And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10 ESV
Serving has been on my heart these past weeks. In our culture here, in North Africa, serving others is very normal in some respects but in other ways, people’s needs are completely ignored. When someone comes to your home for a meal, it is expected that you serve them in every way, because it’s the highest honour to have them in your home. You pour their drink at the table and then you serve their plates. However, the streets are full of needy people, hungry children, and the locals will just say, “inshallah” (as God wills) meaning ‘God made them poor or handicap, so I’m not obligated to serve them or help them.’ With these mindsets, we can very clearly see the issues that arise. To serve out of love and not duty, or to serve not expecting to be served are all traits of Jesus Christ, which is drastically missing here.
When Paul wrote this letter to the Galatians, they were struggling with issues in their church, particularly false teaching that had come in, and this new idea was being accepted by some and not others. They were distracted by what really mattered. When we land in chapter 6 of this letter, Paul is calling on them to bear one another’s burdens. In the focused verse, “let us not grow weary of doing good,” Paul was recognizing that they were growing weary. Weariness is fatigue and exhaustion from doing something that you may have grown tired of doing. Maybe today, you feel weary? What I love is that in this reminder from Paul, he tells us why we shouldn’t grow weary; that if we don’t give up, we will reap! How exciting is that? We will see the harvest of our labour! The Galatian church was a family and Paul was desiring them to love each other in such a way that they were displaying the very heart of the gospel. Does this reflect your desire? This past week we’ve seen this on display with our new brother. He told us that his wife stayed up all night questioning him about why he is different now. One of the things that she has noticed, was how he served her now and cared for her. This is what Paul wanted the church to see and recognize, that people will know we are the family of God, by how we love and serve one another. (John 13:34-35; Acts 2:47)
It is true that life is busy! We have much to do in a day, and by the time we get to bed, we just collapse. With jobs, school, sports, activities, cooking or cleaning, we find it hard to do anything else. While we are doing good things, even serving our families, we can allow things to creep into our hearts, that distracts us from seeking His kingdom first. Being a part of the family of God, goes beyond Sundays or Wednesdays at church. (Heb. 10:24-25). This involves our whole lives, not just on those days only. For us to serve and bear the weight of each other’s burdens, we need be aware of what others are facing, on a personal level. We seek to live out this life together, daily, with the difficulties, and the joys. This takes a high priority because when we love and serve each other as scripture calls us too, we display the gospel to a lost and dying world. The advancement of God’s kingdom is what He commands us to participate in (Matt. 28:19-20), more than the advancement of our own lives. God is asking us to seek first His kingdom (Matt. 6:32-33) and in doing so, He will give us the strength to serve others in love.
What are some practical ways that we can invest in each other’s lives?
1. Break bread together. (Acts 2:46)
2. Be intentional. Relationships take time, so plan well. Desire to see them bear fruit. (1Cor. 15:58)
3. Stir one another up. Seek to recognize giftings and encourage others in those. (Heb. 10:24-25)
4. Be devoted to praying together. (Acts. 1:14)
In our time with God this week, let’s ask ourselves these questions and then cover them in prayer.
1. Am I seeking to serve others, or have I grown weary?
2. Have I been devoted to my own desires more than seeking the kingdom first?
3. Am I seeking to know others well and be known by others?
Praise God that His mercies are new each morning! Be encouraged!
By A Johnson