“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.” (Deuteronomy 29:29, NLT)
“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.“ (Luke 12:48, NLT )
These two verses, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, present the same biblical principle–personal responsibility. It seems we live in an age when people are reluctant to assume personal responsibility for their own negligence and bad behavior. Or when Christians are reluctant to share the good news of Jesus.
“Early in the morning Jacob took the stone that was near his head and set it up as a marker. He poured oil on top of it and named the place Bethel…Then Jacob made a vow: ‘If God will be with me and watch over me on this journey, if He provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God. This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to You a tenth of all that You give me'” (Genesis 28:18-22, HCSB).
Jacob was on a journey to Haran and at the end of one of the days during his journey he stopped and camped outdoors.
That night God appeared to Jacob in a dream of a stairway that started from where he was and reached to heaven. Angels were ascending and descending the stairway. In the dream God transferred to Jacob all the essential elements of the covenant He had established with his grandfather and father, Abraham and Isaac.
“But I know this; I was blind, and now I can see!…He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” (John 9:25,30-33, NLT).
As Jesus and His disciples are walking along they came across a man who was blind from birth and was also a beggar.
The disciples asked Jesus to provide a theological explanation for the man’s unfortunate condition and circumstances: “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (vs 2).
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel preached by me is not based on human thought. For I did not receive it from a human source and I was not taught it, but it came by a revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12, HCSB).
In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul refutes those who add or change the original message of the gospel he preached to them, particularly those who were teaching the Galatians to keep the requirements of the Mosaic law, like circumcision, to be justified before God.
“Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him.” In the book of Daniel the focus shifts from from a historical narrative to a prophetic narrative in Chapter 7, which records the first vision of Daniel. The vision used animal symbolism to tell the same story that was told in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Chapter 2 about the future rise and fall of nations. Daniel makes it clear that world history culminates in the establishment of God’s Kingdom: “As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed” (vs. 13-14). Not only does Daniel describe the establishment of God’s Kingdom at the end of the world, but he reinforces the fact that God’s people are co-rulers along with Jesus over God’s new world–and he states it multiple times in this chapter (vs. 18, 22, and 27). To prepare you for eternity, God wants to hone your leadership skills in this life so you can help Him rule the world of the future!
“That you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe” (vs. 18-19). Paul prays that God will give the Ephesian believers (and, consequently, all believers) a specific knowledge and understanding of: (1) their future hope of resurrection to eternal life; (2) the vastness of God’s inheritance that they have received in Christ; and (3) the greatness of God’s power that has been transmitted to them through Christ–the same power demonstrated in resurrecting Christ from the dead and seating Him in power over creation. That’s a lot to learn so let’s get busy studying and praying so “having the eyes of your hearts enlightened” (vs. 16), we can comprehend all that God has purposed for us “not only in this age but also in the one to come” (vs. 21).