Let no one say when he is tempted, ˜I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. “James 1:13-14 (ESV)
You will not succeed if you do not take responsibility for who you are. Do I hear a challenge?
Reasons why some people do not take responsibility:
1. it is due to our sinful nature as inherited from Adam and Eve. It was she, it was the serpent, not me said Adam. . and we act as their copy-cats only sometimes we blame God wrongly.
2. it is our low esteem of ourselves.. it can’t be us for we are too weak and God knows we are human and we are weak
3. failure is shameful and we should not be associated with it – hide from failure or hide behind somebody or something (e.g. Adam and Eve used leaves to hide their nakedness when their disobedience was found out and knew there was the consequence of sin) else
4. we have a strong enemy – no chance – we adopt the attitude of the 10 spies sent into Canaan –those giants are too big for us!
5. we prefer to be observers than participants – why we can criticise but not lift a finger to help under the pretence of they are better and more competent than us and may the best man do it.
6. we are side-tracked and cannot focus and lose our way to assume our responsibilities – just like parents who need to earn enough to feed their children and under that pretence they pass on their parental responsibilities to foreign maids, teachers and others whom we can pay conveniently rather than suffer or face the pains of parenthood
7. we do not know it is our responsibility as we have not been told so people who do not know the Word do not know their responsibilities as prescribed in God’s plan
8. we have not been called to take the responsibility as church members, it is the pastor’s responsibility – not realizing that church is a family and every member has accountability for one another
9. it is a generic problem we the individual cannot make a difference like global warming or even saving water or use of energy
10. the government is responsible for its citizens even the maintenance of parents in a socialist community.
There are many other reasons for being irresponsible for it is an endless list.
What does the Lord say about what we are to be responsible for?
1. To be faithful and accountable in our attitude to Him and His service Matthew 24:45-51; 7:24-27
2. For the resources He gives to us, we are to maximize returns and be accountable for them Matthew 25:14-30
3. How we treat people – children, the hungry, the thirsty, hospitable to people passing through those with no clothing, the sick, and those in prison. Matthew 25:31-46
4. Abandon the lifestyle of people who do not believe in Jesus, and adopt the lifestyle of people who do believe in Jesus Christ. The faith in Christ Paul urged was a responsible faith that obeyed, NOT an irresponsible faith that declared a person could believe in Christ while he/she lived by the standards of unbelieving societies. Through faith in God’s accomplishments in Jesus Christ, Paul urged gentile Christians to accept the responsibility of having faith by living a lifestyle that trusted God’s accomplishments in Jesus Christ
5. Galatians 5:16-26 There are some things that must not characterize the lives of men and women who have been resurrected with Jesus Christ–sexual immorality [in every form], anti-God behavior, violent emotions, and greed. These represented the emotions and values of people who worshipped idols, characteristic of their lives before they knew Christ. There must be a visible change –growth in Christ. This admonition was given to all who were resurrected in Christ. Under consideration are those who believe in Jesus’ resurrection and have been baptized because they repented. Seek the values of the enthroned Jesus Christ. Focus thoughts on the standards of the resurrected Jesus who is with God. It was a conscious abandoning of all qualities that characterized idolatrous existence–anger, wrath, contempt for people, and language that abused others.
6. They, instead, became compassionate people of honesty. Colossians 3:1-11
7. Philippians 3:1-11 joy in living the Christian life in the power of His resurrection
– ‘know’ Christ.. want a relationship with Christ. It is not enough to know about Christ.’
– ‘know’ the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead. That power which raised Jesus’ dead body can give life to ‘my’ body that was killed by evil
– ‘know’ fellowship with Jesus’ sufferings. His suffering was not wonderful, but what his suffering produced was wonderful. Jesus is alive! He is enthroned at God’s right hand! He occupies a position of eternal significance that never can be touched by suffering again. The right kind of suffering leads to incredible things. Fellowship with his sufferings leads to his greatness!
– be conformed to Jesus’ death. Read Galatians 5:24. Jesus died to one form of existence that he might assume a different, superior form of existence. He can show us how to leave a form of existence that destroys us for a form of existence that is superior in every way.
8. “Stop lying to each other!” Ephesians 4:25-32
– Deceit is not part of Christian character. A reason for becoming a Christian [accepting the responsibility of transformation] is to leave ‘falsehood.’
– God is a God of truth. Honesty is a part of His character. [That is why Christians trust God’s promises.] Those who belong to and follow God are as truthful with other people as God is with them.
– Christians belong to each other. People began in God’s image and likeness. Do not take lightly being members of one another! Christians cannot show respect for another person by deliberately deceiving him or her!
9. “Stop venting your anger on each other!”
-“You will get angry, but do not ‘nurse’ your anger. Do not let anger lead you into evil–jealousy, envy, bitterness, wrath, malice, confusion, and slander. When anger flashes, do not allow it to become a ‘tended flame.’ Make certain it has a short life.”
– “Never forget that anger creates opportunity for the devil!”
10. “Stop stealing!” Some ethical systems [ethical = the basis for determining what is right and wrong or good and evil] considered stealing a desirable thing. Some moral systems [moral = behavior based on a person’s definitions of right and wrong or good and evil] regarded stealing to be desirable behavior. For example, in those days [and long before] the culture on Crete admired deceit and honored theft. Note Paul’s contrast. Christians do not function on ethics or morality that laud stealing. Instead,
– Christians work.
– As they work, they produce good.
– They do not exist by dishonest gain; they exist by doing good.
– Their motive for acquiring changed. They do not acquire to indulge themselves. They acquire to share with those who have no opportunity to work.
11. “Recognize ungodly speech for what it is–ungodly and counterproductive to God’s purposes.” The word ‘unwholesome’ signifies something that is ‘rotten’, ‘diseased’, or ‘worthless’. The Christian’s mouth should not be the source for words, thoughts, or concepts that show contempt and are used to discourage. The Christian’s mouth is the source for encouragement. Not tearing people down but building people up. Christians are conscious of a person’s need, not confined to past needs but what the person needs ‘right now’. A Christian’s objective is to encourage in the face of ‘now’ discouragement. The believer, incredibly blessed by God’s grace wishes to represent God well by extending grace to those who struggle. Do not make it more difficult for other Christians to follow Jesus Christ.
12. “Do not grieve God’s Spirit!” Christians often think about humans grieving humans. do Do we think about humans grieving God? God made an enormous investment in all who choose to be Jesus’ disciples. God’s presence [His Holy Spirit] exists in those who through Christ gave themselves to God (Acts 2:38; 5:32). God does not force each Christian to be a holy person, but encourages each to be all he or she can be spiritually. Within each Christian, two influences constantly are at work. God’s Spirit constantly encourages us to come closer and closer to God. The spirit of ungodliness constantly encourages us to resist God. Moment by moment, we decide which influence we will listen to and follow. Paul’s admonition was simple: “Do not work against God’s influence in your lives! He seeks your best interest! Do not give His influence grief because you use life to work against God’s purposes!”
13. “That idolatrous behavior must die. In Christ behavior must prevail.”
The final two verses of Ephesians chapter four contain an obvious contrast. Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander are contrasted with kindness to others, tender-heartedness [compassion], and forgiveness. The contrast is between life out of Christ and life in Christ. The standard is the forgiveness God offers people in Christ.
14. Romans 14:11,12: For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God (quoting from Isaiah 45:23). The central point: each person will explain his convictions and deeds to God. In the context of Romans 14, the issue is not focused on what’s in these two Christian groups, but on how their convictions
honored God and showed respect to Christians who disagreed with them. It is sobering to realize
– we were not charged to force Christians who disagree with us to conform to our convictions and views,
– we were charged to remember that we will explain our convictions and views to God Himself.
The directive is clear: do not destroy a congregation! If you do, you will receive God’s destruction! We are accountable for the way we interact with the Christian community as Christian individuals! God’s purpose is to declare His holiness through His people. We dare not oppose God’s purpose collectively or individually! 1 Corinthians 3:16,17
15. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you . I Thessalonians 5:18
The Lord provides for Holy Spirit empowerment for us to meet His expectations which are more than that listed above. Are we willing to give Him our all?
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1,2