Different Types of Burdens

August 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Galatians, Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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One day, Jesus of Nazareth stood up in a busy corner of the marketplaces of Capernaum. People were rushing to and fro, busy with the cares and concerns of everyday life.

This Jesus began to speak openly, and He said a remarkable thing.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

Psalm 55:22 tells us, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” And then, there is this interesting Scripture:

For every man shall bear his own burden.

Galatians 6:5

So, which is it? Are Christians supposed to accept the invitation of Christ, and exchange our heavy burdens for His light one? Are we supposed to cast our burdens upon the Lord? Should we find someone else to bear our burden for us? Or, is it back to square one: each person bearing his or her own burden? The answer lies in the type of burden to be borne.

First, there is the burden of the soul’s concern for the chronic cares of survival and mortality itself. This burden will wear us down, and eventually crush us, if we try to carry it in our own strength through the everyday trials and struggles of life. This burden must be exchanged for the burden of our Master. His burden is a joyful reminder that, one day, we will spend eternity with Him. The thought that the tears, pain, and death, which are inevitable in this earthly life, will one day pass away, is a burden which is light and easy to bear.

Second, there are some burdens which God never intended for you to bear. These include physical infirmities, overwhelming circumstances, and the never-ending battle against the temptation to sin. These burdens are to be cast upon the Lord. He will bear them for us.

Third, there are some burdens which may be shared with a brother or sister in Christ. These include burdens which can be alleviated through prayer, encouragement, and charitable giving. When you see someone bearing a burden that you can share, do not hesitate to fulfill the law of Christ: “Love one another.

Finally, there are burdens which God wants each of us to be attentive to on our own. These burdens help strengthen us, and make us more like Christ. When I am tempted to meddle with someone else’s burden just out of idle or morbid curiosity, and not a desire to truly help, I will be better off concentrating on bearing my own burden instead.

Choosing the Right Watering Hole

August 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Genesis | 3 Comments
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It was time for Jacob to move on – to get away from Laban. However, Laban had yet another trick up his sleeve.

And Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.

Genesis 30:27

Laban and Jacob began to bargain back and forth a little.

And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock. I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me. And Laban said, Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.

Genesis 30:31-34

Jacob had a good understanding of animal husbandry. He apparently knew some tricks for creating striped and speckled sheep and goats. I wonder if he started thinking about how he and his father had both met their wives at the watering hole. Personally, I think the animals were more likely to mate with the ones they associated with drinking water (positive association). Also, remember the spiritual application: You are going to covet what you see. That is the nature of our fallen flesh. Therefore, we need to do our “drinking” – not at the “watering trough” of the world – but at the Well of Living Water. If we do that, we’ll produce “like offspring.” The trees which bear the most fruit are the ones planted near the water.

Although the tricks of Jacob’s animal husbandry methods are not clearly spelled out in Scripture, the Bible does tell us that Jacob knew what the cause of his success really was: God did it.

Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.

Genesis 31:9

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