On Sunday, I was talking to a young man that we had baptized a week prior, and it was amazing to hear his testimony. He said that, as he came up out of the water, he felt lighter. One of the reasons for this, I told him, is that he is completely new in Christ Jesus, and another reason is that all of the weight of sin he was carrying, and any other burden, was removed from Him by Christ. What an amazing testimony this young man has! Yet, I cautioned, at times, we will pick up burdens, and each of them are things we were never meant to carry, so we need to remember it is Jesus who lifts them from us.
Yesterday I wrote of a burden that I had. I am so grateful for the many kind words and prayers lifted up on the elders and my behalf. I want to clarify that there isn’t something wrong in the church here, but every so often, the burden of what people say and do (at time in front of, but mostly behind the backs, the church leaders)gets back to us, and it does hurt, and the burden of the office Christ appointed us to, and the salvation of the members of the congregation, and the things people say and do, we often carry silently. I just knew that, because of that burden, I had to let it go, and, for me, writing about it lifted it off of my shoulders. I relate to that young man in his baptism, even though mine was nearly 30 years ago!
These burdens we try to carry and shoulder on our own were never meant to be our load. In scripture, we’re told to carry one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2; which is why I shared it with my family in Christ; I try and be an open book in that regard), and I tend to try and carry them alone. Peter tells us to cast all our cares (that’s a fishing term, mind you, Peter would know about that all too well) on God for He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). As a church, we’re to be unburdened, and, in Christ, unhindered in our walk with Him. What are you carrying today? How can you give the load to Christ, or, at the least, have your brothers and sisters in Christ carry it with you?
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. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.