Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Thank you for praying today for our prodigals and for revival among us. Rachel and I greatly appreciate your partnership in prayer.
The words of Paul to the Galatian believers have been on my mind for quite some time, “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” (Gal.6:1-2). These words have generated a number of questions, I would like to ask:
Do you know of someone who has been overtaken by a sin, who is struggling with personal temptations, or has started down a dangerous road? The answer to this question may reveal a lot about you. At some point or another, every believer struggles with sin. It is just a matter of when. If you have never realized this, then it is possible you are living in a self-centered way, unaware of the needs around you. The last verse of chapter five says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Gal.5:26). The word conceit means vain or empty glory, and when we are marked by this attitude, it will hinder us from caring about a person who is in need.
What is your initial response when you discover that someone you know has fallen? My son, Benjamin sent me a message by Timothy Keller on Galatians 6 today and it was excellent. He brought out two opposing attitudes that, at any point, can govern our thinking towards others. One can be stated as, “Your life for me.” This means that we are trying to get as from others as much as we can. This is the logic of the market, which questions, “How much can I profit from this person? Or, how can I build myself up at this person's expense?” The second attitude says, “My life for you.” It is the mind of the servant, the mind of Christ. It looks at other people through the eyes of God, sees the need, and then desires to reach out in grace.
If you take this approach, how would you proceed, how would you treat a person who has sinned? The person who is spiritual, (the person who has the Spirit of God within and is under His control) would seek to restore that person back to God in a gentle and humble way.
Would you be willing to do what is needed to get a brother or sister back to spiritual health again? This is what Paul means by carrying another person’s burden. Carrying burdens is hard work! Plain and simple! Ask Jesus, He did it all the time. It means getting involved in people’s lives and doing the unselfish things and not being worried about your own reputation. It means looking out for one another and sharing together. When you help a friend lift a one hundred pound piece of furniture, you are reducing the weight in half. The same principle is true in the spiritual realm. This is what Paul calls the “law of Christ.” It is the law of love, and you fulfill it when you help brothers and sisters in need. May it be so in each of our lives.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel
Photo Credit: Benjamin Joyce