Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 27 & 28
Psalms Reading: Psalm 90
*New Testament Reading: Galatians 6
In the beginning of this chapter, it seems Paul is almost contradicting himself, telling believers to carry one another’s burdens (v.2) but also to carry their own load (v.5 -HCSB). When comparing translations, the NLT changes verse 5 to each being ‘responsible for their own conduct’, which really removes the discrepancy, especially when in context with the previous verse about focusing on oneself and not comparing. Essentially Paul is writing: support other believers while doing your best and be responsible for your own behaviors.
Paul is also sure to caution and encourage these believers; he reminds them that satisfying their sinful nature now will ultimately lead to death, but that living to please God will result in everlasting life (v.8). In verse 1 he describes humbly and gently bringing believers from that sinful life back on the right path – and this of course makes sense when you know that the wrong path leads to death! And Paul must know that living in this way will be challenging at times, as he immediately follows it with words of encouragement to not get tired of doing good, and a reminder of the blessing to be reaped to those who don’t give up (v.9). But my favorite part is verse 10, where Paul says THEREFORE, do good to everyone, especially those in the family of faith! Because living the life of a Christian is tiring at times, because it is challenging, and because there are temptations to give up, BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.
As fellow believers we know how hard it is to be a Christian, so it is up to us to share one another’s burdens, not create more obstacles and hardships through shallow competition of who “looks better” in the law. Paul is telling the Galatians that their responsibility in the church is to support and build one another up, not comparing themselves, but working together to live a life that is called to be more than just following a law.
You are part of a church, and, if you have made the commitment to be baptized and follow Christ, you are part of the Church! You have a responsibility to fellowship, to support, to love and to live alongside your body of believers. In today’s day of technology, you can meet this responsibility through online connections or in person. There are church services you can stream, summer camps you can attend, online devotionals you can participate in… If you have not yet taken up that responsibility, this is your sign… get connected, because life is hard to do on your own!
Where do you feel connected in the church? Are you satisfied with this level of connection?
Who in your church can you think of that may need their burdens shared? Reach out to them!
Based on Paul’s writing today, what does his message tell you about who God is and what His expectations are for believers?
God, thank you for giving us a Church to be part of. Today we pray that we find strength and support within our local body of believers, and we ask that you show us which believers are in need of a lighter load to bear on their own. Thank you for making us new through your son, and allowing us the opportunity to reap a harvest of blessings. In your son’s name, Amen.