Around about 1985 I met a young Nigerian man named Steven who had been in an auto accident. He was paralyzed from is neck down and connected to a respirator. Pastor Wilcox and I would visit him twice a week at the University Hospital and we would have prayer and bible sharing with him. Now I want you to note that although he was physically weak spiritually his faith was strong. The Holy Spirit was moving in this man. He lit up the room when people would visit him. Sister Annie Holt who worked there at the time, would visit him often. She often shared how she was strengthened each time she visited him. But she was not the only one, others would say how they went in feeling awkward or sometimes sorry for him but walked out encouraged and empowered. Steven’s prayer request from us was that God would give him pain. Why pain? Because he knew that if he had some pain that his body would be functioning again.
I purchased a study bible for Steven and had it placed on a music stand so he could study God’s word. As he began to get stronger in the word he would share with us what he had learned. We had some great times in Lord when we would visit him. Steven’s greatest strength was his prayer life. We would bring the bulletins to him and he would pray over the prayer requests. He would always ask us for a report on the following visit HE HELD US ACCOUNTABLE. Pastor Eric Payne who was an Associate Pastor here for a while. Used to visit Steven when he ministered here after he relocated to South Jersey. One very early morning. He called me from his home in South Jersey and said, “ Please get to Steven and tell him to pray for me” He was scheduled for serious surgery. Eric knew that Steven had a connection with God from his hospital room. He would pay special attention to the prayers given to him. That’s what Strong Christian’s do. Although he was physically weak he was spiritually strong. That’s what spiritually Strong Christian’s do even if their bodies are weak.
Romans 15:1 in the English Standard version says “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Now I really could say “Amen and that is my message for today.”
The question for all Christians today is “Life-is it all about me? Allow me to tell you a little about the time that Paul was writing in. The Church of Rome had a lot of different folks. Today we would say it was diverse. Some were slaves, some were poor, and some were rich. Some were Jews, some were Gentiles, Young and old all worshiped together and just think of the makeup of any church, there were some are strong in the faith and some that are weak. Not a whole lot has changed since Paul’s time when it comes to Weak and Strong Christians, but I know you are probably asking, “What is a weak Christian?” You did ask right? Continue reading Life-Is it All About Me?