The God-Given Burdens of the Ministry

They Can Be Heavy, But are Better than the World’s Burdens

Matthew 11:28-30

July 16, 2017 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Luke 9:23)


A.    Religions throughout history have burdened people down with heavy burdens (Luke 11:46)


1.      Expectations of perfection

2.      One sided guilt – with no mercy or grace

3.      Do, do, and then still do more

4.      While the religious leaders and elite do nothing like their subjects – live as clergy while normal people are nothing

5.      Jesus devoted entire chapters rebuking the Pharisees and religious leaders (Mt 21)


B.     Now. Here is the reality


1.      Even under grace, there are burdens to carry

2.      Part of the curse of Gen 3 is that everything we do will be upstream, against the flow, uphill

3.      It will be HARD doing what we are supposed to do

4.      Our cross will often be heavy (Luke 9:23)

5.      It will always be much easier to just give up, quit, go with the flow, and die!

6.      And when we think that living in sin will be easier – think again – the way of the transgressor will always be harder than the Christian – in the long run!

7.      The burdens that God gives you will be hard, but they are better than the burdens of the world – I guarantee you!


C.    Burdens, Blessings or Both?


1.      God gave a heavy burden to Malachi to bear up under.


a.       Disobedient audience - Mockers of God – argumentative about everything

b.      Yet Malachi was called to preach, warn, and persuade them to prepare for the coming Messiah

c.       Every day, after Malachi preached in a different city, Malachi would feel so discouraged and like a failure

d.      Yet he kept going throughout every town and village until all of Israel heard

e.       THAT was his burden


2.      God Himself gives us burdens to carry (Mal 1:1; Mt 11:29,30; Gal 6:5).


a.       He gives us all different burdens of ministries (1Cor 12:18)

b.      Will you accept YOURS? Or neglect it, or even despise it?


3.      And that is where the blessings come in


a.       In being used by God (1Cor 3:5-9)

b.      And seeing God give the increase (1Cor 3:7) – like a farmer, or like a sports player watching a goal!

c.       And one day in heaven being honoured and rewarded (Mt 25:21)


II.    Message


A.    The Weight of the Word (Mal 1:1)


1.      This Bible is heavy

2.      To know it – not an easy Book to just pick up and glance through


a.       You HAVE to test what you think you know

b.      Learn continuously

c.       Adapt to it


3.      To Obey it – live it (Mt 4:4; Josh 1:8; Jam 1:21)


a.       Not easy to do what it says

b.      Submit to your husbands

c.       Sacrifice your life for your wife

d.      Love your enemies and bless them that use you


4.      To Receive it yourself


a.       So much easier to preach it than to hear it


5.      Trust it - YOURSELF


a.       So easy to tell someone to trust in the Lord with all thine heart

b.      It is another thing when it is YOU going into a cancer treatment centre


6.      To Teach and Preach it as a calling


a.       Serious business

b.      God deliver us from drive-by youtube preachers!


B.     The Weight of Gospel Work


1.      Going going going – that’s our life!

2.      Handing out Gospel tracts, giving people our testimony, inviting people out to church to hear the Gospel, helping do Children’s Bible camps, and Youth Camps, and Target the Heart teen Evangelism

3.      Setting up tents, taking them down

4.      Preparing messages to preach

5.      Preparing food for volunteers

6.      All so that souls HEAR the Gospel!

7.      We carry lots of weight when we are in a ministry! (2Cor 11:9; 12:14). THAT is the ministry


a.       Whether it is RU

b.      Or Sunday School

c.       Or preaching

d.      Or soul-winning

e.       Or counselling


8.      The ministry is heavy – hard to bear under


a.       Constantly working longer, harder than just about everyone else (1Cor 15:10)

b.      Caring about churches (2Cor 11:28; Philp 2:19,20)

c.       Constantly misunderstood, mocked, ignored (2Tim 4:4)

d.      Getting persecuted!

e.       Constantly struggling, in debt, no money

f.        Battling discouragement, and disappointments

g.      Yep! That’s the Gospel ministry


9.      Being an example of a believer (1Tim 4:12) is hard work

10.  It all will wear you out!


a.       Being married

b.      Having children

c.       Working a job

d.      AND giving 60 hours a week studying, preaching, teaching, visiting, soul-winning, planning, practicing, praying, counselling, and so on!


C.    The Weight of the World (1John 5:19)


1.      Seeing the wickedness – the whole world lieth in wickedness

2.      It would be great to see it respond right to the Gospel, and get easier to live in

3.      But evil men wax worse and worse (2Thes 3:13)

4.      Christians grow colder and colder (Mt 24:12; Rev 3:15)

5.      The sins of the world are less and less hidden – they have always been there, but now they are enshrined in and protected by laws!

6.      Just walking brings such grief to those of us who know godliness, and what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a woman


D.    The Weight of the Flesh (Rom 7:18)


1.      My old nature is


a.       Vile

b.      Wretched

c.       Contrary to God and His laws

d.      At war with God

e.       No getting around it


2.      A Christian has to carry this throughout life

3.      Yes, I have a powerful NEW nature given to me, but “I” often let my old nature thrive

4.      Just stay under your body – carrying it through every temptation

5.      Deal with its frailty and weakness and limits – not always using them as excuses


E.     The Weight of Other Christians’ Problems (Gal 6:2)


1.      It would be wonderful if other Christians did not have problems

2.      But it is all our jobs to suffer WITH each other (Heb 13)


F.     The Weight of Delays (Psalm 69:2,3)


1.      Waiting for heaven (2Cor 5:1-4)

2.      Waiting for answers to prayer

3.      Waiting for God to move and do the impossible

4.      It is a heavy weight just staying the course (Acts 20) as we wait on God


a.       To honour His word being preached

b.      To send revival

c.       To motivate other Christians to get busy serving with us

d.      To punish the wicked

e.       To heal those around us who are very sick


G.    The Weight of the Enemy (Job 2:4-7; 2Tim 3:10-12)


1.      Satan loves to pour on the weights and burdens – to turn up the fires

2.      See Job carrying the burdens of loss, of hurt, confusion

3.      But also carrying the burden of his wife’s hurt

4.      That’s how the devil pours on you more and more

5.      Trying to get you and I to QUIT – time after time – all he has to do is get you to quit ONCE and he wins!

6.      It will always seem to be more than you can handle – which is true if it weren’t for the presence and strength of the Holy Spirit in you!


III. Remember


A.    The LORD gave us these burdens to carry


1.      Not as a punishment

2.      He knew what He was doing when He sent them our way

3.      He knew we couldn’t carry them without His help


B.     The Devil will add sorrows, scars, wrong thinking

C.    Don’t let him!

D.    And don’t ever let the burdens of the Ministry take the place of the PERSON of the Ministry – Jesus (Col 3:22-24)


IV. How to Respond


A.    Look forward to priceless and eternal rewards (Gal 6:9) – just for serving the Lord

B.     Desire the will of God (Eph 6:6) as the best thing with most pay-back!
See Psalm 37:4

C.     Decide to Delight in God’s will (Ps 34:8) – no matter what His will is, nor the weight of the burdens

1.      Like having children – you take what you get!

2.      Every baby is a burden to desire, and delight in

3.      The same is true in the ministry!

D.    Abound in the ministry – in the work of the Lord (1Cor 15:58)


1.      Stop only dabbling in serving

2.      It would be like a new Mom only wanting to dabble in taking care of a baby


E.     Do everything by faith – not feelings


1.      Looking unto Jesus – not at the task or the obstacles, but the One who loved you and saved you and called you!

2.      Just doing it like Peter walking on the water!


F.      Encouraging ourselves in the Lord, not in people, or successes


1.      When David had NO ONE to encourage him at the lowest point of his life…

2.      He reminded himself about the goodnesses of God in the past, and the promises of God for the future

3.      And he got up, and rallied his men, and pressed forward, and went on to a great victory!


G.    As a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1,2)

H.    Cast the ones too heavy back on Him (1Peter 5:7)


V.    Conclusion - Remember


A.    The LORD gave us these burdens to carry


1.      Not as a punishment

2.      He knew what He was doing when He sent them our way

3.      He knew we couldn’t carry them without His help


B.     The Devil will add sorrows, scars, wrong thinking

C.    Don’t let him!

D.    And don’t ever let the burdens of the Ministry take the place of the PERSON of the Ministry – Jesus (Col 3:22-24)