CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

September 17, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter B


26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER B

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter A to read the previous post on the letter A.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER B

     Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

     Today is the second in a series of weekly devotionals I’m writing based on twenty-six verses in the Bible, one for each letter of the alphabet. I am using a list of verses I received from an old friend, Bill Sollinger, many years ago.

          Galatians 6:1-10        Bear One Another’s Burdens1Brothers, 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. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.3For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.4But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.5For each will have to bear his own load. 6One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.8For 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.9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (English Standard Version)

     According to many persons who watch the world scene, we tend to approach faith in one of two ways:

  • It’s all about our personal salvation and our relationship with God, or
  • Faith calls us to love of God, neighbor and self.

     Both ways are appropriate faith actions, but the first tends to be less concerned with issues of social justice. The second approach leads to saying that we are all in this life together and that anything I do that hurts, or disadvantages, my neighbor diminishes who I am.

     What does it mean to “bear one another’s burdens”? We need to look at this group of verses together.

  • First, we are called to restore others caught in sinfulness, but gently, because we always are tempted to sin ourselves.
  • Second, we need to recognize that love of neighbor leads to hurting when a neighbor hurts, and to rejoicing with a neighbor when a neighbor has good fortune.
  • Third, we need to be careful not to be proud and think we are better than we are.

     My biggest problem is forgetting how blest I am by God. Every time I begin to value all my hard work, I realize that really virtually all I am and all I have is by the grace of God. How easy it is to be proud and forgetful of God!

     When we “bear one another’s burdens,” we join together with others in seeking God’s blessings and in praising God for what he is doing. It isn’t all about us as individuals. It’s about the well-being of community. For me, that leads to concern about any persons who suffer.

     As it says on a bumper sticker that I’ve seen, God bless all the world, no exceptions. That is the spirit of our praying when we accept “bearing one another’s burdens.”

     How do we “bear”? There are options.

  • First, we might consider prayer. However, as important as prayer is, it may be the more minimal approach. We pray about the burden of another and then go on our merry way.
  • Second, we might help the person bear the burden directly or indirectly by aiding that person in finding a way to relieve the burden. Our action may be physical, spiritual, or even financial.
  • Third, and probably in addition to the above, is to work to alleviate conditions that lead to a burden borne by this person, conditions in common with lots of other people.

     The path to social justice is not taken by many Christians today, and yet it is central to much of what Jesus taught.

To read 26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET: THE LETTER C, click on:  26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter C

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Don’t miss Monte’s devotions.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Stockings for Jesus

Things About Television That Irritate Me

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