Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011 … Bearing Burdens

Passage of the Day: Galatians 6: 2 [see bold/underlined] … 1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

My Journal for Today:
The Apostle Paul, in today’s verse, refers to bearing the burdens of fellow Christians as being a fulfillment of “the law of Christ.” That “law,” which Jesus proclaimed to His disciples, we can read in Matthew 22: 37 – 40, which was Christ’s summary of the entire Law of God. It reads as follows …

SCRIPTURE: [Jesus] …Matt. 22: 37-40 " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' [restatement of Deut. 6: 5] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' [restatement of Lev.19:18] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

James in James 2: 8 called the latter [i.e., the restatement of Lev. 19: 18] the “royal law.” And it is God’s “Royal Law,” because it is surrendering to God’s Spirit as a believer in the body of Christ to allow God to lift and carry the burdens through His body [the Church], which any individual Christian would find hard, if not impossible, to carry alone.

If you look at the term “burdens” in today’s verse, it is the Greek term “baros;” and it refers to a heavy, essentially unbearable, load. So, when we Christians see other Christians trying to carry such a load, whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually, in order to fulfill the “law of Christ [i.e., the ‘royal law’],” which is the law of love (see John 13: 34), we [and I emphasize the “we” referring to the whole body of Christ] must be there to help shoulder the “baros” for the one so burdened. And the one with this load must also be willing to set aside pride and humbly allow the body of Christ to become agents of God’s love as burden bearers. It is this demonstration of love, this caring and humility, which allows the lost to see God in and through His body in this exhibit of burden bearing, all of this being done in Christ’s Name (see John 13: 34 – 35).

But how many times to we Christians dampen or block this process by letting our pride get in the way of some Christian agent of God’s love by refusing to receive the offer of help from a Christian simply responding to the conviction of the Holy Spirit to reach out with Christ’s love. I see Christians all the time who’re in financial trouble being unwilling to come to the body of Christ of help. I regularly encounter Christian men who pridefully keep silent, unwilling to share their sin burdens and thereby blocking the help from other men, like myself, who’re very willing to share their burdens.

It is God’s Spirit Who orchestrates and exercises His Ministry of Love, Mercy, and Grace, which allows Christians to overcome their sin nature and become involved in the ministry of mutual burden bearing; and we Christians, as we mature in Christlikeness, will feel the Holy Spirit enabling us to do this more willingly and more effectively. However, when we need fellow Christians to come along side us when we’re burdened, we need to be able to set aside our pride and receive the Holy Spirit’s enabling grace by humbling ourselves to receive that grace through other Christians. And as the world can see this process going on, they can’t help but be drawn out of the fog of their lives toward the light of Christ (see Matt. 5: 16).

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, be a burden bearer in Your Name. Amen

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