Summary: "Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2). What does this look like in our daily lives as Christians? We are all called to help people in need!
FRIENDSHIP 102 – HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED:
By Pastor Chris Jordan
“Jesus said, "’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40).
All of life is based on relationships, and if we don’t know how to have right relationships with one another, we are going to miss out on the abundant life that God has planned for us. If someone was to ask you what the Bible is all about, it’s really simple to answer that question: Love God and love people. It’s all about love, and being in loving relationships. Here is our main Scripture for tonight:
“Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody. 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.” (Galatians 6:2-4, NLT).
In the New King James version of the Bible, it translates the first part of that Scripture as, “Bear one another’s burdens.” I like that translation because it has a visual picture to it: You see someone who has a big heavy burden on their back, and they’re struggling and trying to go through life, and you come along, put your shoulder alongside theirs, and instead of them trying to carry their burden themselves, it’s the two of you together. But the New Living Translation puts it in simple language we can understand: Share each other’s troubles and problems. Now, that’s an easy sentence to read, but it’s harder to put into practice. God doesn’t want us to be hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. The hard part is to put this into practice and share each other’s troubles and problems. When we do this, Paul writes, we obey the law of Christ. Did you know that Jesus has a law? Yes, it’s called the law of Christ – to share each other’s troubles and problems. If we’re not doing this, we’re a law breaker! But some people would argue and say, “Oh, but I’ve got all my own troubles and problems! Life is so hard! I can’t help any body else, I just gotta take care of me, myself and I!”
Paul makes a bold statement here when he says, “If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.” Do you know why we don’t want to help other people? Because we think we’re too important. Again, it’s the spirit of the Pharisee: “I’m here to keep all of God’s commandments, and keep myself unspotted from the world. I’ll walk in holiness and purity. Just stay away from me, because you’re all unholy. And don’t get too close, because I don’t want you to pollute me.” Jesus didn’t have that attitude. He went down in the gutter where the worst of the worst sinners were, and helped them. That’s what God wants us to do. “Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well.” There’s a satisfaction that comes from helping others.
STORY: A folktale tells of a monarch long ago who had twin sons. There was some confusion about which one was born first. As they grew to young manhood, the king sought a fair way to designate one of them as crown prince.
Calling them to his council chamber one day, he said, "My sons, the day will come when one of you must succeed me as king. The burdens of sovereignty are very heavy. To find out which of you is better able to bear them cheerfully, I am sending you together to a far corner of the kingdom. One of my advisors there will place equal burdens on your shoulders. My crown will one day go to the one who first returns bearing his burden like a king should."
In a spirit of friendly competition, the brothers set out together. Soon they overtook a frail and aged woman struggling under a heavy weight. One of the boys suggested that they stop to help her. The other protested: "We have a burden of our own to worry about. Let us be on our way."
So the second son hurried on while the other stayed behind to help the woman with her load. On his journey to the kingdom’s edge, the same young man found others who needed help. A sightless man who needed assistance home; a lost child whom he carried back to her worried parents; a farmer whose wagon needed a strong shoulder to push it out of the mud.