Paul is continuing his concluding “marching orders” for those who have received his message. You are not under the law but you are to still continue to do good. Not because it will save you but because of your love for Jesus and one another.
We are to look out for one another. “Bear one another’s burdens” (verse 2) and “restore him in a spirit of gentleness” who has sinned (verse 1). Our brother’s troubles are our opportunities to model the Spirit of God; Jesus’ words of love.
We are also to watch what we are doing and watch our own hearts and minds. “Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (verse 1) and “let each one test his own works” (verse 4). Honestly look at your life. Is what you are doing pleasing to God or pleasing self? If it is pleasing to God, you know you are living the life He created for you. Be content in that work. If it is pleasing only to yourself, then you need to reevaluate who is on the throne in your heart.
Paul also tells us that we are to support those who teach us God’s word. Study carefully where you invest. I believe this goes for financial investments outside the body too. If you are investing in an organization that practices activities contrary to God’s word, you are a part owner in that activity. Know where your dollars are going as well as your time. Both have eternal value when used for His work.
The final appeal in today’s reading is to “not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (verse 9). Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep walking. There IS a harvest coming but only if you keep working at what you have been given to do.
Suppose the farmer gave up after tilling the soil and putting in the seed. He wouldn’t see much of a return on his labor. The weeds would choke out his crop. If he decided to quit watering after a couple months, his plants would wither and die. What if he couldn’t be bothered to bring in the harvest? He has to see his task all the way through to realize the benefit. Yes, it is a lot of work but the reward only comes when the hard work is put in every day.
Father God I wish there were some short cuts for all the hard work. Sometimes I get tired of doing all the little things that need doing along the way. I get distracted and want to sit down and play instead. Or I feel overwhelmed when I look ahead at what still remains to be done. Help me remember the “reward” up ahead but only focus on the here and now. Thank You for occasionally showing me the bigger picture to help me stay motivated. But also thank You for narrowing my focus to the tasks I have to accomplish today. Thank You for speaking to me through Your word again to keep me walking each day with You. You never cease to amaze me with what You bring to me when we are together. And thank You for the “rest stops” along the way.