About a week ago, I led a next steps class at Wilkesboro Baptist. These classes that we offer 6-8 times a year are opportunities to share with prospective members about our church and find ways to connect them in groups and relationships. During the class, we highlight several of the “one another” passages of the New Testament. There are many. As a matter of discipline and encouragement, it would be helpful to read through the NT and highlight all that you see. It is striking.
One of those passages comes from Galatians 6.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.Paul, Galatians 6:1-2
As believers we are obligated to one another relationally through Jesus Christ. We should hold one another accountable. I spoke about this at our elder training this past Sunday. Accountability and restoration are not just for the spiritual leaders in the congregation, but for each of us.
What I want to draw your attention to is the second verse, “Bear one another’s burdens.” This is the responsibility of every Christian.
The past several weeks in the life of our church family have brought health and grief challenges to many. Extended hospital stays, emergency room visits, flu, strep throat, stomach bugs, Covid, death, grief, etc. These kinds of things go on all the time, I know. But for some reason, Wilkesboro Baptist is experiencing a bit more of these during the past few weeks.
Here’s where the love of the church comes in. When you call, text, visit, bring a meal, pray, and support your church family during these times, you are fulfilling Paul’s admonition to bear another’s burden. Here are several reasons we should bear each other’s burdens.
- Bearing another’s burden fulfill’s the law of Christ. What does Paul mean here? Christ fulfilled the OT law, and became a Law himself to the church. His Law is love and life. When we bear another’s burden, we are fulfilling the Law of Christ to love one another.
- Bearing another’s burden encourages and helps. We need each other. We are not to be spiritual islands. We are to be a family, interconnected and mutually dependent upon one another. You never know when your burden bearing is what someone else needs to get them through the day or week.
- Bearing another’s burden is what identifies us as the church. Jesus taught in John 13:35 that our love for others will reflect that we are disciples of Jesus. Our world is too focused on self, getting ahead. But as Christians, we are to be different. We are to be the people who stop when someone falls, pick them up, and help them along. That’s the love of Christ to a world who needs to see it.
So, this week would you look around your neighbors and church members? See if there’s a burden you can bear, a person you can encourage, a need you can meet, or someone you can bless. Let’s bear each other’s burdens this week.
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