Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Responsibility (week 2)
by Erik Momsen
HEARTLINES film - "The Good Provider" www.heartlines.org.za
With blessings come responsibilities. With rights come the same. We have responsibilities as parents, partners and leaders to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support. God does it first and we must follow. We all fail in some way in this regard but as we look to The Father we are encouraged and strengthened.
Believers have a responsibility to teach and uphold the values of God.
"Therefore you shall lay up these my words in your hearts and in your souls, ... And you shall teach them to your sons, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. ... so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied in the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, like the days of the heavens upon the earth." (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)
And fathers have a special role to play in teaching the ways of God
"And fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 4:6)
Neglect of the responsibility to raise our children in Godly way results in grief and even punishment from God. Eli and his sons Phinehas and Hophne had the task of leading Israel in acceptable worship but the sons were guilty of dishonouring the sacrifice and practised sexual immorality (1 Samuel 2:12-17,22).
Furthermore Eli was also guilty before God for not disciplining his sons. God says:
"Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering, which I have commanded in My house? Do you honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?" (1 Samuel 2:29)
By neglecting his responsibility over his sons, Eli had neglected to lead Israel in honouring God. His sons had caused Israel to stray from God and Eli did little. The comment on that generation was "In those days the Lord kept his word secret from men; there was no open vision." (1 Samuel 3:1)
God did two things in response to Eli's failure. A new leader, in Samuel, was elected and judgment was issued over Eli's family. Eli and his sons died on the same day.
The bible has very high regard for work. We are called to do it well.
"... If any man does no work, let him not have food." (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
God commands us also to provide for others.
"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." (1 Timothy 5:8)
Proverbs 31:10-31 describes a wife of great industry and profit. We can all be encouraged by this example. The bible has no place for laziness and lack of profit.
BAD EXAMPLES ARE NO EXCUSE
Many have not received the best opportunity from parents and society but God's focus is on the future not the past. Possibly the most pervasive law in the Bible (apart from grace) is that of sowing and reaping. For those who look to the future and the next generation the Bible has great promises:
"Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),
so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth." (Ephesians 6:2,3)
GOD IS OUR PERFECT FATHER
Even though parents and family may fail us, God never will. The Bible has numerous descriptions of his love, provision and protection.
"Therefore be perfect (i.e. in love), even as your Father in Heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
"...For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things." (Matthew 6:32)
"... how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?" (Matthew 7:11)
" ... how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)
"Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God. ... we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:1,2)
"for whom the LORD loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:12)
"A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, Is God in his holy habitation.
God sets the lonely in families. He brings out the prisoners with singing,
But the rebellious dwell in a sun-scorched land." (Psalm 68:5,6)
As we have a relationship with Jesus we also have come to the Father (John 14:9). Then the Spirit of God is given to live with and in us and we become children of God.
As we share in the Holy Family (Father, Son & Spirit), we learn in mind and heart what it means to live for others and be that responsible person we are called to be.
This responsibility does start at home but extends to the fatherless/motherless neighbours and lost in our society. We are called to a new family whose head is the Trinity.
Date Added: 2006-07-25
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