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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 81)

Psalm 81

For the director of music. According to gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing for joy to God our strength;screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-18-38-am
    shout aloud to the God of Jacob!
Begin the music, strike the timbrel,
    play the melodious harp and lyre.

Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon,
    and when the moon is full, on the day of our festival;
this is a decree for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
When God went out against Egypt,
    he established it as a statute for Joseph.

I heard an unknown voice say:

I removed the burden from their shoulders;
    their hands were set free from the basket.
In your distress you called and I rescued you,
    I answered you out of a thundercloud;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—
    if you would only listen to me, Israel!
9 You shall have no foreign god among you;
    you shall not worship any god other than me.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

11 “But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
    to follow their own devices.

13 “If my people would only listen to me,
    if Israel would only follow my ways,
14 how quickly I would subdue their enemies
    and turn my hand against their foes!
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their punishment would last forever.
16 But you would be fed with the finest of wheat;
    with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in burdens

 

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Anti-Woe Cologne? (compassion)

 

The Bible says that we are to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).

Questions:
1. Do we sometimes suffer from compassion-fatigue and lose our interest in really listening to each other’s burdens?

2. What steps can we take in the local church to become a place where people are free to share their woes?

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

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Absorbing any woes? (Part 8)

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The Bible teaches that we are to “bear one another’s burdens.”  We want to continue to examine that passage in Galatians over the next few posts:

KeynoteScreenSnapz055I have suggested a four–part outline for this passage.
I.  The Occasion for Caring (v. 1)
II.  The Expression of Caring (v. 1)
III.  The Danger in Caring (v. 1)
IV.  The Characteristics of Caring (vv. 2-10)

We’ve looked at I.  The Occasion for Caring (v. 1) by noticing that the ones who are doing the caring are “brothers and sisters” and “you who live by the Spirit.”  The reason for the caring is that another brother or sister has been “caught in a sin.”  We’ve also looked at II. The Expression of Caring (v. 1) and saw there that we are to be looking to restore that person, but in a spirit of gentleness.  We’ve also noticed III. The Danger in Caring (v. 1).  When we care for others, especially those “caught in a sin,” we need to watch ourselves so that we do not give in to temptation ourselves.

Let’s look today at the eighth part of our study:

IV.  The Characteristics in Caring (vv. 2-10)

We’ve seen that we are to bear each other’s burdens (v. 2) and we are to recognize self-deceit (v. 3).

The third characteristic is that we are to test our own life (v. 4).  The fourth characteristic is that one is to take responsibility for one’s own challenges (v. 5).

The fifth characteristic is —

E. Caring for those who care for you (v. 6).

Verse 6 says, “Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word KeynoteScreenSnapz060should share all good things with their instructor.”  This verse certainly seems to indicate that those who minister the Word of God to others should be supported by those who benefit from their service.

Christians have various views on financially supporting pastors and those in Christian “ministry.”  Some recommend bi-vocational ministry where the pastor has a “secular” job to support himself and his family, but receives little to no financial support from his church.  Others see this verse in Galatians 6 encouraging the financial support of those who labor in the Word.  We read in I Timothy 5- “17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

The love of money has been the downfall of many pastors — and we need to on guard against an over-emphasis on financial matters in the church.

Questions:

1.  The “sharing of all good things with their instructor” in verse 6 implies more than mere financial support.  This probably included meals, lodging, physical help, in their service for Christ.  KeynoteScreenSnapz061What are we missing today when we define “support” primarily in monetary terms?

2.  Does this verse extend to the financial support of professional counselors?  Why or why not?

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in burdens

 

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Absorbing any woes? (Part 4)

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The Bible teaches that we are to “bear one another’s burdens.”  We want to continue to examine that passage in Galatians over the next few posts:

KeynoteScreenSnapz055I have suggested a four–part outline for this passage.
I.  The Occasion for Caring (v. 1)
II.  The Expression of Caring (v. 1)
III.  The Danger in Caring (v. 1)
IV.  The Characteristics of Caring (vv. 2-10)

We’ve looked at I.  The Occasion for Caring (v. 1) by noticing that the ones who are doing the caring are “brothers and sisters” and “you who live by the Spirit.”  The reason for the caring is that another brother or sister has been “caught in a sin.”  We’ve also looked at II. The Expression of Caring (v. 1) and saw there that we are to be looking to restore that person, but in a spirit of gentleness.  We’ve also noticed III. The Danger in Caring (v. 1).  When we care for others, especially those “caught in a sin,” we need to watch ourselves so that we do not give in to temptation ourselves.

Let’s look today at the fourth part of our study:

IV.  The Characteristics in Caring (vv. 2-10)

A.  Bearing each other’s burdens (v. 2)
How do we practically do that?  Here are some steps that might be helpful:
(1) Listen to each other’s story.  There is no substitute for spending time with each otherFinderScreenSnapz031!
(2) Show yourself trustworthy.  Prove that you are able to keep confidences.
(3) Don’t fear weeping with those who weep.

You may have heard the story about the pastor who was meeting with one of his parishioners.  As the man began to voice some of his complaints about the church, he looked up to see tears coming down FirefoxScreenSnapz305his pastor’s cheeks.  “Pastor, whatever is wrong?  Are you crying because I’m criticizing our church?”  “No, Bill,” said the pastor.  “I’m weeping over your sins.”

(4) Don’t think only professionals can provide encouragement, challenge, help in personal issues.  I think the counselor Larry Crabb is really on to something when he suggests in his book Connecting that most of us Christians are fully capable of helping other believers with their problems or issues, if we would only get involved and show that we care.FirefoxScreenSnapz306

Questions:

1.  How does prayer fit into “bearing one another’s burdens,” do you think?  Is it possible that we have greatly underestimated the power of prayer?

2.  Satan seems to be into noise, busyness, distraction (as the great theologian Beth Moore says).  What changes would you make if you saw TIME as one primary way to express your love and burden-bearing ministry to others?

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in time

 

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