God Entrusts; We Are Responsible
Recently, on Sunday evenings, God has been focusing our attention as a church on the life of Elijah. Yesterday we heard a message about “when the brook dries up” from the life of Elijah. And the previous Sunday we learned from him as well. One thing we have learned is that ...
Since God works in a condescending way (i.e. through our believing actions)
you must accept responsibility of participation.
Have you ever been given a really important responsibility? Yes, we all have. Each of us is “entrusted” with certain responsibilities in life. These certainly vary based on our age, occupation, authorities, and location. But these responsibilities are given by an authority and expected to be carried out. Even though there are different responsibilities and different authorities, there is an Authority (and responsibilities that He gives) that is universal.
Paul gives a good example of a universal responsibility in His message to the Athenians:
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.” (Acts 17:31-32 KJV)
Paul says that God has entrusted a universal responsibility to humanity — repentance. We must realize we have made a mess of things and we are the problem.
Something that is implicit and assumed in every entrustment of responsibility (especially in relationship to God) is belief. We must believe that His instruction is best. We must believe in order to respond. In this case, we need to believe both in God’s assessment of the world’s condition and His prescription for the solution — repentance. We see that in Pauls’s case many refused to believe.
This belief requires content. Paul is preaching a message for that very reason. He is proclaiming the truth so that His headers can enter into the truth by faith.
For the Christian the “content” of our belief is always the Word of God. We look for a word from God (like Paul was declaring), because it reveals the character of God. Then we stake our life on it (literally, eternally).
God’s character is perfectly expressed in His Word. This reality is the basis for our believing responses. He is true, so we can respond confidently.
So God entrusts responsibilities to His human creatures. We receive these responsibilities by means of His Word and our faith. Then we respond.
In the story of Elijah we noted two main ways that God’s people respond appropriately to God: Believing Prayer and Believing Actions. After learning who God is, we too must respond.
In light of this, we can ask ourselves a few questions:
- Am I firmly committed to God’s method of delivering His “content” to me? (I.e. Am I willing to stake my present needs, future plans, etc. on the reliability of God’s Word? Or… am I always looking elsewhere for security?)
- Do I take seriously the responsibilities God has given to me? (Discipleship of children; loving relationship with spouse; prioritization of His church; commitment to sharing His gospel)
- Am I merely stating my faith or living it? (True faith produces God-honoring works. Do I see believing actions coming forth out of my life?)
- Is dependent, faith-filled prayer a consistent part of my life? (One of the main lessons we learned from Elijah is that he was a man committed to prayer. Our faith is expressed when we return God’s words to Him, asking Him to be faithful to them… and believing He will.)
As we consider ourselves, we realize that our words often misrepresent our own character. We all too often say one thing or represent ourselves to be a certain way and yet act in a totally contradictory manner. But when we take God’s Word seriously, accepting His entrustment of responsibility, and then respond by acting on these realities in faith, He works. And He works through us!
If you are part of our church discussion group, I invite you to continue the conversation there. If you are a member of our church but are not a part of the group, then just send an invite request so you can join in too.