LISTENING: THOUGHT FOR TODAY

listening-det-bonListening is one aspect of carrying one another’s burdens. James 1:19 says this:  “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

I came across a thought provoking article on Good Listening by David Mathis-Desiring God.”Sustained, active listening is a great act of faith, and a great means of grace, both for ourselves and for others in the fellowship.” He goes on to say, “Good listening goes hand in hand with the mindset of Christ (Philippians 2:5). It flows from a humble heart that counts others more significant than ourselves. It looks not only to its own interests, but also the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4) It is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)” (To read the whole article, go to:http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/six-lessons-in-good-listening)

I know that this is one area of carrying the burdens of one another which can be practiced and improved in my life to please God and love my sisters in Christ.

How about you?

Next Monday is our bible study in the church hall at 7:30. Hope your study buddy together time is going well!
Kathy xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS

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Vicky Stephenson, contributor for today’s blog post

When I first heard this month’s topic, I thought “That’s very straight-forward, I’m always happy to help others out. Bake a cake for an occasion, give someone a lift, pick something up from a shop. No problem!”

However, as time went on the penny dropped. Through the Holy Spirit’s prompting, God gave me a hard prod. “Bear one another’s burdens,” goes both ways was the message I was getting. That sent my thoughts into a spin “What?!? But I’m fine, I don’t need any help, I’ve got it all under control.”

This was of course exactly God’s point. Of course I don’t have it all sorted. My life is as crazy and messy as everyone else’s but let anyone help me, never mind ask for help? Now there is a challenge.

It is an issue that we face every day: how I can share my life and grow deeper in fellowship if I don’t let anyone close enough to help me?

Worse, if I act like this to people, how much more do I show this in my relationship to God?  So that is me – total control freak – and that is totally unbiblical. Is living life this way saying “Not my will but Yours Lord be done?” Is it a life of depending on God and resting in his love and peace? NO!

So when I know it is wrong and it is an exhausting way to live why do I continue with it? On reflection, I think the answers are fear and pride.

Fear that if I’m not doing everything and getting it right then God won’t accept me. Let alone anyone else. And pride/shame of what people will think if I’m not coping.

You see, I know I am an unworthy sinner who will forever fall short of God’s standards but do I also know that through Christ. As the song goes, “I am forgiven and there is nothing to pay” (Sam Bailey Forgiven link? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgiven-feat-Sam-Bailey-Live/dp/B01MFC1OZL).  I do know it, but I don’t live it as I need to. I need to trust that God loves me just as I am and nothing I do makes him love me any more or any less and trust He will help me by his Spirit or through his people the church.

So let’s make a start on this challenge shall we? Start with just really hearing one another. Bearing one another’s burdens can be as simple as just actively listening to where people are honestly at.

So next time I tell you I’m fine, poke me! Remind me that you know I’m only just clinging on with my finger tips like everyone else. Point out that being honest for 5 minutes and letting you see where I really am won’t bring the sky crashing down and then accept the challenge and be ready to be open back!!

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SHARING OUR LIVES

carry-one-anothers-burden“So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 NIV

Hi Sister Bloggers!

We are considering “carrying each other’s burdens,” this month. Okay, so are you gazing through glazed eyes at all the vast lists of all that needs to be done while trying to read this?  Ironing, reports to file, carpet to hoover, accidents to clean up, overdue phone calls and appointments, carpooling here, there and everywhere….. I can hear you! “Really Kathy, it is great on paper. But please!!!!!!! Enough on my plate! Really can’t share my life at the moment!”

I can commiserate with the best of you in all “our stuff” that is always there in our line of vision. Many of you have little ones and husbands you would like to stay acquainted with….Understand. However, as you are taking a deep breath,  hear me out.  We must challenge our inner tendency to live our lives in isolation, self reliance, checklists, and self justification.   As God’s girls, to carry one another’s burdens is not something which is drudgery. It is a lifestyle given from our Lord as the law of His love.  And it goes both directions.

You know, burden bearing is very similar to disciple making. I read this morning that “it is costly because it demands continuously giving — giving time, giving energy, giving attention, taking initiative, making sacrifices, facing opposition, losing privacy, embracing obscurity, even shedding tears. Carrying each other’s burdens means sharing our own selves (1 Thessalonians 2:8), gladly spending and being spent for the souls of others (2 Corinthians 12:15). It means giving, giving, giving.”

The above quote is to encourage you sister; not to lay a heavy yoke on you that you are not able to carry.  Our Lord gives us everything we need to live for Him!!!!(Matt. 11:28-30) So, I am praying for you “That from God’s unlimited, glorious resources, He would empower you with INNER STRENGTH through His Spirit.” (Eph 3:16) I am praying for YOUR INNER STRENGTH-to fulfil today’s tasks, to cope with today’s challenges,  to bring Christ’s love into someone’s life, to make right choices -choices and priorities that will honour God and build your character; to see life through the lens of Christ, to carry each other’s burdens. And watch what God does in and through you as He answers this prayer!

We are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet; as we grow in HIS love and grace, we want to look more and more like the MESSENGER.  And girls, when we give from the source of STRENGTH which the HOLY SPIRIT empowers us with through GOD’S POWER, there is reward! There is enabling. There is desire. There is growth.  Love and unity and peace will be flying all around! It will invade us and overflow, spilling over into each other’s lives while a hurting, “desperate to find purpose” world watches on.

So hold on sister, living for Christ is an adventure as you share your life with others!

Ever, only all for Him!

Kathy x

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CARRY ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS

carry-one-anothers-burdenCarry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.” Galations 6:2 NIV

We learned in our bible study last week that praying for one another is commanded in Scripture for the simple reason that God has made us one family in Christ. We bear one another’s burdens and share one another’s joys in prayer. Praying for one another is one aspect of bearing one another’s burdens; how we support one another as family (James 5:16)

In our next one anothering study, we will consider what additional treasures scripture holds about what it is to bear one another’s burdens- the definition, scope, and real life application.

I have been on the receiving end of others bearing my burden of illness this week. Many have brought food, prayed, encouraged, and taken on some of my responsibilities in ministry. I am blessed and love my church family. Amazing.  Thank you for being my burden bearers!

Bearing One Another Questions will be out soon. Until then, keep looking to Christ who is our example of what it is to carry each other’s burdens!

Kathy xo