Daily Encouragement Net Header
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
<Previous Message                                                    Next Message>

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sunrise 11/29/07
I was out for a walk early this morning and witnessed the pre-sunrise red sky just beyond our back yard.
(Click here for a larger desktop sized photo)

ListenClick here to listen to this message on your audio player.

"Bearing Burdens"
"Bear one another's burdens" (Galatians 6:2). "Pray for one another" (James 5:16).
Hope WinchobaLast night I called a friend from our church in New England who is in the hospital. A mutual friend who now lives in Florida emailed us and reported that Hope had been admitted to the hospital. Hope and her late husband, John, were a dear older couple in the church we served in New England. John passed away in 1999 and we stay in contact with Hope making an effort to visit her whenever we are in that area.

Brooksyne and I joined together and prayed with Hope over the phone and then shared a few words of encouragement. We sought to fulfill the two Scripture portions at the top of today's message, a mandate I believe intended for all believers; bearing one another's burdens and praying for one another. Actually we had several occasions to do so yesterday with people we know who would be unknown to most of you (some also unknown to us personally, but somewhat familiar through the daily encouragement.)
I want to share something that could be misunderstood, but please hear my heart. Consider those mass forward emails that request prayer for someone unknown to us. I am sure the initial sender was earnest (sadly though this is not always the case since hoaxes exist in many forms including email prayer requests.) Perhaps the initial recipients were a part of that circle and knew of the individual involved. The email might have a touching request often accompanied by a photo.
But somebody then dresses it up a bit and creates a chain email. It often goes on to declare the more prayers the better with instructions to pass it on to everyone in your contact list, usually with a subtle hint that in not doing so you must not care or, worse yet, promising an esoteric blessing if you do.  The internet is a great tool to help us get out important messages quickly and to many individuals all at once with the press of the "Send" button.  But let us also use this tool responsibly and prayerfully.
Generally bearing one another's burdens and praying for one another is relational. This is not to say that we can't pray or enlist other prayer warriors concerning a distant disaster affecting many who are personally unknown to us such as the recent flooding in Bangladesh or fires in California. We do this regularly as a family. Tragedies such as the Amish shootings last year certainly captured our hearts and prayers were spoken all around the world.  But generally speaking a personal bearing of burdens is based on factual knowledge and is relationship-oriented.
I recall standing before brothers and sisters who regularly associated with one another and asked, "How can we, in praying for one another, fulfill a call to glorify God as a church body?"  Several thoughtfully responded:
1) We express our dependency on God, which is a fundamental aspect of faith.
2) We obey God's call as expressed in the daily Scripture portions I have used this morning.
3) We show our genuine love and care for others.
Whose burden can you bear today?  Who can you pray for?  It won't take long to identify real people in our lives who need our prayers.  Let's do it and follow up the prayer with personal contact that brings encouragement.  "I prayed for you this morning…."  "The Lord laid this Scripture verse on my heart that I would like to share with you…." 

Two friends bearing burdensI have often had the weight of my heavy burdens lifted in this manner and I do well to help lift others' burdens in that same spirit. I want to be motivated by God's love and be a representation of Him in human form to one who needs to hear from God.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:
Father, as ambassadors of Your heavenly Kingdom, we want to be keenly sensitive to those whose difficulties seem overwhelming.  Some of our brothers and sisters are weighed down with troubling circumstances that might overtake them if not for those of us who take them by the arm and pull them up out of the quicksand of discouragement that ultimately sinks them further to depression or despair.  As we walk heart to heart and hand in hand with our family of believers we also weep with them in their sorrows and rejoice with them in their victories.  Would You lay upon my heart today two individuals, a believer and an unbeliever, and love their souls through me.  Help me to do my part to strengthen my brother or sister in their faith journey.  Reveal to me a way that I can show genuine concern for the unbeliever, through my caring words or in a loving deed, who needs to see the love of Christ represented in human form. In the blessed name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen

Note regarding anonymous prayer request forwards. Some of you may have received these and taken a prayerful interest in them and that's fine. But several issues concern me and, yes, they can even annoy me:
1) The assumption that the more people praying is necessarily better, as if God is moved mostly by the number of people praying. Pity the poor soul who has no connection to the internet!
2) The often implied guilt if you delete the message without forwarding it on. I see this on a lot of group forwards, not only prayer requests. This is a clue for me to delete immediately and a sign of fraud. Years ago chain letters did this. Some even have a spooky warning that something bad will happen to you if you don't pass it on or if you "break the chain."
3) The promised blessing you will receive if you pass these and other types of group forwards on. As John Stossel says, "Give me a break!"

Here is a revised update concerning our Daily Encouragement Net ministry.

Suggested Music

"Somebody's Praying For Me" (Video)

"Somebody's Praying"

A Beautiful Scripture reading from Ecclesiastes (Video)

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

Sign up for the free daily email encouragement at www.dailyencouragement.net
New subscribers receive a link to free computer desktop background photos with Scriptures! 

Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com 
© Copyright 2007 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552


"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"