Sunday, June 13, 2010

Friend of the Weak

I was lying back in my lounger in the Sunday morning sun feeling sorry for myself.  After 7 weeks without food or drink whilst enduring 'total pancreatic rest' I was overwhelmed with weakness.  Diane's gorgeous garden swam before my misty eyes as I recalled, like the Psalmist, 'how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng' and now I am too weak even to get to church today.  My iPod serves as a link with the worshipping throng and even the teaching and preaching too, so I had the earphones on.  Then came this deeply moving song, like a water feature for my tired soul.

'You are the God of the broken,
The Friend of the weak...
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King.'
 How odd it is that this 'God of the broken and friend of the weak' is so little spoken of in the modern church.  The emphasis of our worship and teaching so quickly rotates back to the triumphant, powerful, mighty and victorious - all of which are gloriously true also- to the negelct of the One who revelled in the title 'Friend of Sinners'.  People like me who love the power and presence of God but are mystified by the daily challenge of overwhelming pain and weakness sometimes find it difficult to feel we belong in the dynamic enthusiasm of much celebratory praise today.  I almost feel like starting a 'church for the weak and broken' - and I know it would quickly fill up, but then it too would probably be guilty of a lack of balance.

Yet the New Testament apostle Paul claimed that when he was at his weakest God was seen to be at His strongest through him!  This is the mystery of weakness.  The upside-down kingdom of Almighty God does actually have room for the down-trodden, the broken and the rejected.  Did not Jesus announce that He had come to 'bind up broken hearts'? So, I will not give up, I will keep on trusting, as the same Psalm that I mentioned above (Psalm 42) also says 'by day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life' - even when I am too weak to get to church.  Thank God!

Friday, June 04, 2010

New Teaching Videos

Despite the ordeal I am currently enduring - into the sixth week of 'nil-by-mouth' total fast in an attempt to rest my totured pancreas, I am glad to introduce the first in a planned series of short teaching videos.  I made this one just before the treatment began, and I will continue the studies in the book of Romans chapter 8 once this is over.  Meanwhile, sit back and watch the first one - Courtroom Drama - Guilty Man Escapes!

Do please let me have your comments so that I can improve these teaching vignettes.  There is a whole chapter about the Bible teaching about guilt in my most recent book Storm Force.  You can buy a copy of your own by clicking on the linked box on the left.  Thanks.