As followers of Jesus, we have committed to a life of faith and discipleship. We reaffirm this initial commitment with a fresh commitment to follow Christ each day.

Scripture invites us to choose today whom we will serve, whom we will follow. Will you follow Jesus today? Where might the Spirit of God lead you?

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Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness. Watch out for yourselves so you won’t be tempted too. Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2

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In the final film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the hobbits Frodo and Sam enter Mordor to destroy the dangerous ring of power entrusted to Frodo. Frodo has borne this burden across hundreds of miles, suffering under its growing influence with every step. As the two hobbits climb the final mountain, Frodo collapses, unable to bear his burden further. Sam then kneels beside his friend, reminding him of their home and the joy that they shared there, but Frodo is unable to recall these distant comforts. Sam knows that he cannot take the ring, so instead he declares, “I cannot carry it for you … but I can carry you.” He lifts his friend on his shoulders and proceeds up the slope with Frodo and the ring on his back.

In a similar way, followers of Jesus bear one another’s burdens. We cannot always alleviate the suffering or worries of our sisters and brothers, but we can support them and share these burdens, offering encouragement against the temptation to quit.

Joshua Hays

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God, thank you for the gift of sisters and brothers who share the journey of discipleship through good times and bad. Thank you for those who have carried my burdens when I have grown weak. Give me eyes to see those around me who are struggling and the strength and compassion to share their load. Amen.

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The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit.

Luke 8:15 (emphasis added)

May you bear fruit in this season of commitment to the Lord Jesus.

Joshua Hays

Joshua Hays is a Research Fellow for the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University and the author of A True Hope: Jedi Perils and the Way of Jesus (Smyth & Helwys, 2015). He is a graduate of Union University and Samford University and a former intern at Passport, Inc. Joshua lives in Waco, Texas, with his wife Rebecca Poe Hays, a Ph.D. student in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Baylor.

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