Lean on me?

When I was a kid, we listened to a lot of classics. They were called Oldies, but I really liked them (Still listen to them today, even though the music that was new when I was a kid is now becoming classic....). One song in particular I liked was Bill Withers' "Lean on Me." The closer I get to Christ, I love it even more. First and Foremost, we're to cast all our woes, cares, fears, and anxieties on the Lord (Matthew 6:25-34, Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:6-8, 1 Peter 5:7. and Proverbs 3:5-6 all come to mind!). We're also, as believers in Christ to bear one another's burdens, to help one another carry the load to Jesus, and to build one another up in love (Galatians 6:1-5, Ephesians 4:25-32, James 5:13-16, 1 Peter 5:1-11, Hebrews 10:19-25, to name a few). I think the reason we don't trust is we're too reliant on ourselves. We depend on the things and people we acquire for ourselves, and yet keep everyone we surround ourselves with at arms length. We have Jesus Christ, who died for all of our sins, setting us free from the burden of sin and death, and Christ gave us His Church, blessed people filled with the same Holy Spirit that dwells in you, and so we need to depend only on Christ, and His church.


Well, you might say "The Church has failed me, they don't meet my needs." I think, at times, churches can be self-reliant, and thus self-centered, but most of us, when we say that, are using it as an excuse to not fulfill the royal law "love your neighbor as yourself." We keep everyone at arm's length, and when something happens to us and no one is there to lift us up, we say "See? No one was there!" We have Jesus Christ to rely on, and He gave us a family in Spirit, brothers and sisters unified and justified! Let us lean on Him, and lean on one another. Let us seek to become who God is calling us to be!

1 Peter 4 English Standard Version (ESV)


Stewards of God's Grace


Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,[a] arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.


Amen.


Suffering as a Christian


12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[b] and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And


“If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[c]


19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.


Footnotes:

a. 1 Peter 4:1 Some manuscripts add for us; some for you

b. 1 Peter 4:14 Some manuscripts insert and of power

c. 1 Peter 4:18 Greek where will the ungodly and sinner appear?



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