Monday, September 22, 2014

Burden Bearer

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Walking in the Spirit makes Spirit assisted ministry to others possible. One of those ministries is to come along side of burdened people and be a burden-bearer. The apostle Paul said that when we do this [bearing the burden of others] we are fulfilling the Law of Christ. James may have had the same thought in mind when he wrote, “The royal law is found in Scripture. It says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” If you really keep that law, you are doing what is right” [James 2:8]. 

What is burden bearing? William Hendriksen wrote this helpful observation: “This does not merely mean ‘Tolerate each other,’ or ‘Put up with each other.’ It means: ‘Jointly shoulder each member’s burdens.’”  [New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Galatians]

The word Paul chose for “burden” refers to an extremely heavy and unbearable weight. It’s the same word Paul used to describe the “weight” of glory when he wrote, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” [2 Corinthians 4:17]. It’s the kind of weight one person cannot carry alone. That’s why God calls us to be in the ministry of burden bearing—mutual support.

The truth of the matter is that we shoulder some of the weight when we come along side of the burdened Christ follower, or unbeliever for that matter, and talk and pray with them about their burden and help measure their progress along the way.

It’s the start of a new week. Imagine the encouragement you will be as you go about your Spirit-filled walk, helping and upholding others who would, otherwise, bear their burdens alone. Burden bearing is one of the ministries we are called to be part of as we continue to walk in the Spirit day by day.

Bear each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

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