Yesterday we looked at the need to help one another and to give to others in need. Today we consider what it is to bear another’s burden, and also see the importance of speaking God’s truth to others.
4. We must bear one another’s burdens. The Bible is able to express the whole work of Christ for us as bearing our burdens: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4, KJV). So it is not surprising that it can describe the whole of the Christian life as bearing the cross and admonish us to “carry each other’s burdens,” saying, “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
Yesterday we looked at the first way to serve others. Today we look at the next two.
2. We must help one another. The desperation people have in needing to talk to someone is not always merely their desire to be heard, although that is important in itself. It is also often the case that they need help, and so their speech is really a cry for assistance. We will find that if we stop to listen to people, their needs will come rushing to the surface and we will have infinitely more to do than wash their feet.
We must be practical at this point. Jesus served us by leaving heaven, taking on a true human nature, teaching, and then dying on the cross for our sin. We cannot do that. So we must ask, “How can we serve others? In what way must we demonstrate the servant nature of our master?” I suggest the following.
Following the Lord Jesus Christ is an individual matter, but it is not individualistic. Let me explain.
When we say that discipleship is an individual matter we are saying that it is something the individual himself must do. No one can follow Jesus for you. Your husband cannot be your proxy. Your children cannot read the Bible for you, pray for you, or obey the Lord for you. You must do these things for yourself, and if you do not do them, you are no true disciple. Individualism is something different.
Over the last two days we looked at four Bible study methods. Today we begin by mentioning one more.
5. Study the Bible prayerfully (Dan. 9:1-3). It is impossible to study the Bible devotionally without praying, since we are coming to God in Scripture and must communicate with Him verbally if we do. But although prayer is a part of a devotional study of Scripture, prayer is worth stressing for its own sake, if only because we so often neglect it.
The Alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars, and churchmen who hold the historic creeds and confessions of the Reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a Reformed awakening in today's Church.