Carry each other's burdens
In what ways do you need help? How can you help others? Pastor Marchitell shows us that we all need help and we all can give help. From 11/15/2020
Sunday November 15th
A Few announcements before the kids can go:
Today is the absolute last day to bring in an Operation Christmas Child box so if you left it at home, come see me and we’ll arrange something before I bring all the boxes to the drop off
We will be packing meal boxes for families in need this coming holiday season, and they are due NEXT SUNDAY.
We've created a “Sign up” list where you can sign up to purchase a specific item or items for the boxes!
It's on a clipboard on the back table, and I would encourage everyone to extend a helping hand
Prayer chain text messages
Offering Basket is in the front Pew, we haven't been passing it around because of Covid, but if you feel led to tithe or give an offering, the basket is up front
We also can accept digital giving through Venmo, if you search for the user ChristCommunityChurch27
On Friday DECEMBER 4th at 530 we will be having another free take out meal for the Community,
Chili and Cornbread
Next Sunday, one of the Missionaries that we as a Church support, the Hough Family, will be here to give us an update about all that they do for the people of Paraguay, and they’ll be giving the Sermon that Sunday as well!
With that, the kids are dismissed.
Our Message this morning is going to becoming from the 6th Chapter of Saint Paul’s letter to the Christians in Galatia, verses 1-6
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.”
( → → Opening prayer ← ← )
So here we have Saint Paul writing a letter to a group of Christias, that attend a Church that he started.
As it is with all of his ---- the word is---- Epistle, he is writing because they need to hear from him.
They need instruction
They need help
They need guidance
If we were to take a look at the whole book of Galatians, and compared it to Paul’s other letters-----we would see that he is pretty angry.
You see, in Galatia, they had a problem with false teaching and Paul wrote them a letter to set them all straight.
He was telling them to stop believing in all this nonsense that their culture was forcing on them, and to focus on all the teaching they had received from him.
I feel that this----- in and of itself ----- before we actually get to today’s Message-----is something that the American Church desperately needs.
Americanism runs so deep within our culture, that it has invaded and become entangled with Christianity.
This is America---you can't tell me what to do
This is America---you can't tell me how to live ---- how to act ---- how to worship
This is America----I can live anyway I want---- and no authority can tell me anything differently than what I already think and believe
Americanism has invaded Christiainity
The selfmade mentality
The “I can do whatever I set my mind to” mentality
The “no authority except that which answers to us the people” mentality has become so prevalent in America, that when a Church abides by what Scripture teaches, they are ridiculed and boycotted against.
And this aspect of Americansim ----- has no place in Christianity.
Not that everything American is bad
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED equal
We have certain unalienable rights that were given to us by our CREATOR
But the Americanistic mentality that we the people are the end all be all of everything ------ has no place in Christianity
So….now that I have gone completely off topic,
The Galatian Church needed some correction and so does the American Church.
You see, one of our verses this morning, is what is at stake when a Church succumbs to false teaching.
If we were to make a list of the negative outcomes of false teaching, our verses this morning would be on that list.
When the truths of Scripture are sacrificed on the altar of self---- or the altar of the culture----
When Scripture takes a backseat---- we not only put ourselves and our people in danger of eternal hell fire---
------------we forget that the life we live here and now matters.
The people in our life, and their life here and now------ matter
We forget, that life cant ONLY be lived in the Pews of Churches ------ or the clouds of philosophy or in the books and libraries
Life must be lived down in the streets ----
Life must be lived in the fields and valleys and mountaintops ---
At the job sites
The family tables
All those areas of our life----where life happens, matter.
It matters here and now
When we understand this, that we can’t always have our thoughts up in the clouds,-----
And that the people in our life need us and want us and love us, then the truth of our verses this morning shine all the brighter
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
God wants us to be there for one another.
To lend a hand, to provide support, to help, encourage, correct, direct, restore,
We are told to carry each other's burdens.
So if we look at our verses this morning, we can see that there are two people the Apostle Paul is talking about:
#1→ the person offering help
#2 → the person who needs help
And before I even take these on-----everyone ever, fits in both of those categories.
None of us are perfect
All of us could benefit from the help of others
And all of us have meaningful helpful words and actions that can be of benefit to other people
So, #1 the person offering help
When Paul gives us the instruction ------- he gives us two ways in which to do it.
Gently, and Cautiously.
When someone in your life is caught in the snare of their sin ------ help them ------ gently.
Whatever it is that has them caught, help them gently
We don’t just vomit out cold blunt words and then scratch that off of our “Christian to-do” list.
We gently and lovingly restore them----
We don't look down and chastise and judge them for their mistakes and shortcomings----
And we don't ignore when someone we love is ensnared in sin------ for whatever the reason may be.
You see, there has been a mentality growing in our culture that says we can do whatever we want ------ we are the ones who decided right and wrong. We ourselves define what is moral and what is immoral
And if someone says that what we are doing ---- IS WRONG or immoral or bad---- or if we use the word SIN------
Then we have every right to stand upon our own thinking----
Our own ways----
Our OWN definition of morality----
Our OWN self defined lines of right and wrong decide everything and how dare you say otherwise
And then we have the right to get offended and reject the help that comes from someone who believes that my behavior is sinful-----
And with good reason-----right? ------ We Christians have given the world good reasons to ignore us----- because-----
I don't know if you guys have noticed it-----
But Christians sometimes have a reputation of being judgmental jerks
Of looking down their noses
Of lifting themselves up
Those Christians all pretend that they themselves are these perfect golden holy people, while sweeping their mistakes under the carpet--------and a lot of the times, the mistakes that they sweep under the carpet are faaaaaaaar worse than the ones they chastise other people for!
We here at Christ Community do everything we can to reject that stereotype, and love everyone
This ------ is a fine line.
We are told to call sin for what it is whenever and wherever we see it -----
If it's in the culture, the courts, or the Church---
AND we are called to be gentle and loving
We are told to unwaveringly stand up for what is right------
In how we work, how we play, how we vote, how we worship
AND we are told to be kind and respectful
And I want to tell you this morning, that if you see someone you love, ensnared and falling and trapped in their sin, and you don't try and restore them------- like our verse this morning says------- OR you do so in a spirit of hostile -- holier than thou judgment-------- both of those are the most unloving things you could ever do towards someone you claim to love.
If you love someone --- you warn them of danger
If you love someone --- you call sin for what it is
If you love someone --- you approach them in gentle lovingness to try and restore them.
If you love someone --- you carry their burdens, as much as you can---- knowing full well that they themselves will have to answer to their God----- just like you will.
When we carry each other's burdens------ we are fulfilling the law of Christ.
We are loving God
And we are loving others
So what does it look like to try and restore someone gently when they are caught in a sin?
First and foremost ---- we pray unceasingly for them
At every meal
Before we get out of bed
Before we fall asleep
In our regular devotional time that we should be setting aside everyday
Charles Spurgeon said: "Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might."
Pray for the people in your life who are ensnared in their sin---- so much so---- that God gets annoyed with you over how often you are calling out.
Second - we continually point them to Scripture
With our kind words
With our gentle words
With our correcting words
And with our kind behavior
And our gentle behavior
If someone you love is ensnared in a sin, no matter how deeply it is intertwined in their life, and you just shun them from your life----- then you and me need to meet at the flagpole after school to exchange some words
Let your words and your behavior mirror everything that Scriptures teaches, the truth and the grace, the line in the sand and the love in the heart
And point the people in your life to Jesus with every behavior and with every word
We need to do that, not only because we love them, but because of the warning that we see in our verse------
“But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
Not that we will be specifically, specifically --------- tempted by the sins of our loved ones, like we ache to engage in it-----
but that we will be tempted to no longer say that what they are doing-----is in fact, a sin.
We can be swept into it and pulled into---- especially if it's someone we love and have dedicated our life to----
If they have been ensnared by anger or lust or uncontrollable fear or substance abuse or sexual immorality----
Whatever it may be that is grasping your loved one-----
Watch yourself------or you also may be tempted
Be gentle and watch yourself when you do whatever it is you can to restore someone.
And as our verse says, you will be fulfilling the law of Christ.
You will be loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and you will be loving other people like you love yourself.
Be there for one another----
Point them to Christ----
Give of yourself----
Because each and every single one of you, were specifically made by God the way that you are-----
No one else is you---
And no one else can give the kind of help that you can give---
If you have fought the fight against lust-----
If you have fought the fight against anger------
If you have fought the fight against alcoholism or substance abuse-----
If you have fought the fight against selfishness
Whatever it may be that has been your fight----- that is where you can help someone else in your life.
It is no accident that the people who are in your life, are the people in your life.
God does not look down from heaven and say “Oh that's weird, I didn't know THEY were going to be friends ----- I didn't know THEY were going to be related!”
Not at all----- You have people in your life who can benefit from the wisdom you learned the hard way----
From the lessons you learned the hard way---
Your friends and family members can see the bruises and scars from your fight against your sin---- and learn from them
Carry each other’s burdens ----
And when we do that, please understand that it doesn't mean that we are perfect----
It doesn't mean that we HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT
Just because we have fought the fight against our own sin ---- it doesn't mean we dont still struggle
It doesn't mean that we are beyond needing someone else to restore US
This is the 2nd person Paul is referring to ----- the person who needs help
The person with a weakness
The person who has fought ----- and lost
Because this applies to all of us.
All of us have made our promises ---- and broken them
All of us have said:
I'll never look at that again
I'll never touch that again
I'll never go there again
I'll never think that again
God I know I have a problem with this------and I know I've fallen to it a hundred times before-----but that----I promise --- THAT was the last time
Only to fall again and be left with remorse and regret-----
I can't believe I looked at that again----
I can't believe I put that in my body again----
I can’t believe I went there----
I can't believe I fell to a sin that I swore to God I never would again ------ I am a useless, no good, lowlife, piece of garbage
For those of you---- who have had these kinds of thoughts and experiences----- and I speak from personal experience------ my advice is this----
If you were a no good piece of garbage----- then you wouldn't care if you gave into the sin you promised not to.
We all need help
We all have weaknesses
No one is beyond the reach of sin
No one is beyond the power of temptation
We ---- all ---- fall
But hear this---- the only way we can get help ------ they only way the people in our life who love us, will know that we are struggling and need a hand, or need direction----- is if we admit we need it
If we go through our day with shiny smiling faces, never admitting that last week was rough-----
If we put on a mask every morning, and have for so long, we've fooled ourselves into thinking that the real us is fake, and the front that we present to the world is who we really are----
If we continually rely on our strength--- over and over again
And explain away all the times our own strength has failed us, and say:
“Oh I wasn't really trying THAT hard, to avoid my sin, I'll try even harder next time
If that is how we think and live and behave ------- we will fail.
We will fail, because, relying on our own strength is the biggest weakness anyone could ever have.
Relying on your own strength, is the biggest weakness you can have.
When you are faced with your weaknesses ----
When you are faced with your lust issue or your anger issue or your selfishness issue ----
When the temptation to give in to a sin you love and have loved in the past is standing right before your eyes begging you to give in ------
I can do this // I have the strength
I am so strong // This cant beat me /// This cant stop me
I am bigger than these obstacles in my life, I have within me the willpower and the strength to tackle anything that has been placed before me.
Yes----I've failed----- those don't really count
Yes, yes, I mean, yeah I do fall to that sin a lot, but but but:
I was tired ///// I was hungry
I was up late last night //// I didn't get enough sleep
I had a rough day at work
This time will be different---------------
If these are your words when you are face to face with your favorite sin---- then you will fall to it.
Stop making excuses for your sin and admit that you need help ---- because the biggest weakness anyone could ever have is relying on their own strength.
This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in:
2nd Corinthians 12:8-10
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Wear you're weaknesses on your sleeve----
Be weak ---- it's not a bad thing
Allow yourself to be broken ----- it will be ok
Because when broken people, keep moving forward----- God gets the glory
When hurt people, keep moving forward ---- God gets the glory
When the people in our life who love us, do their best to restore us after we have admitted that we are stuck in a sin we can't seem to get out of----- the light of God will shine through the cracks in us---- and everyone in our life will be able to see God all the more.
When we are broken, what is inside of us, shines through our breaks
Admit your weakness ARE weaknesses ----
That you hate them---
That you want them gone---
That you struggle with them---
Say to yourself, to your God, to your spouse or parent, to your friend, to your Pastor
I hate my sin, I hate it
And then boast in your weaknesses.
Boast that God is the one who heals
God is the one who fixes
God is the one who takes the things that we struggle with, and HE is the one who conquers and saves
I didn't beat my anger problem ----- God did
I didn't beat my lust problem ---- God did
I didn't beat my selfishness problem
My sexual immorality
My fear and anxiety and hate
God beat my sin in me, and I watched and worshiped Him while He did it
Bring Him your anger
Bring Him your fear
Bring Him your anxiety
Your substance abuse
Boast in your weaknesses that Christ’s power will be shown through you, through your life, and through the lives of the people who love you enough to try and restore you.
In closing, we need to look at the last few verses to help round this out
v6 - “the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor”
When the people in your life who love you, seek to restore you and carry your burdens----
When others go out of their way to point you to Christ and point you to Scripture, with their words and their behavior-----
Share with them all good things.
Let them know you appreciate them, care for them, love them, enjoy them,
Tell them of not only the defeats, but tell them of the victories and the successes
Tell them of the times when temptation was breathing down your neck, but by the grace and strength of God----you resisted
Share with them all the good things
----and when THEY fall, they’ll know they can go to you for help
God wove together His Church in such a way, that whenever we fall, we can look to our left and right and lean on the people in the Pews all around us.
He didn't just plop us randomly in some Church somewhere
It was an intentionally and purposeful placement of our broken lives, that He placed together-----so when the world looks at us, they will see a Mosaic of His beauty
v3-5 - “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.
Don’t compare your weaknesses to someone else's, in an attempt to make your own not so serious
I don't need help with my lust ----i'm not like THAT person over there----
I don't need help with my anger ---- i'm not like THAT person over there---
“These aren't weaknesses that I have----- I mean---- look at those people over there----they're the ones with weaknesses.”
To people with this mentality, I would like to read the words of
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
When you stand before the Judge of the Universe, will you rely on your own strength?
Or will you admit your weaknesses, and boast in the saving power of Jesus Christ?
( → → Closing Prayer ← ← )