SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY (December 13, 2013)
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches” Galatians 6:1-6.
“CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDENS AND IN THIS WAY YOU WILL FULFILL THE LAW OF CHRIST” Galatians 6:2.
In the previous edition of Spiritual Nourishment for Today, we looked at how to carry each other’s burdens as believers. Our focus was on how to carry the burdens of those who are bereaved as well as those who fall into sins as a result of temptations. We made the point that Christians, both corporately and individually, must be prepared to carry the burdens of those who mourn by lending them all the support they may need. In doing that, we should not base our acts on any conditions because Christ’s love towards is unconditional. We also made the point that believers should help one another especially by ensuring that we all stand firmly in the Lord. We should not be discouraged from helping the weaker ones. In this edition, we want to consider some of the other areas where we can carry each other’s burdens.
Apart from helping other believers when they fall or about to fall into any kind of temptation and also mourning with the bereaved, we can also help carry the burdens of the widows and widowers who are affected emotionally and financially due to the loss of spouses. This is especially very important when a woman loses her husband and has no well-paying job to be able to cater for the needs of the family alone. Such woman may become vulnerable to several temptations which can affect their spiritual relationship with Christ. It can also affect the proper upbringing of the children if she does not have enough money to support herself and the children. This can lead to several problems such as undernourishment, school drop-out, waywardness and many other associated problems. Some of the children may even become criminals and drug addicts in the long run if they are not well-taken care of.
It is therefore important for us to support such widows and orphans within the body of Christ. When we help support such widows and orphans we are not only helping to carry other people’s burdens, but we are helping ourselves by preventing the surge of crimes in the society which affects all the people in the society. An armed robber or a serial killer may come from one family, but poses a danger not only to one family, but the entire society. It is therefore not out of place when the Apostle James said:
RELIGION THAT GOD OUR FATHER ACCEPTS AS PURE AND FAULTLESS IS THIS: TO LOOK AFTER ORPHANS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR DISTRESS AND TO KEEP ONESELF FROM BEING POLLUTED BY THE WORLD.
We all have responsibility towards one another especially towards the orphans and widows among us. If we help carry the burdens of widows and orphans, we are fulfilling the Law of Christ.
Apart from the orphans and widows in the body of Christ, there are many others with financial needs mostly related to lack of jobs or due to less-paying jobs. Some of the people who are financially unstable may need better jobs to help them improve upon their incomes. In fact, many families in the body of Christ may share the same needs as the orphaned and widowed families and may need the same kind of assistance for the same reasons. Some may need further training to get better jobs but may not have the means to undergo further training. Such people also need the support of individual Christians as well as the entire body of Christ. Most often, those who are able to help the needy ones fail to do so for many reasons known to them. Some may also not know how to identify those who need genuine support in the body of the Christ. It thus becomes necessary that the body of Christ should not only be interested in the spiritual needs of the members, but also their physical needs as well. If we are unable to identify the needs of our fellow believers, we cannot help them carry their burdens.
It is very important for us as church leaders and administrators, who are especially interested in the tithes, offerings and other contributions of members, to become equally interested in the needs of the members and find ways to help them carry their burdens. The early church identified the needs of their members and helped create not only a fellowship and prayer community, but a sharing community as well. In Acts 2:44-45 we find that:
ALL THE BELIEVERS WERE TOGETHER AND HAD EVERYTHING IN COMMON. SELLING THEIR POSSESSIONS AND GOODS, THEY GAVE TO ANYONE AS HE HAD NEED.
It is interesting that many of us claim to be Christians but care very little about the needs of others in the body of the Christ. If we continue neglecting the needs of others, we are failing to fulfill the law of Christ which is a commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.
In many churches there are young men and women who have the passion to do something for the Kingdom of God and the society in general but lack the support. Some have the calling into ministry but are also not getting the support for proper training. It is our responsibility as individuals and entire community of believers to identify those who have genuine calling of God into special ministries and help offer them the right training, pieces of advice and encouragement. Those who have special skills and talents and need further training should also be identified and helped. We should not leave those people alone to carry their burdens; we must help them spiritually and financially where possible.
Even though all the above are important in helping carry one another’s burdens as believers, the most important way by which we can help carry one another’s burden is through prayers. We can provide all the money needed to support the widows and the orphans. We can provide all the assistance needed by the poor and the needy in the body of Christ. We can also help train the youth to reach their potentials in life and ministry. However if we do not support each other in prayers, all the efforts will go to waste. In fact we all need to remember that prayer can do what money or emotional encouragement cannot do. Prayer can prevent believers from falling into the needs for which we have to support them. Through our prayers for one another we will be able to destroy every plan of the devil against one another and even help those in difficult moments out of their situations. Through prayer support for one another, we can all grow together into full maturity in Christ and glorify God in everything we do. We may not even have the money to support those who are in need, but our prayers can.
Let us therefore learn to carry each other’s burdens spiritually and physically in order to fulfill the Law of Christ. If we fail to carry each other’s burdens we cannot fulfill the Law of Christ. May the Lord help us to live and walk according to his will!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 7
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 6
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 5
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 4
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 2
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 1
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.