Adrian Rogers - What to Do With Your Burdens
Be finding Galatians chapter 6. I'd been praying about the message for this morning, and God laid on my heart to speak about burdens and what to do with burdens. Everybody has burdens, sooner or later, and I've learned in my ministry that on almost every row if not every row in the auditorium, in every section of every row, there's somebody there with a burden. Well it almost starts the day we're born. We're born crying and then the doctor gives us a whack, and from there on it just goes on and on and on. We have burdens, we have problems. But I want to tell you today what to do with your burdens. If you don't have burdens, really the problem is you're probably not a thinking person. For the Bible says in Job 5:7, "Man that is born of woman is full of trouble as the sparks that fly upward". But thank God, we don't have to bear our burdens alone. Saved or lost, we're going to know burdens.
Look if you will in chapter 6 and verse 1 through verse 5, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself, but let every man prove his own work and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden".
Now there're three kinds of burdens I want to talk to you about today and I want you to listen very carefully. There are burdens that we willingly take up; there are burdens that we faithfully endure and then there are burdens that we wisely lay down. I want you to think about those three kind of burdens this morning. First of all, there're certain burdens that you're not to try to escape. As a matter of fact, there are burdens that you are to take up. And what are those burdens? Those are the burdens of another brother, another sister, when somebody is hurting. Now what Paul is writing about here is primarily the burden of the backslidden person, the man who has gotten away from God.
Look if you will in Galatians 6 verse 1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault". Now the word here is to a Christian, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault". He is talking about somebody who is our brother, somebody who is our sister, somebody who has gotten away from God and somebody who needs to be restored. Now notice the word restore. He's saying, "Here's a person who was once in fellowship and now that person has gotten out of fellowship, why? Because he's been overtaken in a fault". Now this is not the person who is not saved, it's not the person who is running to sin. Actually here's a person who was endeavoring to get away from sin, but sin overtook him.
Somewhere years ago I read that in Africa, each morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up and that gazelle says to himself, "If I cannot outrun the fastest lion on these plains, I will be devoured". And somewhere that same morning a lion wakes up and that lion says, "If I cannot outrun the slowest gazelle, I will starve". And so both the gazelle and the lion wake up running. Now folks, every morning you and I need to wake up running because we are running from sin and Satan is running for us. And sometimes we're overtaken. Sometimes we stumble and fall. You see, when you get saved that doesn't mean you can't sin anymore, say, "Amen," you know that to be true. When you get saved it doesn't mean that you cannot sin anymore. Sometimes we're overtaken in a fault. You know the difference between my life before I was saved and after I was saved? Before I got saved I was running to sin, now I'm running from sin. But we can sometimes stumble and fall, so he's talking about brothers. He says if a man be a brother, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault," that is, run down by Satan, trapped and snared by a fault, then we are to restore him.
I want you right now, everybody, I want you to begin to think, can you think of somebody who was once a faithful member of church who doesn't attend any more? Not that they moved away. Can you think of somebody that you used to have sweet fellowship with, maybe a soul-winning partner, maybe a prayer partner, somebody that maybe you sang in the choir with, somebody that maybe you served on a committee with, and they truly, so far as you know, knew the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and know Him today, but they're out of fellowship? This church is filled with them and so is every church. They are brothers, they are sisters who are out of fellowship with God, and God has called upon us to restore these people because they're living a life that the apostle Paul calls a burdened life. They are brokenhearted.
Now, the Scripture today that I'm reading is hope for that kind of a person. If you're that kind of a person, away from God, yet in your heart of hearts you've been saved, you know the Lord, you're a brother, you're a sister, this message is a word of hope for you. And if you have not been overtaken in a fault, thank God for it, but this message is a word of warning for you. And it's a call to action for all of us. Now a brother can be restored, that's good news. If you've gotten away from God, our God is a God of a second chance. If you read the Bible, the Bible tells about men who got away from God and who got back to God, because the Bible does not mistake the moment for the man and the Bible is a picture of people who've gotten away from God and yet have gotten back to God. There was Jonah.
Now we criticize Jonah for running from the Lord, but the Bible says in Jonah 1:1, "The Word of the Lord came unto Jonah, saying". Does God speak to you that intimately? Jonah must've been a great man, that he was in such contact with God he could hear the word of the Lord. He was such an instrument that God wanted to use him, and yet Jonah got away from the Lord, you remember, spent the night on a foam blubber mattress, you remember the story, swallowed by a whale, but yet Jonah came back to God and Jonah was used of God to bring an entire city, about the size of Memphis, Tennessee, or bigger, Nineveh, to Jesus Christ, to repentance toward faith. I remember reading in the Bible about Simon Peter, the big fisherman. He loved God; he was the one who said to Jesus in Matthew 16:16, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God". Yet, Simon Peter cursed and swore and denied the Lord Jesus.
I imagine the critics that day had a field day. They said, "Oh, Reverend Simon Peter, did you hear what he did? He cursed in front of a teenage girl. I never did have much confidence in Reverend Simon Peter; I'm finished with him". I'm glad God wasn't finished with him, because that same Simon Peter who stumbled and crumbled and when the rock turned to sand, God made him a rock again and he became the flaming apostle of Pentecost. There was a man who wrote a book in the Bible called the Gospel of Mark. You have the Gospel of Mark. That man's name was John Mark, was a young man.
In Acts 12:12, he started out with Paul and Silas on a missionary journey. He must've been a remarkable young man for the great apostle Paul to say, "John, come and go with us on this missionary journey". But on the missionary journey, read Acts 13:13, John Mark got frightened, he got homesick, he got discouraged, and he went back home, and the apostle Paul lost confidence in John Mark. When they got ready to go on another missionary journey, somebody said, "Let's take Mark with us," and Paul said, "No siree; we're not going to take him. He's a failure, he's a quitter, he's a slacker, he's a shirker, he's not going".
Old Barnabas said, "Well, I'll take him with me". Acts 15 verses 36 through 41. And do you know what? God restored John Mark. Later on John Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark. And later on the apostle Paul said in Second Timothy 4:11, "And by the way, when you're coming to see me, bring Mark, he's profitable". You see, God wasn't finished with John Mark. David, the man after God's own heart, what a mighty, wonderful man was David. I've got a son named David. David got away from God. David committed a horrible sin.
You say, "He was only human". No, I say, he was desperately wicked, he was overtaken with a fault, and yet he prayed that prayer and God brought him back. In Psalm 51 verse 12 he prayed, "Lord, restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation," and thank God God did and God gave him a second chance. Our God is a God of a second chance. Do you know somebody who's been overtaken with a fault? Well the Bible says you're to restore him. Now I want you to look at that word restore. Look at it in Galatians 6:1, "Restore such a one". Do you know what that word means? It's a technical word. It literally means to set a bone that has been broken, and it literally means to mend a net that has been torn. It's restoration, putting back in place that which is broken or that which is torn.
Have you ever had a broken bone? I have. I was raised in, dare I say it, Florida, I was raised in Florida. And down where I was raised, coconuts grow. And we didn't have money to spend at 7-11 because we didn't have a 7-11, but we had coconut trees. And if you wanted some refreshment, all you had to do was be part monkey, shimmy up a coconut tree and get a coconut. And I was up a very tall coconut tree one time trying to extradite a coconut, and I had one arm around a palm frond and I'm up there and I'm twisting that coconut, and when I gave a yank on the coconut, I put pressure on the palm frond which was turning yellow. The palm frond came loose, the coconut came loose, and I came loose, and we all fell together. And I fell on the ground, the palm frond fell on me, and the coconut fell on it and my arm fell on the sidewalk, and I had a horrible compound fracture in that elbow.
Now, at that moment, I needed restoration. I had a bone that was broken and I can tell you some things I did not need. And I'm going to tell you what some people who are out of fellowship today do not need. At that moment I did not need a lecture. I didn't need somebody to come and say, "That was a dangerous thing you were doing. Hey, didn't you have enough sense to see that that palm frond was turning yellow? Ha, ha, you did a stupid thing"! I did, but that's not what I needed then, right? And your friend right now doesn't need a lecture. I'll tell you something else I didn't need; I didn't need for them to ignore me. Thank God I had a brother who was there, saw what happened, ran and called a neighbor and the neighbor came and got me and put me in his car, took me to the hospital and they called my parents, because I had a bare bone protruding right from the skin, all the way out, it wasn't pretty. A broken bone, a compound fracture in my elbow. I did not need to be ignored.
Now, that person that I asked you to think about, that person who, who's away from God, that person you used to have sweet fellowship with, I'll tell you what they do not need, they do not need to be ignored, say, "Amen". They don't need to be ignored. I'll tell you something else I didn't need, I didn't need to be reported. I'm glad my brother didn't run all over town saying, "Did you hear what happened to Adrian"? Here I am down there on the ground squirming, crying. "Did you hear what happened to Adrian? Adrian fell out of a coconut tree; Adrian fell out of a coconut tree". That's what we do sometimes, isn't it? A brother or sister falls away and rather than going to love that person, to restore that person, to bring that person back to sweet fellowship, what do we do? We just go around talking about them and sometimes our little prayer sessions are nothing but gossip sessions under the guise of being prayer sessions, praying for Sister So and So, praying for Brother So and So.
I'll tell you another thing I'm glad they didn't do when I broke my arm, I'm glad they didn't shoot me. "Well, he's got a broken arm". Blam! "We fixed it". Somebody said that, "The church is the only army in the world that shoots its wounded," but sometimes we do that. I mean, here's a person with a broken bone; they didn't shoot me. I'll tell you something else I'm glad they didn't do. I'm glad they didn't amputate that arm because I need that arm, so I can point at you. I need that arm. God gave me that arm, they didn't just say, "Well that's not important to the body. The body can get along without that arm". It would never be the body that it could've been without that arm right there. They did not shoot me, they did not amputate the arm. What they did, they put in place a broken bone. They restored it and that's what the apostle Paul said that we are to do.
You know, listen folks, there was one thing I could not do when I broke that arm, and that was ignore it. Do you know why I couldn't ignore it? Why, because the rest of my body said, "Don't ignore it". You see, the Bible says, "When one member suffers, every member suffers with it". That's the way God made us. We need to be as sensitive spiritually as we are physically. What do we do when a brother fails? Do we say, "It's none of my business"? Folks, it is your business. He is in the body. Do you condemn him? Then you're condemning yourself, he's a part of you. Christians have a way of crucifying living saints, worshipping dead saints, and shooting wounded saints. What do we do when we have a brother who is wounded, a sister who's wounded? Do we report him to the church? You'd be amazed how many people will say to me, "Pastor, I am so burdened about thus and such a person. God has laid him on my heart, will you go see him"?
Now you think about that. "I am so burdened. God has laid him on my heart. Will you please go see him"? Well, if it is so strategic, so necessary, yes, if I can I will, but why do you think God laid him on your heart? Why do you think God put him on your heart? Because, friend, you are the one that has that relationship, you're the one that God is burdening and you're the one that God wants to go. They don't need a lecture, they need love. If you know somebody like this, I am here to tell you today that that person is your responsibility. My job is to teach you to minister so that you can be a minister of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Well you say, "Pastor, that's well and good, that's just not my gift, I'm not qualified". Well maybe you're not, because let me show you the qualifications. Look in chapter 6 and verse 1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one". Now if you say, "That's not my gift, that's not my calling, that's not what I'm inclined to do, that's not what I'm supposed to do," you know what you're saying about yourself? "I'm not spiritual, I'm not spiritual". If you are a spiritual person, a person who loves God, a spirit-filled person, then you're going to have all the qualifications you need to restore such a one. Now I've talked about the ministry of restoration, let me talk about the manner of this restoration.
If you say, "Alright, Pastor, I'm going to do it. I have somebody right now in my heart and in my mind, some man, some woman, some boy, some girl". Alright, let me tell you how you're to do it. First of all, you're to do it very gently. Look if you will in chapter 6 and verse 1, "Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness". Do you see that? Now folks, when you're setting a broken bone, what do you need? Gentleness, isn't that right? In a spirit of meekness, tender loving care. You can't restore somebody if you're harsh and overbearing. You've got to be gentle. By the way, those of you who are parents, do you know what I've noticed about dads whose children love them most? They're gentle. Every child wants a strong dad, they want a dad that they can look up to, but they want a dad that's gentle. You can restore your children with gentleness rather than whacking at them and screaming at them and criticizing them. Try some tenderness with your children. Try it!
If you've got backslidden children, they need tenderness. Your neighbor needs tenderness. "Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness". Do it gently. I'll tell you what else to do. Do it humbly. Look at this passage, Galatians 6:1, "Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness," now watch this, "considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted". You say, "Not me"! Friend, there're three persons in your seat this morning: the person you are now, the person you could be for holiness and good in God, and the person you could be for debauchery and wickedness if you take your eyes off of Jesus Christ. You say, "Well, that, won't happen to me". Well I want to ask you a question. It happened to Jonah, are you better than Jonah? It happened to Elijah, are you better than Elijah? It happened to Simon Peter, are you better than Simon Peter? It happened to John Mark, are you better than John Mark? No, the Bible says in First Corinthians 10 verse 12, "Let him that thinketh he standeth," do what, "take heed, lest he fall".
And so when we are there to restore somebody else, not only should we do it gently, that is with meekness, but we're doing it humbly, "Considering ourselves lest we also be tempted". I'll tell you a third way that when you do this restoration that you need to do it, you need to do it sympathetically. You see, the Bible says in Galatians 6 verse 2, "Bear one another's burdens". Do you see that? Do you know, if a person is truly a child of God, now I'm not talking about a person running to sin, I'm talking about a person who was running from sin who's been overtaken. If he is truly a child of God, you can put it down big, plain, and straight, if that person is truly saved, truly born again, and is out of fellowship with God, I can tell you he's carrying a big burden. Now if he's not saved, he's not carrying any burden at all. But, if he is truly saved and out of fellowship with God, he is carrying a big burden.
Now look up here and let me tell you something. The most miserable man on Earth is not an unsaved man. The most miserable man on Earth is a saved man out of fellowship with God, is that not true? That is absolutely true. David, when he got out of fellowship with God, said to the Lord in Psalm 51 verse 12, "Lord, restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation". He didn't say, "Lord, restore unto me salvation," but, "Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation". What is the burden that we ought to have sympathy for with these people? Well first of all, they have a broken relationship with Almighty God. David prayed in that penitential Psalm, Psalm 51 verse 4, "Against Thee and Thee only have I sinned and done this evil in Thy sight". This person who once walked in sweet fellowship with God, that fellowship with God is broken. One of the most wonderful parts of my life is the fellowship that I have with God.
When I awaken in the morning, my first thought when my eyes opened is, "Good morning, Lord, I greet You, Lord, I bless You, Lord". Just the fellowship with Him, to be able to sing it and say it, "I come to the garden alone when the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses. He walks with me, He talks with me, He tells me I am His own". That person who's gotten away from God, that person who's backslidden, that person who's been overtaken with a fault, he has a burden because that relationship with God has been broken. I'll tell you what else. He has a guilty conscience. David prayed in Psalm 32 verse 4, "For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me. My moisture is turned into the drought of summer," that is, where he used to be spiritually full of joy, now he's dry as dust.
And then, there's the satanic accusation that comes to a person. Do you know what the devil does to a person who gets away from God? The devil becomes his accuser. Before that person sins the devil says, "Go ahead and do it, you can get away with it". After he does it the devil says, "You'll never get away with it". And the devil points his finger at him and says, "Look at you, you call yourself a Christian, you call yourself a member of the church, you're not fit to live. Those people have lost all confidence in you. There's no way back for you, you'd be better off dead". That's what Satan does. That's not Holy Spirit conviction, that's satanic accusation. Here's a man away from God, folks, I'm telling you he's got a burden. There's a broken fellowship with God. There is a guilty conscience. There's the accusation of Satan. And many times there's public shame. These people say, "Well I don't dare show my face at church anymore. If I were to come down there everybody knows what I did, where I've been, they wouldn't receive me".
Friend, we better receive them. We'd better let them know, "You're loved and you are welcomed and come on home". But there's that inward misery, so how do we restore him? Well, we restore him gently, in meekness. We restore him humbly, considering ourselves. We restore him sympathetically, he is carrying a burden. Now, why do we do it? Why do we restore such a one? Well first of all, he's our brother. Notice how this begins in Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one". Not only is he our brother, but we're members of the same body. When my arm was broken, what hurt, my arm? No, I hurt. When any member suffers, every member suffers with it. So why should we restore such a one? We're brothers, we're sisters. Beyond that, we're members of the same body. But let me show you the, the main reason that we do it.
Look at it, look in Galatians 6 verse 2, "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ". So fulfill the law of Christ. What is the law of Christ? You can find that in Galatians 5 verse 14, "For all the law's fulfilled in one word, even this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself". That's the law of Christ, it's love! Genuine, genuine, Christ-like love. Loving our neighbor as we love our self. Look at that fallen individual, that person who is burdened, and understand that you are to love him as you would want somebody to love you if you were in the same situation. And by the way, only a spiritual person can do that, for the Bible says in Romans 5:5, "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost". Yes, it may be firm love. Yes, even though it's gentle, it may be firmness, but love says, "We'll go to those who've fallen". Love says, "We will go humbly". Love says if possible, "We will go privately, we will go prayerfully, and we will restore him and we will fulfill the law of Christ".
Why don't you right now ask God to lay somebody on your heart? Why don't you say, "God, this week I will do that". And if you're that person, maybe you're watching on television, maybe you're in this auditorium, maybe you'll hear later by tape. If you're that person who's gotten away from God, I want to tell you, you can be restored, you can come on home. And don't let that failure make you bitter, let it make you better. You may have failed, but it's not all over. You may have lost the game, but there's still a season out there.
Now listen, there's another motive. What are the motives we're talking about? He's our brother, we're in the same body, there's the law of Christ. There's another motive. Remember that I told you that the word restore has a two-fold meaning? It has the meaning of mending a broken bone; it has also the meaning of mending a broken net. Do you know what God has put us together to be? A network. You know when Jesus called His disciples, what were they doing? They were mending their nets. And He says, "You come after Me, I'll make you to become fishers of men". Do you know what a broken brother is, a broken sister? He or she is a hole in the net; they're a hole in the net. Did you know that there are people we can't win to Jesus because of some brother, some sister who's backslidden? And maybe they live right up next to somebody that we're witnessing to and they've seen that person away from God.
And because they've seen that person away from God and seen their lifestyle, they have no confidence in the ministry of this church. Did you know if people would start living right on Monday, people would believe what I preach on Sunday, did you know that? But you see, the greatest testimony for Jesus and the greatest testimony against Jesus is the life of a Christian, isn't that right? The greatest testimony for Jesus, the greatest testimony against Jesus is the life of a Christian. The Bible calls us living epistles. How is the Gospel according to you? Now we've got to patch the holes in the net. If all of our members were right with God, what an awesome net this would be to bring souls to Jesus Christ. But the fish go through the hole in the net, and so that's another motive for restoring these individuals. There are the burdens, dear friend, that we willingly take up, where we bear somebody else's burden. Are you willing to do that? The Bible said, "Bear one another's burdens".
Now, there's another kind of a burden. There's the burden we faithfully stay under. Look now in Galatians 6 verses 4 and 5, "Let every man prove his own work," underscore that, "Let every man prove his own work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden". Now that's not a contradiction in terms. On the one hand, the Bible says, "Bear one another's burdens". And then the Bible says, "Every man shall bear his own burden". Is that contradictory? No, it's complimentary. Now, the key to this is two different words that are used for burden. The first time the word for burden here means a heavy load, something onerous, something that weighs you down, something like being out of fellowship with God, it's a heavy, heavy burden. It is a crushing load.
When somebody has a load like that, we're to come and bear that burden and lift that burden from him. That's a burden we willingly take up, when we bear one another's burdens. But the word for burden here, phortion, is a different word altogether. It has the idea of a soldier's weaponry, or a backpack or a knapsack, strapped to your back. Something that is necessary, something that is not burdensome, but something that is useful, something that will make you useful, and something that may even save your life. Now, God does not want us to live lives of ease, but God wants us to live disciplined lives, and so God lays burdens upon us and God expects us to bear those burdens because these are burdens that we are to stay under.
Now, what does it mean when it says that, "Every man must bear his own burden"? That means there's something that you cannot let anybody else do for you. There's something that you cannot relegate or delegate to anybody else. Well, what are some of those things? Well, nobody can repent for you, isn't that right? Nobody can trust Christ for you. Nobody can love God for you. There are parents who would give the last ounce of blood in their veins if they could repent of sin for their children, but they can't do it. Every man must bear his own burden. I wish sometimes when I preach I could go out there, sit in your seat, come forward, and give my heart to Jesus on your behalf, but I cannot. There are certain things that are our responsibilities and will become our blessings if we will take them. There's no such thing as proxy religion. And I'll tell you one of the burdens that we need to take up and bear is the willingness to relieve a brother, to bear his burden.
You see, a fallen or a broken brother is not a call to gossip, it's a call to prayer, that's a prayer burden. Nobody can take that for you. I want to come to the last thing. Because, you see I said there're three kinds of burdens. There are the burdens that we willingly take up when we bear one another's burdens. There are the burdens that we faithfully stay under when it says, "Every man must bear his own burden". There're certain responsibilities that are ours that nobody, nobody can do for us. But then, listen precious friend, there's one more burden, and that's the burden that we gladly lay down. The burden that we willingly take up, the burden that we faithfully stay under, but there's a third burden, and that's the burden that we gladly lay down.
Put in your margin Psalm 55 and verse 22, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee". "Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved". Do you know who wrote that? King David, who'd had his burden lifted when he was restored to God, but he had other burdens. You see, he was a king, he was wealthy. When he wrote this, he was godly because he was a writer of the Psalms. He was aged. What do we learn from this? That burdens come to the high as well as to the low. They come to saints as well as sinners. They come to the old as well as the young. "Adrian, do you have burdens"? Yes, I do. You have burdens. What do we do with our burdens? Well, if we have those kind of burdens, we have to cast them upon the Lord, roll them on the Lord. Brother Jim, we sing a song, "I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus, I cannot bear these burdens alone".
Do you have a broken heart? Is there a child that has ripped your heart out? Is there a husband who has forsaken you? Is there a physical malady that is gnawing away at your body? Is there a problem that is perplexing you? The Bible says you are to, "Cast your burden upon the Lord. He will sustain you". I got a letter in the mail from a person, as far as I know, I've never met. It came all the way from Nevada. I want to share a portion of that letter. I believe it'd be all right, I don't think that this person minds, I'll not call their name. Here's what this person wrote to me, this lady. Quote, "I was at a total and complete bottom". What a way to start a letter.
I was at a total and complete bottom. I had just left my motel room at the Royal Oaks Motel on Summer Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. I had been beaten and choked by someone very close to me, not a boyfriend, lover, or husband. I was lost and crying. I asked two men for change to go to MacDonald's to get a cup of coffee. They both turned me down, but now I know in my heart that that was a blessing from God. For you see, Mr. Rogers, I saw a young man with a small child standing at the U-Haul place getting packing boxes. I hesitated because of fear of being rejected again, but the more I looked, I felt like I should approach this man. Mr. Rogers, I asked this man for change for coffee. He asked me, 'What was wrong?' I was crying and I was a mess. I told him, 'Nothing. I just needed to go and have a cup of coffee.' Well this man asked me, 'Do you know Jesus?' I really started crying. I also started talking. He helped me so much. Right there on Summer Avenue at the U-Haul place, I asked God into my life. He prayed with me and I asked God to accept me as His child. He was a wonderful, caring person. He loves God so much and believes so very much that he helped this sinner find her way home to her Father. He told me that he was either an assistant pastor there at your church or he'd been a minister of something at the church. I want to let him know what an impact he had on my life that day. Mr. Rogers, I'm not going to say that it has been easy, because it has not. I have a long way to go, but I'm not rushing it, for I walk each day with God. I'm holding on to His robes, for I never want to feel alone again. I don't know if I will ever know who that man on Summer Avenue was, but I am truly glad that he was placed in my life that day. I love him for being a Christian. Thank you so very much for taking the time to read my letter.
Now I want you to think about that, think about that in the light of burden bearing. And you remember I said there're three kinds of burdens? This man experienced all three. First of all, there was the burden he lifted from this lady as he told her about Jesus. And then there was the burden he bore because he realized that he had a responsibility to God and he bore his own burden to be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. And then he taught her to roll her burden upon the Lord. You see, that's it, that's the whole thing. Friend, we have a wonderful, wonderful Savior.
You say, "Pastor, I have a burden today. Why do you think I have a burden"? It may be that God has given you that burden, to bring you to Him. Somewhere I read about a man who had a beautiful dog. And he had that dog; it was maybe a Labrador or some of these dogs that love the water, and the dog was swimming out in the water in a lake. And the man wanted to go home and he called the dog, but the dog was having such a great time, the dog would not come. You know what the man did? He picked up a stick from the shore and threw it out in the water, and when this dog saw the stick, he remembered what he'd been told. The dog swam to the stick and got it, put it in his mouth, came back to his master, and laid it at his master's feet.
I wonder if the burden that you have has not been given to you by God to cause you to come to His feet, to cause you to come to His feet. Maybe He's called you other ways and you wouldn't come. And maybe just the burden is what God is using to bring you to your Master's feet. Cast your burden on the Lord. He loves you. You say, "Pastor, if I got away from God, would He receive me"? Oh, yes, yes. "Pastor, if I've never known the Lord, can I be saved"? Oh, yes, you can. Come to Jesus. Father, bless the message and seal it to our hearts.
And now while heads are bowed and eyes are closed, ask God one more time to lay on your heart a brother, a sister who's broken, who needs to be mended. While heads are bowed and eyes are closed, if you have a special burden, roll it on the Lord. He may not lift the burden, He may not solve the problem, but the Bible says, "Cast your burden upon the Lord, He will sustain you". He will, He will see you through, He will. Cast it on Him. And if you want to be saved, let me invite you to pray a prayer like this. Just pray it right now out of your heart, "Dear God," just pray it out of your heart:
Dear God, I know that You love me; I know that You want to save me. Right now, like a child, I open my heart, I receive Jesus Christ who died for me, who paid for my sin with His blood on the cross, I receive Him now this moment as my Lord and Savior. And Lord Jesus, because I trust You to save me, I'll not be ashamed of You. I'll make it public. Give me the courage to come this morning and confess You as my Lord and Savior. Help me never to be ashamed of You. In Your name I pray, Amen.