Bearing Burdens

Last Sunday, Pastor Jason Finley preached from 1 Thessalonians 2:9-16 and charged us to walk worthy of God who has called us into his kingdom and glory.

Read: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5

This Sunday, Pastor Jeremy Chasteen will preach from 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5 and will show us that the presence of others helps us persevere until Jesus returns. As you prepare for our Sunday gathering, let this devotional from John MacArthur motivate you to bear one another’s burdens as we press on to the final day together.

Reflect: “Receiving the Word”

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2


Those who walk by the Spirit will lovingly bear one another’s burdens.

The Lord Jesus presents love for God and love for our neighbor as the great summary of the entire Law (Matt. 22:37–40).

It only makes sense, then, that love will characterize the life of any Christian who is walking by the Spirit. Love will also be an integral part of any Spirit–assisted ministry to others. Paul tells us in today’s verse that when we help other believers hold up their particular burdens, we are obeying “the law of Christ” or the law of love, which James calls “the royal law” (James 2:8).

But what exactly does Galatians 6:2 mean when it commands us to “bear one another’s burdens”? Commentator William Hendriksen gives us this general but helpful observation: “This does not merely mean ‘Tolerate each other,’ or ‘Put up with each other.’ It means: ‘Jointly shoulder each member’s burdens.’ ”

The actual word burden calls to mind a variety of possible sins, difficulties, and responsibilities; but Paul was using the Greek term that refers to an extremely heavy and unbearable load. It’s a load that one person alone can’t carry, which underscores again that Christians need each other. The Holy Spirit wants each member of the church involved in a ministry of mutual support.

The essence of burden–bearing is spiritual accountability and responsibility. One of the most practical ways we can bear someone else’s burden is to talk and pray regularly with him or her about spiritual issues and measure that person’s progress in overcoming a certain sin or temptation.

Bearing the burdens of another believer is a wonderful, reciprocal learning process in which both individuals can benefit from God’s truth and understand more about His will for their lives (see Gal. 6:6). As we become more sensitive and obedient to Him, the Holy Spirit orchestrates this ministry and gives us the privilege of instructing and upholding others as we continue to walk in Him day by day.


Suggestions for Prayer: Thank God that His Spirit is powerful enough to help us bear the heaviest burdens of fellow believers.

For Further Study: Read the Epistle to Philemon. What things did Paul probably do to bear Onesimus’s burdens? ✧ How was the entire letter a form of burden–bearing by Paul for Philemon?

“Bearing Burdens,” September 15th Devotional, in Strength for Today, by John MacArthur.

Sing: Song List for Sunday

1. “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” Arr. Lifeway Worship
2. “By Faith,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty
3. “Jesus, Your Mercy,” by Sovereign Grace Music
4. “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” Arr. Crosspoint Music
5. “Yet Not I but Through Christ in Me,” by CityAlight