We, as individuals, have been given many rights and responsibilities. In good conscience, we can only exercise the rights that God has allowed us to exercise. We must be forever constant about all of our responsibilities. In my opinion, that is the greatest evidence of our power as individuals; we have the right and responsibility to choose the one we will follow. One man cannot choose for another. Under God’s authority there is no such individual as a scapegoat or the right of self-justification. That right and power of choice is absolute and is only granted to the individual. That means that you are required to choose. When you reach the point in your life where you become aware that there is a right and a wrong, then you must choose. You cannot go through life saying, “I didn’t know,” because that would make you either senseless or a fool. There are no cop-outs with God, and He will hold you accountable for those things that you can accomplish on your own. It’s known as personal responsibility and accountability. God intends for you to have a good life here on earth but also a good life after you die. Actually, in biblical terms, as a child of God, you will never die. You will only be taken from your physical body and changed into a spiritual one. Death, in the sight of God, is a subjective term. It is subject to our decision to believe and trust in Him. God has promised to take His children to a better home, a home called heaven. Those who have trusted in Him and are still alive when He returns will not experience the physical death but will be taken immediately into heaven. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
What God has once created, He can continue to preserve. He has made that His responsibility; He has made that His primary task. You do not choose to be born, but in the spiritual realm, you must choose to live or to die. He gives us the right and ability of choice, and then it is He who will carry out our mandate. Our power here is limited to that and to only that. We cannot, as Satan has stubbornly discovered, become God; we must only strive to become like Him. Once we have accepted Him, it is our responsibility to live for
Him and to testify of Him. Abundant living is simply gaining His promise and blessings by continually performing our responsibilities as we have promised to do. We will never reach the pinnacle of total contentment until we are striving to do all that He wants us to do. One of the most comforting facts of life is that as a Christian, we will never be left to do anything alone. Most, if not all, of what He requires will take His knowledge and endurance. The real starting point is our desire to be found willing and faithful. Once God sees our heart and finds it to be desirous of His will, He will bestow His promises and blessings upon us as He has promised to do. Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the
upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man showeth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish. Psalm 112:1-10
As I read this passage from Psalms, I am made to understand and to dwell upon His promises even more passionately. What an awesome God we serve. What an awesome promise. Knowing that by my righteousness, which is only found in Him, I will bless not only myself and my family, but that, as He says it, “the generation of the upright shall be blessed”. That is speaking of this whole world. That is speaking of an almost over-whelming responsibility. I say almost because in His Word I am also promised that all things, even what we consider impossible, are made possible though Him. (Philippians 4:13) I find myself asking, “How is this possible?” Knowing God for who He is, I can rely upon His Word and expect, the impossibilities He has asked of me, to be made, not only possible, but certain. The promises and revelations of God are complete. So many of us question whether we can depend upon God to keep His promises when it would just be easier to take Him at His Word and claim what He has already promised. We have all been given rights and responsibilities, but those rights were only secured by the blood of a loving Savior that was shed on a rugged cross. It was God who had to die; it is He who made the sacrifice. If you have never been there, I can tell you that there is nothing in this life more exhilarating than to see God at work. I must admit that I have not been there as often as I should have been or needed to be, but I have been there and have experienced His marvelous power. God has asked for us to be faithful and He demands our complete obedience. If we do not strive to do those things that God wants from us because of the opposition this world applies, we will accomplish nothing. The circle that we live in must be the circle that is drawn when we wish to represent our world, not the circle we draw when we are portraying our personal self-indulgence. Why do we seek to limit ourselves when our God is beyond limits? Do we doubt God’s ability or desire to provide?
We need to look at life in a much larger scope, not thinking about what we can do for ourselves but what we can do for one another. If the view of our God were as shallow as ours, would He have ever created this world? Would He have ever created humanity?
Would He have ever gone to an old rugged cross? Why is it that we seek to apply all God’s principals and laws to others while we are unwilling to apply them in our own life? Are we not responsible for our own lives? As Cain asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper”? Genesis 4:9) Whose responsibility is it to rule? Who has been given the right to lead? Does leadership negate all the responsibilities of another? The one who rules the best is the one who knows that there are rules and responsibilities they must follow and willingly follows them. As Cain attempted to place the responsibility for his actions upon the actions of his dead brother, man seeks to escape his sinful actions by placing them upon another. The best example for our life is not necessarily the one with the most means but the one who is both meek and humble. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). Jesus is truly the mightiest leader we can ever know, but He found it in His heart to be humble. Humility is a sign of wisdom. It is only those who are wise who are humble. In humility, we are teachable and gain wisdom while the proud are stiff-necked and vain. As I ask God to give me what He would have me to write, I must first place what He is telling me into my heart and then it will be profitable as I put it down on paper. How can I expect God to bless what I say or expect Him to hold others accountable when I am unwilling to place myself under His law and authority? (1 Peter 5:5) As I share my knowledge with others, it is my responsibility to speak the truth and then to follow the words that I speak. In the kingdom or sphere of the arrogant and proud, who is the bigger fool, the one who is chosen to lead or the one who does the choosing? For me to expect others to follow my leading when I am unwilling to heed my own advice is somewhat unrealistic and impractical. The idea that we are better than others or that we deserve to live under a higher form or standard is not workable in the eyes of God and He will hold all men accountable for their thoughts and actions. Whether we choose to follow those that are proud and arrogant or whether we choose to heed the warning of the humble, the choice is ours and we will be judged accordingly. As I write, I often begin to ramble. It is then when I pause and
ask myself, What am I doing, and where am I going with this? And in doing so, I have asked myself the most significant questions life has to offer. What am I doing with my life, and what things of importance do I expect to achieve? At the end of my journey in life, where do I want to arrive? These questions have been left in my hands and if I am unwilling to accept the responsibility for my decisions or actions then I will find myself at a place that I do not want to be. Life is truly a journey, and with every journey, there is a beginning and an ending. I must admit that there might be many excursions before I reach my destination, but without a true knowledge of where I wish to go, I will never know when I have arrived. Without goals or objectives that we strive to achieve, we do not reach points in our lives where we strive to improve our standard of living. When I say standard of living, I do not refer only to that which is financial but to those things that are spiritual as well. As we reach those goals we have set for ourselves, we are given new power or a new desire to continue
The more I think about my writing, the more I am made to believe that the really important thing is my writing it, not others reading it. God is blessing me and as I obey Him, He is allowing me to become a blessing to others. I know no better place to be than in the center of His will and as I strive to serve Him, I know that I will find true joy that only He can give. Feeling that He has called me to write, I have surrendered my time to meditation and thought. In this world I have been given the right to my opinions; but when giving them, I should be aware of the responsibility I have to God and to others. Brash, ill thought-out expressions of vulgarity or reckless opinion have never caused anything but pain and resentment. The expressions of the fool-hearty, while guaranteed by law, are only cries of the damned, and are in no way to be considered righteous or trustworthy. Attempting to lead the gullible and simple astray contains no true merit and will only succeed in destroying the soul of the perpetrator as well as all of those who listen. Responsibility is formed by my allegiance to
God and to wander from its restraints is to be found thoughtless and imprudent. As I write, I must examine my deepest thoughts and beliefs and then place them in the light of a God of all wisdom and knowledge to substantiate it. There is nothing that I could say on my own that has any weight or merit, but as I quote God’s Holy Word, people, you should stand up and listen There is not a pastor or missionary who is of any consequence who does not speak the true Word of God. Being a pastor makes you very little; preaching the undistorted Word of God makes you formidable.
As I have gotten older, I have learned not to say, “I want,” but I listen to see what God has for me. God’s still small voice is there to tell me what He wants me to hear and if I am willing to obey, His Spirit will provide me His comfort and rest. As a Christian, it is my responsibility to listen and to follow. When I accept what God has for me, my needs are more thoroughly met and I find myself more satisfied. The hardships and divisions that are brought about by always wanting more are eliminated when I am depending upon God’s unwarranted mercy and grace. If what God intends for us is to be accomplished, then we need to be listening and obedient to His revelation. So much of the confusion in this world is caused by a lack of knowledge and our rebellion and disobedience. That is why we should be listening. Satan is always ready and eager to pervert and destroy, but we, as Christians, make his job so much easier by our unconcern and refusal to trust and obey. God has enlisted us as soldiers in His army, but if we are not careful and alert, we become traitors and do more to aid the cause of our enemy than to aid the righteous cause of God. Sometimes, I feel like we are apprehensive about asking God for His will, knowing that He will give it to us. If we think that we are not responsible, if we are not informed, then we find solace in ignorance. The parachutist who is not aware of his chute refusing to open is not alleviated of its consequences. What God has required of us will remain constant, whether we are aware of it or not. The only difference is whether we will be rewarded or chastised.
God has given all men the opportunity to gain eternal life. That privilege cost Him His dearest treasure. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We, as humans in our arrogant pride, think that we are entitled to our piece of this world; but God, knowing this world for what it is, seeks to give us something more endurable, more lasting, more valuable. Surely, He has promised to meet our needs, but those needs are to show us His marvelous goodness and cause us to rely upon Him. In the mind of God, earth is only
to be our starting point, a place of preparation and our temporal abode. When we are born, we are His creation, but until we arrange our passage, we are not one of His children and we will
not be allowed into His heaven. Although God has provided us a way to become one of His children, we must willingly accept it. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Romans 8:11-16
As we live here on earth, our hearts and minds are to be upon those things of heaven, upon those things that are eternal. We are not to live in the flesh but are to subdue those things that are considered carnal. This is not natural; without the Spirit of God, it is not even possible. The natural man seeks after those things that are temporal; his motives and desires are about the flesh and its gratification. Having nice things and living in a condition of plenty is to be desired, but when those things take your heart and mind off of the things of God, they become destructive and life threatening. While at the store today, I noticed the articles that were emblazoned across the covers of the tabloids. Stories about America’s elite, stories about the misery and pain brought about by riotous living and illicit behavior. I know that God loves us all but even God cannot take away the prejudice and hurt that is brought about by such foolish behavior. His love cannot forgive those that refuse His forgiveness and blatantly disobey His commands. This world never places you in the spirit of true fulfillment, only one of desire, always wanting more. Thou shall not covet, one of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:17). Greed, selfishness, the lustful desires of the flesh, the overwhelming idea that you deserve more, such feelings never leave you fulfilled and joyful. In the battle of things over happiness, where is the balance to lie? Is having more than is needed to be desired over true fulfillment? Just owning material possessions does not guarantee you true satisfaction. Joy comes from the heart and is sustained by sharing your abundance with others. What is abundance? Abundance is that true feeling of thankfulness that is contained within the heart. There are many who have very little but, in their love for God, feel very blessed; they want to share. There are many with large fortunes who are not satisfied in their power; they lust for more. They do not need or care for God, they are miserable, and they have no intentions of sharing. Why is it we see so much corruption and perversion in the world today? Is it because in its privation, there is to be found true joy and fulfillment? Why is it that so many today demand their rights when they have done nothing to establish anything of true value or merit? A right is never free and, in order for it to be maintained, has certain responsibilities or costs. assuredly, there are few absolute rights given to us, and God, who is the giver of all things, is the granter of them all. On the other hand, we have been given far more responsibilities than rights. For every right you have been given, there is a multitude of responsibilities required. Rights are not granted unless the holder of those rights does what is required to obtain them. Rights are not free, everything has a cost. To obtain the right of freedom, many had to fight and die. We who remain alive must also fight to keep those things that we treasure from being taken away or destroyed. It is a unified effort that cannot be shunned by any citizen. This world and so many who lead us are only there to fulfill their selfish desires, to take those things that were given us by the righteous, unselfish actions of others. The gift of eternal life; everyone has been given not only the right but, after they have accepted God’s gift, the responsibility of sharing it with the entire world. I say that everyone has been given the right to eternal life, but I must qualify my statement by saying that right is not because of anything we have done but because of the magnificent love of our blessed Savior. We, as carnal man, would not be alive today if it were not in God’s pleasure. For us to remain alive and free, we must put our trust in Him. What is important, the quality of life or life itself? If you maintain that life must be profitable for it to be worthy, then I say, what profit do you find in a life that will end when you physically die? I have watched men who are known to be rich in the wealth of this world blaspheme and curse the one who is the true possessor and giver of their wealth. If we can believe what the Bible says, unless they have a change of heart, they will for sure die and go to hell. What have they truly gained? Their sin is not the wealth they possess but their lack of trust in the one who gave it to them. I say again, what good is all their wealth when they will be sent to hell because they refuse to trust in the only power that can save them?
I must say that I enjoy life when I can have everything my own way, when I can get all those things that I enjoy, but I must also say that I do not always do what is right or choose what is profitable. As I grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, I know that demanding my rights is not an advisable thing to do. By rights, I deserve hell, but through the grace and mercy of God, I have been given hope of a blessed future in heaven with Him. As the days progress, I find that I prosper most when I allow God to protect and defend my rights, and I labor in doing those things that are my given responsibilities. God will honor all who are faithful, and I will have nothing to fear if I do what is righteous and worthy of His unmatchable grace. It is time that we, as a nation, get back to those things that made us the greatest nation in the history of the world. It is time that we get back to honoring and trusting the only true and living God Jehovah. Without Him, we have true reason to fear, but placing Him in the center of our being will be that promise of our continued survival. For survival, we need revival. There is no other solution or remedy.