In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he covers a lot of things. Things like death, what will happen when the Lord comes back, how Christians should live and serve. But one of the things I’ve always liked about Paul’s smaller letters … Continue reading
Burdens and troubles are part of life. I will have them. You will have them. Each of us, today, as we are reading this, has some type of burden that we are dealing with. There is something in our life that is wearying for each of us.
Paul today in Galatians gives us some advice for handling our burdens. Listen to what he says in 6:2-5:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
He basically gives us two pieces of advice that seem to be the opposite of each other. First, he says in verse 2, to bear each other’s burdens. We are supposed to help and take care of each other. That’s what our command is as Christians, to care for and to love one another.
But, look what he says later on in verse 5, each of us must bear our own load.
Wait, what? How does that work? On one help each other, and on the other, take care of yourself. What is the deal here?
This is what Paul means and what we should do as Christians. First, we should our very best to take care of our loads and our struggles. We should do all that we can do to take care of our burdens and struggles.
Because there is a time when our friend won’t be able to take care of theirs. And we have to be there to help them. It’s sort of like why we should save money, to be able to help someone out in their time of need. If we don’t have any money saved, we can’t help.
But, if we do, we can help them out.
So, if we take care of our burdens, we are free to help each other out.
And, there will be a time when we need that help as well. We are going to need help with our burdens and struggles and worries. We will need help. We will need support.
We will need each other.
So, today, we bear our burdens. So that we can bear one another’s burdens.
Today, may we be there for each other in our hours of need.
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We need each other. We were not created to live this life alone, we were not created to walk the road of life alone. We need each other.
We need each other in our good times, we need each other in our bad times. We need each other to accomplish the things that God has for us to do.
Listen to what happens today in Luke 10:1-3:
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
We see in this passage that Jesus sent out His followers to preach, to teach, to heal, to bring His word. But He did not sent them out by themselves. He sent them out two by two. He sent them out with someone to help them. Support them. Work with them?
Why? Verse three said that this work would be hard – they were lambs among wolves. It was going to be a challenge. It was going to be hard. They were going to have times where they were going to want to give us. They needed each other to do what God had called them to do.
So do we. There will be times when we want to give up. Times when we want to quit. Times when we want to just stop and go home. We need each other. We need each other to challenge, to support, to carry.
Jesus sent them out two by two. He did not create us to walk alone.
Today, who do you have walking with you in the tough times? Who can you count on?
And just as importantly, who can count on you? Who is it that can look to you as a help?
Today, may we make sure that we have those in our lives what we can count on for support. And may we seek to be the kind of people that others can count on to support them!
We really do need each other!
But, it’s really easy to be a Christian on Sunday. There are folks all around us that are of the same purpose and vision and desire. Everyone is smiling, everyone is together, everyone is supporting. Everyone is trying to behave.
It’s easy on Sunday morning to be a Christian.
What about today? Today will be a lot harder. Not everyone will be supportive. Not everyone will be pulling for us. Not everyone will support you in a your faith. Some may mock you. Some may laugh at you.
There will be temptation. There will be trials. There will be opposition. It’s tougher to be a Christian on a Tuesday than it is in a Sunday.
Listen to what Paul says today about this in Philippians:
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.
Paul said that we are to live a citizens of heaven and live in a way worthy of God.
How? How do we stand up to temptation and do these things. He tells in us in the end of that passage.
Stand together as one. One spirit. One purpose. Fighting together for the faith. Stand together.
We need each other. We need each other on Sunday, we need each other on Tuesday. The only way that we can stand as Christians is to stand together.
That is our calling today. That is our duty today. To be one.
Today, when you are tempted. When you are struggling. When you are in need. Turn to a fellow Christian. Let them help you. Let them pray for you. Let them uphold you. Let them be your strength.
And today, if you see a fellow Christian in need, help them. Support them. Help give them courage and strength. Be there for them.
We need each other. Today, and every day. We need each other.
In 1 Peter today, Peter talks about the importance of faith.
How without faith, we don’t have a lot to stand on. It is faith that gives us up in this world, and hope for the next. It is faith that keeps us going when life gets hard. It is faith that dusts us off, picks us up, dries our eyes, comforts us in our sorrows.
Faith makes it all possible.
And, because faith is so important, we must take care of our faith. We must nurture our faith. We must allow our faith to grow.
We must support our faith through our actions.
Peter writes these words this morning:
5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.
Our faith does not exist in a vacuum. Our faith does not exist on an island. Our faith is a gift to us from God. God calls us to faith because He knows we need faith to fully live.
But, in our lives, what are we doing to support our faith? What are we doing see our faith grow?
Are we reading? Praying? Serving? Worshiping?
Are we doing the things that our faith needs to grow?
Our faith will not grow on its own. We will not become a stronger Christian by just “wanting” to be one.
Our faith is the most precious gift we’ve been given. Faith is one of God’s great gifts to us.
What are we doing support it?
He’s a true hero. He rides in to save the day. He’s out there all alone, and doesn’t need any help. He can do it all alone. He doesn’t have a team, he doesn’t have a partner, he doesn’t need anyone.
It’s just him against the world.
That’s not the way Jesus wants us to do it. That’s not the way that Jesus wants us to live. That’s not the way that Jesus wants us to serve.
We see how he sends His disciples out to do ministry today in Luke’s Gospel:
After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go
He sent out a lot of folks to be His witnesses, but notice what He did.
He sent them out two by two. He sent them out in pairs. He knew He was sending them out to do some tough stuff. As we read the text, we see that they will have real challenges and real trials. We see that it would not always be easy.
We see they were not supposed to be alone in this. So Jesus sent them out together.
We need each other. We need each other’s support and help. We need each other’s strength. We need each other’s encouragement.
We need each other.
We need support. We need friends. We need our team.
We need church.
You were not created to live alone. You were created to be in relationship with God, and with others.
You were not made to be the Lone Ranger.
Today, let folks into your life. Love and be loved. Care and let others care for you. Support and let others support you.
You were made for this. You were made to be loved.