Help Others on the Road by Rick Burdette
HELP OTHERS ON THE ROAD
I remember a couple of years ago being at Mom’s on a Friday to cut grass and the riding lawn mower wasn’t acting right…and before you call me a Whimp about using a riding mower…it’s almost 3 acres. The engine was running fine, but the transmission was slipping and the belt needed to be adjusted…the first step was to take off a cover plate…not at problem…the second step was to get both rear wheels off the ground….problem!!! I tried lifting one side and scooting a cinder block under it with my foot…I tried (not intelligently) to pick up the back-end and set it on the cinder block alone. It was too heavy to move by myself. It was too big a job for one person.
So I went inside and got my big brother Sam. We lifted the rear of the tractor together and set it on the cinder block…then after I adjusted the pulley and belt we lifted the tractor blade off the block and put it on the ground.
Sam is an awesome big brother. He even took Mom and I out to eat after I was done…
After we get through I thought…”you know there are some things that are just too heavy for someone to carry alone…” It’s the Christian principle we see here in Galatians 6…when it comes to sin, spiritual burdens and struggles some of them are too big for us to carry alone.
Solomon, the Preacher writes in Ecclesiastics 4: 9,10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down his friend can help him up, but pity the man who yells and has no one to help him get up.”
Pity the man (I hear Mr. T’s “Pity the Fool”) in the back of my head…who falls down…He stumbles, he trips, he’s hurt…”He’s Fallen and he can’t get up”
He’s alone, no first alert call button, and there’s no one to help him get up…Could anything be worse?….Well maybe if two or three people showed up and just kicked the stuffin’ out of him while he was alone.
If we take the next step: And we follow Jesus into the unknown of the future, we must be aware of others who are on the journey with us…some who need…
RESCUE FROM A DEADLY TRAP
I don’t know why it happens, but many times when someone falls into the trap of sin…people immediately respond with judgment, isolation, the cold shoulder and the condescending “Look”
Folks I’m not saying that we should treat sin lightly…I just don’t think we should treat sinners as if we aren’t!
“Brothers…(He’s writing to Christians about Christians) if someone is caught in a sin….” You who are spiritual should restore him gently.”
The word picture in the original Greek is “A Snare” An animal caught in a trap.
Satan isn’t nearly as powerful as God! But he is powerful…We are warned to be self-controlled and alert…Our enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1Peter 5: 8)
He’s not a kitty-cat…He’s an enraged lion…Paul lets us know how he operates in Eph 6:10-12
Satan plans, he schemes, he works with his dark forces, behind the scenes preparing snares, laying traps.
…And we know for sure…”someone’s going to get caught….”How do we know?…because every single one of us has stepped into the snare and I’m going to address what our text addresses….Christians caught in the snare, and those of us who claim to be spiritual that find them caught.
We will always be prone to sin, because of our nature, even after the Holy Spirit moves in, sin still attracts, we still are drawn to its pleasure…even if it only last a “season”
But there are those times as Christians…getting caught in Satan’s snare is more likely…
…1st when we’re baby’s in Christ…newer Christians with not a lot of foundation or roots. In fact I often tell new believers…be careful because after your commitment publicly here in Church…Satan’s going to test that commitment privately in the world.
…the 2nd is close to the lst…it’s after a spiritual commitment…Satan will test it…and God will let it be tested….After Jesus baptism came the wilderness and Satan’s temptations. Often when God’s Spirit moves in us to take the next step….following Jesus into the unknown of faith Satan wants us to trip over worldly stuff early in the journey.
…And the 3rd scares me the most when it comes to the church…it’s when we get so proud of who we think we are that we believe “no snare or trap” will catch us. Its why God’s word warns “Pride goes, before the fall and a haughty Spirit before destruction” (Prov. 16:18)
Arrogance is the greatest hindrance to a Spiritual heart.
When we read” “But watch yourself or you also may be tempted…If anyone thinks he is something when his is nothing he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to someone else…”
How often does a critical judgmental person who claims to follow Christ…and love his brother or sister, find themselves broken when their son gets high, or their daughter get arrested, or their marriage hits rocky times?
It’s so easy to feel O.K. about myself if I compare my situation to someone in trouble. God’s word warns, be careful about thinking your something with this comparison…it will make you arrogant…and you sure can’t lovingly restore anyone with this kind of heart.
Each of us in Christ have two loads to carry….our own…our lives, our relationship with God, using our gifts and talents…and our brother or sister who finds the burden too hard to lift on their own.
There is an aspect to being caught in Sin that has to be addressed….
SECRETE AND HIDDEN SIN IS ENSLAVING
“Do not be deceived God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction, the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (v. 7-8)
I believe with all my heart what John says in his first letter
1 John 3: 4-10
There is a huge difference between falling in a mud puddle and falling in a mud puddle and wallowing around in it.
What happens when we sin…we break God’s law…we need to repent and be cleansed. God has promised to do that….1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness:…then is goes on
“If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in us.”
This passage is written to Christians…Sin is still a struggle…the remedy is repentance and confession…not secrecy and slavery to it.
But that is not what we want to do…especially if comparison’s to others is our standard instead of a relationship with Christ. I’ll hide it…conceal it, pretend it doesn’t exist in my life…”Me…struggle with sin? “Not any more”…that statement says…God, you’re a liar.
So we remain addicted to internet porn…(Hidden behind closed doors naturally) We pretend to love our wives like Christ loved the church…but treat them with harshness and criticism privately…We pretend to be upright, white collar prefect example’s of what church goers are…all while we present one thing to the community…the God who sees everything, and nothing in all creation is hidden from…knows…It’s unconfessed, hidden from people, disguised with pride…As Paul the Apostle says “Its become our Master”
Instead of revealing sins truth…letting confession break it’s chains, sharing life and helping others who wander toward the same traps…we continue in it. Until possible we get caught…the door comes open, our mate walks out, the mask is painfully ripped off.
Folks, John the Beloved clearly says “there is Sin that leads to death…and sin that does not lead to death” I know which one I want to struggle with.
A genuine authentic walk with God involves a very real battle with Sin…He knows that…had given us victory over it in Christ…and a Spirit who reminds us to be “Holy” even when we’re not.
It would be easy to give up and give in…wouldn’t it…or pretend it’s not true for me? That’s why our text ends.
“Let us not become weary in doing good…there will be a harvest for and authentic Jesus follower. Because that’s true…look for who you can serve…look for the next opportunity to do good…to all people…but especially to other Christians who are trying to take the next step towards Jesus.
[One of the greatest heartbreak of the 1988 winter Olympics was the story of speed skater Dan Janzen. Just hours before his race his sister lost her battle with Leukemia. She’d battled it for 9 years. Heartbroken he took the track to race for his sister…when the gun sounded he sprinted from the starting line only to have his skates lose traction causing hi to slam into the protective barriers in the lst corner. 4 days later in the 1000 meter race…he fell again. Our entire country mourned for him and with him.
Dan received 1,000’s of letters. Sports illustrated carried the story of 1 of them… It came from Mark Arrowood, a disabled young man from Doylestown, PA Mark wrote…
Dear Dan, I watched you on T.V. I’m sorry you fell 2 times. I am in the Special
Olympics. I won a gold medal just after my Dad died. Before we start the games
we have a saying that goes like this…
“Let me win, but if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt” I want you to have
my gold medal. I didn’t like to see you not get one.]
Try Again in 4 more years!
Inside the envelope was a gold medal from a track and field event from the Special Olympics
Dan Janzen did try again in 4 years…He won 2 gold medals…and inside the presentation case at his home…hang 3 gold medals.
May we have the spiritual heart of this young man…when people fall may we be willing to surrender our gold medals so they can get back up and try again.