He was strong in faith because he obeyed God and built an ark like God told him to. Enoch was a strong man because he walked with the Lord and apparently, 24/7. He lived in God’s presence. Is there any better place to be?
Abraham was a strong man. God called him to go to a country he’d never seen. He obeyed God, pulled up stakes and left his home country. He didn’t call United Van Lines to move him either. Joseph was a strong man. He showed it many times during his life. One notable time was when Mrs. Potiphar asked him to lie with her. But he trusted God, refused and ran!
Daniel was a strong man. He disobeyed the law of the land by praying to his God. He was thrown into a lion’s den but God delivered him because Daniel was strong in faith. Job was a strong man. In spite of some of the most difficult hardships in life he trusted God. He endured and did not charge God with wrong. He hurt, but he endured. He questioned and argued with God but surrendered to God’s will for his life. On and on, we have example after example of people in scripture who lived by faith and walked with God. This is the greatest strength that any person can possess and I wish I had known this earlier in life and would have sought it.
I Timothy 4:8 “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
II Timothy 2:1 “You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
These scriptures tell the story. All those years of weightlifting that I did, didn’t hurt me, but all those years of reading God’s Word and preparing sermons did me a lot more good in life!
We who are strong. Are you strong in the faith? We have all our days when we may feel stronger than at other times and we all our weak times. The way to gain strength is to fall down and look up! We gain spiritual strength only in the Lord, only as we humble ourselves before Him. God opposes the proud but He gives grace to the humble. AND HE GIVES STRENGTH AS WELL.
PROP.- If we claim to be strong in the faith or know that we are strong or maybe stronger than some others, what should we do?
1- We should bear with the failings of the weak
2- We should please our neighbor for his good
3- We should accept one another
I. WE SHOULD BEAR WITH THE FAILINGS OF THE WEAK
1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
ILL.- One time a man asked a little boy in church what his name was. He replied, “Willy don’t!” As we all know it takes a lot of patience to raise children.
ILL.- The story is told by a visitor who was once staying with Mrs. Wesley when Charles was a little boy. (She was the mother of 19 children - that alone would test any mother’s patience) Charles came in and asked his mother a question, which his mother patiently answered. In five minutes he came back and asked the same question, which his mother answered patiently as she had done the first time.
The visitor said to her, “Why do you waste time in answering that troublesome boy’s question seven times?” “Well,” said Mrs. Wesley, “because six times were not enough.”
If Child Lives With Criticism
If a child lives with criticism,
He learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,