Andy Hollifield 6-15-18
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
The law of Christ. We talk about following God’s laws but a lot of times, only when it suits our purpose. One of them that pertains to bearing one another’s burdens is found in Philippians 2:3-5. The bible says “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (5) Let this same mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. “Esteeming others better than themselves.” That just isn’t natural but that is why God wants us to do it. It does go against our fleshly nature. Our nature is concerned only with our things or as an old saying goes; “Me and my four and no more.” Where would we have been if God had of excluded everybody else that way. God is a very inclusive God by his nature. That is why he said in Revelation 22:17 “….And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
But Jesus nature and therefore his actions went way beyond just his invitations. Have you ever noticed that Jesus most of the time met a person’s physical needs before he met their spiritual needs. That was how he gained the credibility and drew folks to him. When he did what he said he would do. John 2:23 says, “…Many believed in his name when they saw the miracles he did.” But that brings up a question. Why was it necessary for Jesus to do miracles? The answer is because people had real needs and real burdens. Before I get to far I want to mention a few numbers. Did you know that the word “esteem” is used only five times in the bible. “Whosoever will” is used 29 times and “moved with compassion” is used only 5 times. Four of those times it is in reference to Jesus and one time Jesus used the phrase in a parable. Another thing of significance is that the number five is representative of grace in the bible. Truly when Jesus did a miracle for someone it was because of his grace and mercy and not our own merit.
It was also because of his compassion on the multitudes that came to see him and hear him speak. His compassion came about because he saw their condition. He did something to help. We have a bad tendency to say we will pray about something and never do anything to actually meet the need. Although Jesus don’t require miracles out of us, he still wants us to take action. He commands us to “bear ye one another’s burdens.” Jesus told us to judge a tree by its fruit but he never told us to pick and choose who we have compassion on. In Luke 12:42 that a steward should be wise and faithful.
Galatians 2:5 tells us to have the same mind as Christ. Christ went to the poor and destitute, the sick and the disabled, and even to folks that were dying such as all the lepers he healed. When we see those around us hurting, we should help them bear their burden. We should be moved with compassion as Jesus was. We should have his compassionate mind when we go to the grocery store or gas station or anywhere else. Just a kind word to a stranger or a friend may be what they need to change their whole day. The mistake someone may make as a cashier or cook or whatever, is it really worth losing your Christian testimony over? I knew a waitress in a steakhouse years ago that said she hated to work on Sunday. It wasn’t because of missing church because she didn’t go anyway. She said it was because the church crowd would run her legs off, wasn’t happy with anything, and tipped very little if at all. I have never forgotten that. An opportunity to witness wasted over being difficult to someone serving you. Is that really sufficient grounds for being hard to deal with. Who knows what a kind word may have done for her? Who knows what some verbal appreciation and a good tip would have done? It may have changed her mind about working on Sundays and I am sure it would have changed her mind about Christians. Jesus left us here to be a light and bear one another’s burdens and conduct ourselves as he did. I have often thought about how little interest those people showed in what she was going through. She looked forward to serving a table full of truck drivers each week because we treated her better than the church crowd did. I wonder if they would have done different is they had to walk a mile in her moccasins. You never know what someone is going through until you’ve walked in their shoes. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 6-15-18