GREAT GRACE & FREEDOM #10: SHARE EACH OTHERS TROUBLES
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THE BIG IDEA: As Christians, we are called to share each other’s troubles, help our pastors and teachers, and do good to everyone.
1. SHARE EACH OTHERS TROUBLES: (Galatians 6:1-5, NLT).
1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
- ILLUSTRATION: Contrast the legalist and the Christian: Using two speech bubbles.
- The legalist will condemn and criticize someone struggling with sin.
- The spiritual Christian will help that person – with love, acceptance and forgiveness.
2 Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
- ILLUSTRATION: Contrast the legalist and the Christian:
- The legalist will put more burdens on them: “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them.” (Matt. 24:3).
- The spiritual Christian will help them with their troubles and problems: “But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help — how can God’s love be in that person?” (1 John 3:17).
3 If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody. 4 Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
- We are ALL called to help people in need – and there’s a joy that comes from that!
ILLUSTRATION: Too many people have adopted this worldly philosophy: “To me, it’s a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says: Hey, can you give me a hand? You can say: Sorry, got these sacks.” Sad because it’s true!
BEARING BURDENS AND CARRYING LOADS: Is this a contradiction?
- “Bear one another’s burdens.” (6:2, NKJV).
- “For each one shall bear his own load.” (6:5, NKJV).
How do you distinguish between the two different kinds of burdens / loads?
- Burden = weight, burden, trouble = a weight too heavy for one person to carry
- Load = a burden, load; a soldier’s backpack = our personal responsibilities
- If it’s a load – your personal responsibility – then you’re supposed to suck it up and carry it.
- God allows us to carry loads for the purpose of strengthening us, to help us mature and grow.
- If it’s a heavy burden – that’s going to overwhelm and crush us – then we need help with it.
ILLUSTRATE: Have someone carry a backpack (a load) and then a heavy box (burden) that needs the help of someone else to lift it.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF SOMETHING IS A BURDEN OR A LOAD?
- Give some examples of different situations
- Some people treat everything as a load. They won’t tell anyone about their troubles.
- If you have a burden, share it with the family of God – ask for help! In hospital, etc.
- Other people treat everything like a burden. They freak out about everything.
- If it’s a load, you need to carry it on your own and grow up.
- (Thoughts from this section inspired by a message by Mark Driscoll).
WHY SHOULD WE HELP OTHERS? To follow the example of Jesus:
“Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.” (Romans 15:2-3, The Message).
2. HELP YOUR PASTORS AND TEACHERS: (Galatians 6:6-8).
6 Those who are taught the word of God should help their teachers by paying them.
- QUOTE: “The teacher of the Word shares spiritual treasures and those who are taught ought to share material treasures… Paul repeatedly taught that the spiritual leader in the church was to be supported by the gifts of the people.” (Warren Wiersbe, Be Free).
“Elders (pastors) who do their work well should be paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not keep an ox from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!” (1 Tim. 5:17-18).
- The best thing a pastor can do for his church is to teach them the Bible.
7 Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
- QUOTE: “God does not command believers to give simply that pastors might have their material needs met, but that the givers might get a greater blessing… Money sown to the flesh will bring a harvest of corruption. That money is gone and can never be reclaimed. Money sown to the Spirit (such as sharing with those who teach the Word) will produce life, and in that harvest will be seeds that can be planted again…” (Warren Wiersbe).
- The law of sowing and reaping: If you plant carrot seeds, you will grow carrots!
- “Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay…”
STORY – SAMMY’S BIG CATCH:
Sammy was a young boy who lived in the Deep South and loved to fish. One day Sammy woke early and walked into the woods to search for bait. Under one old stump he hit the jackpot. The ground was writhing. In two minutes he had all the bait he needed, and in 15 minutes he was at the pond. Reaching into his bait bucket, Sammy pulled out a big worm. He double hooked it and tossed in into the water. He noticed a stinging in his hand, but filled with the excitement of the moment, he paid no attention to it. Within seconds, Sammy had a bite and pulled in a nice catfish. Wow, he thought, a fish in the first minute.
He put the catch on his stringer, hurried to rebait his hook. Once again he felt a stinging sensation in his hand as he threw his hook into the pond. He didn’t have time to worry about it. Within a few seconds, he had another huge fish. He fumbled the next time he baited his hook–his hand felt numb and stiff. But Sammy was too excited to give it much thought. At the end of only an hour, Sammy had caught eight large fish. This was definitely his best fishing day ever. He was so happy that he dashed down the road to show off his catch to his parents.
The local sheriff drove up alongside Sammy and started to congratulate him on his catch of fish. With a smile and a victory whoop, Sammy held them up. The sheriff gasped, parked his car and ran over to Sammy. Sammy’s arms were red and swollen to twice their normal size. “Where have you been and what bait did you use to catch all those fish?” the sheriff asked. “I found them under an old stump,” Sammy boasted, showing him the bucket. After a close look at the worms, the sheriff scooped up Sammy and sped off to the hospital, but Sammy was already dead.
What the sheriff had discovered was that Sammy had been fishing with baby rattlesnakes. Sammy’s deadly bait brought him a good morning of fishing but cost him his life. Had Sammy stopped fishing after that first sting, he could have been saved. But Sammy was having too much fun and didn’t bother himself with the small voice of pain in his hand. Then, as the hand grew numb, even that voice was silenced. Playing around sin is like using baby rattlesnakes for bait.
3. DO GOOD TO EVERYONE: (Galatians 6:9-10).
“So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.”
- We are all called to do good to everyone, especially one another.
- Warning: Don’t grow weary, get discouraged, or give up – one day you’ll reap a harvest!
CLOSING STORY: A SIMPLE GESTURE:
Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed that the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat and a glove. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked, Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history; that he was having a lot of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.
Mark went home after dropping Bill at his house. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school, where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long-awaited senior year came. Three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.
Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Do you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother’s sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up my books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life.” Your simple gesture – could save someone’s life!
CHALLENGE: How are we doing as a church on these things? Are we sharing each other’s troubles and problems and do good to everyone? Or have we grown weary dong well?
- Beausejour Community Church Website: www.beausejourchurch.ca
- Pastor Chris Jordan’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/