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Rev. Carl H. Kemp, Pastor

RESPONSIBILITY (Integrity, Obedience, Trustworthiness)

August 14, 2005


What are the qualities of a responsible person? 


BIBLE READINGMatthew 25:14-46

           KEY BIBLE VERSE: (Mat 25:14 NIV)  "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his                                                                             servants and entrusted his property to them.   

(Matthew 25:14tlb)

Responsible people are faithful with what they have been given. The master divided the money among his servants according to their abilities. No one received more or less than he could handle. If he failed in his assignment, his excuse could not be that he was overwhelmed. Failure could come only from laziness or hatred toward the master. The talents represent any kind of resource we are given. God gives us time, gifts, and other resources according to our abilities, and he expects us to invest them wisely until he returns. We are responsible to use well what God has given us. The issue is not how much we have, but how well we use what we have.

Responsible people plan for the future. This parable describes the consequences of two attitudes to Christ’s return. The person who diligently prepares for it by investing his or her time and talent to serve God will be rewarded. The person who has no heart for the work of the kingdom will be punished. God rewards faithfulness. Those who bear no fruit for God’s kingdom cannot expect to be treated the same as those who are faithful.


BIBLE READING: In Acts 6:1-7

(Acts 6:1 NIV)  In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

 (Acts 6:2 NIV)  So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.

(Acts 6:3 NIV)  Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them

(Acts 6:4 NIV)  and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."

(Acts 6:5 NIV)  This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

(Acts 6:6 NIV)  They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

(Acts 6:7 NIV)  So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Responsible people know their abilities and their limitations. As the early church increased in size, so did its needs. One great need was to organize the distribution of food to the poor. The apostles needed to focus on preaching, so they chose others to administer the food program. Each person has a vital part to play in the life of the church (see 1 Corinthians 12). If you are in a position of leadership and find yourself overwhelmed by responsibilities, determine your God-given abilities and priorities and then find others to help. If you are not in leadership, you have gifts that can be used by God in various areas of the church’s ministry. Offer these gifts in service to him.

Responsible people share the work load. The apostles’ priorities were correct. The ministry of the Word should never be neglected because of administrative burdens. Pastors should not try—or be expected to try—to do everything. Instead, the work of the church should be spread out among its members.

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