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Monday, February 10, 2020

Bluebird (photo by Ester)
We enjoy our visiting birds although with the milder weather we are seeing fewer. Ester took this photo of a bluebird from our office window.

"The Burden Of Daily Pressures"

Message summary: Daily pressures impact all of us. I believe that's why Scripture commands us to "pray for one another" and "encourage one another daily".

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“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). "Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches" (2 Corinthians 11:28).

Each week we see a team of roofers early in the morning as they prepare to go to their job site. Some focus on installing new roofs but there is also a busy team dealing with roof repairs. Severe weather impacts the roof and can increase the number of service calls and in time the need arises for a new roof; heavy rains, hail, heavy winds, fallen trees all take their toll.

Removing heavy snow on roofBut there's another consideration especially in winter after a heavy snow storm (which we've not had this year); the weight of the snow! A heavy snow storm can have a devastating impact on the roof and underlying structure. At times roofing teams are called out to remove snow from a roof.

There are two ways weight on the roof is measured. Dead load refers to the weight of the roofing materials and remains constant. Live load varies and includes the weight of the snow and/or ice build-up.

We believe there is a parallel in life. There are the daily ongoing burdens and cares we all deal with. These remain somewhat constant and are similar among individuals, regardless of who we are or where we live like the "dead load" on a roof. Jesus bluntly reminds us that "
Each day has enough trouble of its own". Everyone on earth deals with this dead load.

Then there are the acute trials that come and go that are very specific to our individual lives. These are like the "live load" on a roof.

Today's second verse has often intrigued me, especially as a pastor. "Apart from such external things" points back to the context referring to Paul's many physical sufferings for Christ (2 Corinthians 11:21-27). In this passage Paul is reluctantly, due to criticism, asserting his many trials as an apostle. He calls these "external things".

Burdoned pastorBut in our daily text he writes "of the daily pressure on me".  After writing very specifically about his sufferings for Christ he includes the inward pressure of bearing the burden for the churches he had served and for specific individuals in them. A caring pastor always has some element of the work of God on his heart and mind. Notice Paul writes, "concern for all the churches".  He is not referring to one church but to several he had started and overseen.
  • He might have had in mind an individual struggling through an illness such as Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30). He clearly knew and loved people as individuals.
  • He might have been distressed by doctrinal error which divides a church and scatters the flock such as that which hit the churches of Galatia (Galatians 1:6ff).
  • Possibly he had in mind division in the church (1 Corinthians 1:10ff).
  • Perhaps it was some argumentative sisters such as Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2).
  • Or it might have been a backslidden fellow-worker such as Demas (2 Timothy 4:10) or a destructive Alexander (2 Timothy 4:14).
An expression used in the news to describe an unsettled matter or constantly changing details in a news story is referred to as "a developing story". Certainly you can relate to the physical and emotional struggle one feels when concerned about a circumstance that changes from day to day regarding a matter, other people, or ourselves. Our Scripture reference specifically pertains to the load Paul carried as he was "concerned for the churches".

Some of the recipients of our messages are in pastoral ministry. I'm confident that they will readily acknowledge the need for ongoing prayer. Pastoral ministry is spiritually rewarding but can be emotionally draining in the ongoing "developing story" of the congregation in addition to one's own family needs. Let us pray for our pastoral leadership and fellow workers in Christ today. You might call and offer to pray for your pastor which would be a an unexpected blessing. For some it is more comfortable or convenient to email a prayerful note, or send a card and include a prayer*. You may send them the link to this message. Why not be a burden bearer and help carry the load of those who labor for your soul today!

Daily pressures impact all of us. I believe that's why Scripture commands us to "pray for one another" and "encourage one another daily".

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, since the church is a living organism it brings about many changes, both positive and negative, from day to day, year to year. The account of the Israelites proves there's a continual developing story as they respond, often unfavorably, to the various challenging circumstances in their wanderings in the desert and later in Canaan. We think of the leaders, some very strong in their faith, and others who weakened during times of temptation and testing. Father God, thank you raising up the Aarons and Hurs in our churches who hold up the feeble arms of our Christian leaders during times of spiritual battle. Help us to walk together heart to heart and hand in hand. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Scriptural prayer suggestions:

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Believe, Help Thou My Unbelief"  Video  Bill Gaither

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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