The AMI QT devotionals for October 10-11 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian who serves at Symphony Church in Boston.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Have you ever thought as you were listening to a sermon at church, I wish my friend was here to listen to this, or I hope my small group member is paying attention? My guess is that most, if not all of us, have thought something like that before. While there are some good intentions behind this kind of thinking, I’ve found that it’s easier for us to think about how another person is receiving a message more than actually receiving that message for ourselves. This verse in Galatians is a prime example of this.
Paul exhorts the church to carry one another’s burdens, to help comfort and counsel one another in difficult circumstances or to challenge one another in our struggles against sin and temptation. When we read this, our tendency may be to think about others: We think about that small group member who has been struggling and how we can help them; or we remember that friend of ours who has been having a hard time at work and how we can encourage him or her. It is great for us to stop and consider how we can be a blessing to others and carry their burdens, but when we do this, there’s a really important person that we tend to forget—ourselves. Paul is not just saying to carry other people’s burdens, but we should mutually carry one another’s burdens. An intrinsic part of “one another” is ourselves. We don’t only consider how to help others, but we ourselves must allow others to help us with our own burdens.
Though it is important for us to strive to be a blessing to others, we shouldn’t forget that we ourselves need to be blessed by others. Because we have a desire to serve others, we can easily put on a brave face, telling others that we’re okay, instead of being vulnerable and open and letting others bless us. And ultimately, this can lead us into a dangerous place. On our own, we cannot handle all of the burdens of our circumstances, struggles, sins, much less the burdens of others as well. What we all need is the support of others, of a community that desires to bless one another and point one another to the love of Jesus.
Today, take a moment and think about how you yourself need others to help carry your burdens. If there’s an opportunity, share with a friend about your own needs and struggles and ask for prayer. Let’s bear one another’s burdens today.
Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for the love that You have shown me through others. I pray today that I can share my burdens with others and experience Your love through my brothers and sisters in Christ. Bless me today through Your church. AMEN
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 10
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 1:7-10: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us
Questions to Consider
- What is the foundation of our fellowship within the church?
- If you’ve been a Christian for a while, you probably know better than to say you are without sin. However, it’s still pretty easy for us to deceive ourselves and think we’re not that bad or don’t need much help. What are some areas in your life where you may be deceiving yourself? What are some sins that you’re not admitting to others or yourself?
- What happens if we confess our sins to others?
- It is walking in the light, i.e. walking with Jesus. The foundation of all that we do within the church is Jesus.
- Personal reflection question.
- When we confess our sins, we experience the forgiveness and “cleansing” of Jesus. We don’t have to be in a community nor do we have confess our sins to someone else in order to be forgiven of our sins. Forgiveness is offered to us unconditionally by the blood of Jesus. However, when we confess our sins to one another, we not only understand the forgiveness of Jesus, but we also experience a deeper and typically more powerful cleansing. Confessing to one another gives us a greater freedom and confidence in the love of Jesus.
We are not meant to walk with Jesus on our own. We are deeply in need of the fellowship of the saints to help us carry our burdens and point us to Jesus. If you haven’t yet, reach out to a friend from your church tonight and simply ask for prayer. Offer to listen and pray for your friend as well. Let us strive to be people who are dependent on one another to follow Jesus.