Seeking Jesus First - Aug. 7, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - Aug. 7, 2023
Photo by Helena Lopes / Unsplash

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Cain murdered Able and asked God this question.

Jesus commanded, “Love one another as I have loved you.” “Love your neighbor as yourself.”…

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:1–10, NKJV)

We have the love ability to restore our brother when he messes up. We are able to bear each other’s burdens and when we do, we fulfill the law of Christ Jesus.

At first reading, this passage appears to contradict itself. “Bear one another’s burdens.” “Bear your own burdens.”

I believe the key to unlocking what seems to be a contradiction is in verse one - “you who are spiritual.” Paul wants spiritually mature people to see that they have the grace and power of God to do any work that God gives them to do. The spiritually mature will be able to bear the burden of the work that God has given them and they will also be able to help out a brother who is struggling.

Let the spiritual person examine his own work. Ex. Am I doing what God has given me to do? Am I trusting in God or in man? Am I walking in faith, hope and love? That first question is powerful one for the spiritually mature. If you are trying to do the works that are not yours, you will most likely get tired and grumpy.

There are seasons in your life where you serve the vision and work of others and if you execute that service in a faithful manner, God will promote you, and eventually, God will give you your own work. While you are serving someone else’s vision, that work is yours and God’s grace will come upon you to do it. So don’t sit around moping because you don’t know what your work is. Our work is to know Christ and His word. Our work is to love and serve our families. We probably need to work a job and get a paycheck to do that. Don’t discount the every day mundane things that need to be done. God’s grace is in all of it if you are doing it as unto Him and not unto men. It is all your work and it glorifies God.

Be a blessing to others, especially to those in the household of faith. Part of your work may be to preach the gospel to the lost - everyone carries that ability to some degree. This passage tells us that loving the family - the body of Christ - the household of faith, comes first.

The law of Christ reflects this higher priority as well. The world will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.

Let’s break down the things in this passage that are works that serve others:

  • Restoring a brother who is overtaken in a trespass.
  • Being gentle and kind with those who are struggling in their soul to follow Christ.
  • Bearing their burdens with them as they are growing in their identity in Christ.
  • Rejoice in the works that God has given you to do. Do all that you do as unto Him and not unto men.
  • Grow into spiritual maturity so that you can bear your own load. We learn to feed ourselves before trying to feed someone else. We earn a living for ourselves before we try to earn a living for someone else. When we are able to help others, we do it with the intent of bringing them into maturity so that they can bear their own load.
  • Those who are being taught and trained up into maturity should eventually be able to financially bless those who are teaching them. This is one of their “works.”
  • God is faithful and He has made sure that a person shall reap what he plants. When a leader plants God’s word in your life, the two of will share in the harvest.
  • The works of the flesh produce corruption, decay and death.
  • The works of the spirit produce growth and life more abundant.
  • Rejoice in your work so that you will not become weary of doing good.
  • Keep doing good with thanksgiving and you will reap if you don’t give up.
  • Do good to everyone, especially to fellow believers.

We have the ability to help our brother. Christ in us makes all things possible. Faith, hope and love will make a way.