Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Weekend, May 19, 2012 & May 20, 2012
Becoming a Burden Bearer
Read | Romans 15:1-2
The Bible instructs Christians to bear one another’s burdens. Doing this effectively requires awareness, acceptance, and availability.
Awareness. If you’re not sensitive to the struggles of those around you, how can you help them? Every Sunday you sit in church surrounded by people who hurt intensely. The Lord knows the depth of their suffering and is there to release them from bondage, but He often works through His children. Thankfully, we have His Spirit to sensitize us to needs in our midst.
Acceptance. We are not to bear burdens on the basis of how we feel about the other person. Jesus doesn’t discriminate about whom to love or help. If we want to be like Christ, we must be willing to share in the pain of others, no matter who they are. Does this describe you? Or do you limit your support to family and friends?
Availability. Christians sometimes relegate the work of caring for others to their pastor, figuring, That’s his job, after all. Yet he, too, has burdens. Your pastor wants to help everybody in every way possible, but if he’s the only one available to offer support for the church, both will crumble. A faith community thrives when people bear each other’s burdens. Ask yourself if there’s a way you can help carry the load in your church.
Scripture tells us the whole law is fulfilled in one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14). Next to loving the Lord with all your heart, this is the second greatest command (Matt. 22:39). Therefore, when we share another person’s heartache and burdens, we fulfill a great law of God.
Romans 15 (NASB)
Self-denial on Behalf of Others
15 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 2 Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “ The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, 9 and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,
“ Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles,
And I will sing to Your name.”
10 Again he says,
“ Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”
11 And again,
“ Praise the Lord all you Gentiles,
And let all the peoples praise Him.”
12 Again Isaiah says,
“ There shall come the root of Jesse,
And He who arises to rule over the Gentiles,
In Him shall the Gentiles hope.”
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
14 And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. 15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; 21 but as it is written,
“ They who had no news of Him shall see,
And they who have not heard shall understand.”
22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30 Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.