Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of August 26, 2007


BURDENS HARD TO BEAR

 

For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  Matthew 23:4

 

 

With these words, Jesus began a lengthy and stinging rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees. Very few of Jesus’ words of severe rebuke would be used to describe today’s evangelical spiritual leaders.

 

The charge of “binding with burdens hard to bear without help to move them” does fit some of us. The charge describes those of us who exhort others to love God but fail to tell them how to receive the filling of the Holy Spirit who produces the love in us. In doing so, we place burdens on others that are hard to bear.

 

Some of us have exhorted others to witness as the 120 empowered followers of Jesus did on the day of Pentecost. However, we did not tell them that the 120 believers witnessed because they had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Nor did we tell them how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. By not teaching the soon-to-be witnesses how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we placed burdens on them that are hard to bear.

 

We have encouraged some not to be guilty of certain sins. Then we gave them a series of things they should do not to commit those particular sins. We placed on them burdens hard to bear because we left them in a sea of self-effort to have victory over sin.

 

We have laid burdens on others that are hard to bear because we have not told them that sin is the work of the flesh. We have not told them that the flesh has been crucified (Galatians 5:24). We have not told them how to experience the spiritual crucifixion of their flesh.

 

We deeply desire that those we teach will have victory over sin and have power to love others and be witnesses for Jesus. We want Christ to be seen in them. So what should we do to avoid a pharisaic approach to discipling others?

 

Many have testified that they have had burdens lifted when someone taught them how to experience their oneness with Christ in their spiritual crucifixion, burial and resurrection. They are having a growing victory over sin and a growing empowerment for service. They are experiencing Christ living through them.

 

With hat type of teaching, we will lift burdens hard to bear.