I have spent the last couple weeks preaching on responsibilities. The word responsibility carries significant weight in different settings. In our jobs we have responsibilities that were probably set out for us long before we came. We call them ‘job descriptions’. In our homes, depending on our situation we have responsibilities there as well. I have a responsibility to do my part in caring for my four children. I also have the responsibility of caring for our family pets and the upkeep of our home. In my job I have a responsibility to care for a church and its people. In my personal life I volunteer with a few civic groups and have responsibilities there as well. Responsibilities are everywhere! It is what keeps us going from day to day! But how often have we stopped to consider what our responsibilities are in the church? We have the greatest commandment that perhaps could summarize all responsibilities. In Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus is asked, ““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” We obviously have a responsibility to love. Whether it be our love toward God or to our neighbor. But to the greater Kingdom of God we have a responsibility there as well. Here are five areas we can serve the Kingdom: (1) We have a responsibility to furthering and advancing the Kingdom. We are to be doing the work of the Lord in all areas of our life seeing to it that the Kingdom is advancing. (2) We have a responsibility to preach the gospel to everyone in the world. In Mark 16 Jesus gave the commands to the disciples to ‘go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.’ Imagine if each believer, just here in Newton, choose one friend to preach the Gospel to. Not preach at! But preach to! (3) We have a responsibility to help a fellow believer get back on the right path. I know what some people are thinking. What about that Matthew 7:5 verse, you know the one about the plank? Well, you are right to have some concern if you are calling out a brother or sister for something you do not have straight in your own life. But each of us who have experienced salvation and grace have the responsibility to help correct and lead in the right path a brother or sister who has gone astray. But we must do it lovingly and with the right intentions! (4) We have a responsibility to do what is good because of God’s grace. It is in our nature and our human flesh to want to rebel sometimes. But God’s grace, the death of Jesus on the cross, should spur us into making decisions that are good. It should cause us to want to do what is right. And finally, (5) We have a responsibility to defend others in need. Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” We can simply offer a hand of help, a cup of water, to those who have a need. We can be a voice to those who need it.

There is no doubt these are lofty responsibilities. But God has called us into a fellowship with Him. We respond by loving God, loving others, and carrying out the responsibility’s scripture has set out. Take a moment to pray and ask God how you are doing in carrying out the commands and responsibilities we have. Ask Him to search your heart and then respond appropriately! Blessings!