- Category: Teachings & Articles
- Published: Thursday, 11 April 2019 00:58
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Formerly entitled, “Giving Up”
by Augusto A. Kho
CLSF – Rosales; March 24, 2019 (Sunday); 9:10 A.M.
Updated : March 26, 2019; 5:00 PM
Updated: April 10, 2019 (Wednesday); 7:11 P.M.
Everyone needs an inspiration.Do you feel like giving up?
Everyone needs an inspiration. Do you feel like giving up?
If anyone is no longer inspired to do the task, either he will do things in mediocre or leave things behind. But he who gives up so easily lack the courage and determination at any time.
A story about
This is a story about responsibility.
We can be distracted at any time, at any place unless we are highly motivated and inspired inside out. To any kind of task, mission or call in life, responsibility is highly required to fulfill whatever an individual or company to fulfill its aim or objective. Responsibilityis quite a great character to sustains one’s desired work. Otherwise without sense of responsibility, any one at any time will turn his back and call it quits.
Webster defines responsibility asthe quality or state of being responsible: such as. a : moral, legal, or mental accountability; reliability, trustworthiness.
There is no word “responsibility” in King James Version (KJV). But the word “responsibility” can be found probably in some translations from the Scriptures.
In New Living Translation, “responsibility” can be found in Genesis 17:9 “your responsibility” and “continual responsibility”’; 39:6 “administrative responsibility” ; Numbers 3:38 “final responsibility” ; Nehemiah 7:2; Isaiah 22:24 “great responsibility” ; Jeremiah 26:5; Ezekiel 33:5; Matthew 24:45; 27:24; 27:25; Luke 12:42; Acts 6:3; Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 5:;11 “fearful responsibility” ; Ephesians 3:2 “special responsibility”; Colossians 1:25; 1 Timothy 5:4 “first responsibility”; and so forth.
The word “responsibility” in NLT as translated in KJV is the word “keep” in Hebrew “shamar” (shaw-mar) meaning “to guard, to protect; to watch; to take heed.”
Jesus Christ once warned His disciples regarding false doctrine of the religious leaders and said, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” (Matthew 16:6). In other words, doctrinal teachings must be not tarnished with the false ones.
Meanwhile in the Gospel of Luke, Christ said, “Watch ye therefore and pray always,” (Luke 21:36). Watch in Greek “agrupneo” means “to be sleepless, keep awake, ready or attentive.”
For a security guard, “to watch” means “to be on guard with eyes opened, closely watching at any cost” as if a robber or thief or enemy would come at any time.
In Ephesians 3:2 and Colossians 1:25 the word “responsibility” is interpreted in KJV as “given” in Greek word, “didomi” i.e. bestow, commit, grant, power or receive.
Responsibility, what for?
To whom we should be responsible for, and to what?
In Section 2 of Republic Act (RA) 3617 concerning Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, responsibility is not optional but mandatory. Why? Because it is the “policy of the state.” It says,
“It is the policy of the State to promote a high standard of ethics in public service. Public officials and employees shall at all times be accountable to the people and shall discharge their duties with utmostresponsibility, integrity, competence, and loyalty, act with patriotism and justice, lead modest lives, and uphold public interest over personal interest.”
Anything given or assign to you whether it is small or great must be treated with special care and attention with gross sense of responsibility and accountability just like the Parable of the Talentin Matthew 25:14–30.
Whatever given to us by God or by any one in any form demands from us integrity, honesty, and accountability as stewards of manifold gifts and talents. And we are all responsible to what we received.
Responsibility also applies to our interpersonal and intimate relationships – to God, be to our spouse, children, brethren in Christ, neighbors, and others. Any relationship demands great responsibility.
Two from our teaching personnel will be leaving at the end of the school year. And another two will also be leaving - one worker will terminate his work contract by the end of this month, while another one is on AWOL (Absence without leave).
Sometimes I envy those whose life is like a leaf being wafted where the wind blows. Their lives are just so light and so free. They are not to be expected anywhere at any time. But I also realized, they are just like devoid of purpose.
This is a story about responsibility.
Thilipsis is a Greek word referring to pressures, conflicts and others.
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation.”
Tribulation in Greek “thlipsis “means “pressures, oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, burden, troubles, persecution, anguish and affliction.” Every one will go through it.
Tribulation, Yes! But overcome
John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. “
Responsibility, a choice
Responsibility is a choice. Galatians 6:5/ NLT, “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
In KJV, it is translated this way, ““For every man shall bear his own burden.”
Baztazo (bas-tad-zo) i.e. to take up with the hands
To take up in order to carry or bear
To put upon one’s self
To bear what is burdensome
To bear, to carry; to sustain, uphold, supportto carry off
Hebrewroot word “basis” (bas-ece) means “a stepping walking; that with which one steps, the foot; a pace.”
1 Kings 17:1-7 “ And Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, By the living Lord, the God of Israel, whose servant I am, there will be no dew or rain in these years, but only at my word. 2 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3 Go from here in the direction of the east, and keep yourself in a secret place by the stream Cherith, east of Jordan. 5 So he went and did as the Lord said, living by the stream Cherith, east of Jordan. 6 And the ravens took him bread in the morning and meat in the evening; and the water of the stream was his drink. 7 Now after a time the stream became dry, because there was no rain in the land.”
“Elijah …said to Ahab,” (verse 1)
The word “said” in Hebrew“amar” (aw-mar) means “to command; to promise; avouch or certify; to challenge.”“And the word of the Lord came to him,” (Verse 2) “Word“ in Hebrew “dabar” (daw-baw) means “speech or saying; business or occupation; acts or matter.”
The business of Elijah is simply just to follow whatever God has commanded him. That was his calling in life is.
When God calls you, He provides. Even while Elijah was in the remotest place that provision is next to impossible, God provided His needs. No less than the birds that God sent to provide him food.That is unusual especially Mt. Sinai where the Lord made the provision is one among the remotest in the region.
v. 6, “And the ravens took him bread in the morning and meat in the evening; and the water of the stream was his drink.”
Heyday is an expression of elation and wonder:
Fed by the ravens
Fed by a Zarephath widow (verse 9)..for a long time (v. 17)
He raised up the dead, the widow’s son (v, 21-22)
Met Obadiah, King’s Ahab trusted official (18:7)
Branded by King Ahab “troubler of Israel,” (18:17). Well, he has a branded name at least.
Challenges a king and 400 Baal prophets at Mount Carmel (18:19)
Commanded all Baal prophets to be executed (18:40)
He promised rain (18:41-46), went down and prayed, 7th times and the rain came.
He outrun king Ahab’s chariots (18:46). A Bible commentator named A. MacKinney said that Elijah was able to run 28 km per hour.
Despite of Elijah tremendous gains in the ministry, he suffered mental breakdown until he finally given up and said, “It is enough.”
This is contrary to many politicians today who will run for re-election and when they finished their term, the mayor will field his wife to run for mayoral while he will run for vice-mayoral until all his kids will be throwing their hats to political arena. Why? For public service or for power and money?
In one city in Metro Manila, the mayor, the vice mayor, councilor, SK chairman, SK members belong to one political clan. Is it greed for power? For Elijah, he said “It is enough!”
It is enough
How will you translate, “It is enough?” in Filipino?
For example, how will you say, “it is enough!” when someone will give you another plate of bountiful plate of food when you have had enough? Or how will you say, “it is enough!” when you are fed up in life?
1 Kings 19:1-4, ““Ahab gave Jezebel news of all Elijah had done, and how he had put all the prophets to death with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a servant to Elijah, saying, May the gods' punishment be on me if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time. 3 And he got up, fearing for his life, and went in flight, and came to Beer-sheba in Judah, parting there from his servant. 4 While he himself went a day's journey into the waste land, and took a seat under a broom-plant, desiring for himself only death; for he said, It is enough: now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers. ”
“It is enough now” as Elijah’s ranting words to the Lord. In Tagalog, it means “Tamana!,ayokona!sobrana!,” Then Elijah continued cursing his own life and even namedropping his ancestors saying, “O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers. ”
Elijah shows his unrelieved feeling of fear and despair and wanting to end his life at that moment. It could be an acute phobia that triggered everything in his life including his divine call and he started to doubt God’s tremendous power. The strong, acidic threat of Jezebel drained Elijah inside-out and I t eaten up his hope and exhausted his will to live.
Have you feel the way before
“Enough of this Lord! ”Have we ever said that to God?
Is there any temptation or trial that is too strong in the Lord?
Often the burden is immeasurably great that we could hardly bear them when we say that to the Lord. And to be honest, how many I ever ranted to God and threaten to quit. Yes, I did! Yet I am still here serving Him for the past 30 years in the ministry and only by His grace and for the glory of God.
The word “enough” in Hebrew “rab” means “much, many, great, more numerous than; greater than much and exceedingly; captain, elder, mighty officer, long enough.”
Enough is like bearing tremendous pressures or burden than what we have the capacity to carry.It I overpressure.
But God said He will not allow us to carry the weight which we cannot afford to bear as it is written, “The temptations in your life are no different from what other experience. And God is faithful. H will not allow temptation to be more than you can stand. when you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13/ NLT).
That is when tremendous grace of God will come. Paul said that in “When I am weak then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Like us, Christ was clothed in human frailty that giving up is also a choice yet He did not succumb to temptation.
Do you feel the same when you’re into the height of desperation and wanting yourself to vanish instantly? Feel like giving up and wanting to end your own life?
Some people and Christians assume that pastors and ministers are “mega-strong” in faith. But even men of God in the Bible have shown their frailty as a man in the likes Moses, Elijah and Jonah who wanted to end their lives in times of pressures, conflict,peril and despair. No one is indispensable. Even Christ in His human form lamented the same way we complain to God. Yet Christ did not sin. Seeing the tremendous pain of losing his personal relationship with the Father in heaven, foreseeing the atonement of the sins of the world (John 3:16) means losing His intimacy with God blurted in the Garden of Gethsemane in Luke 22:42/ NLT,
“Father, I you are willing, lease take this cup of suffering away from me.” But He later changed His mind saying, “Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.” And repositioning ourselves from human to divine demands unrequired love to God. We can all odds and fears when the love of God envelops our entire being than even death cannot quench it.
Elijah is unstoppable. In as much that God wanted to cheer him up to let go his intense emotion, ayawniyatalagang mag pa-awat. Elijah still wanting to leave the work and the ministry behind.
In fact, Elijah lamented this words to the Lord twice in 1 Kings 19:10, 14/ NLTsaying, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty… I am the only left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
Elijah’s fear blinded him so much that he had forgotten that King Ahab’s most trusted man in the palace is Obadiah, also a prophet like him and he also hid 100 prophets of God in two caves (1 Kings 18:7-13).
When you are spiritually blind and deaf, no amount of divine warnings and instructions could ever change your mind even when God Himself will talk to you just in the case of prophet Balaam whose eyes, mind, thoughts and heart was filled with greed and power.The Lord needed to open the prophet’s blinded eyes using a donkey (Numbers 22:21-31).
God tried to stop Elijah from giving up. The Lord “passed by” and Elijah remained unmoved. Then a “strong winds rent the mountain,” Elijah still remained fazed. “After the wind the earthquake… then a fire … and still small voice,” ((1 Kings 19:11-12).
Elijah remained bullheaded, not wanting to listen from God’s appeal not to surrender. Not even the Lord’s passing by, winds, fire, earthquake or His still small voice can stop Elijah from giving up.
Are you like the stubborn Elijah?
When Elijah turned his back from ministry, he didn’t do it quick and sudden. Despite of being a loser or one who gives up, he looks still for his replacement. That is still irresponsibly responsible. Unlike many Christians today who simply disappear from the ministry without looking for someone who will replace the gap they are creating.
1 Kings 19:19, “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.”
I hope that my fellow workers in the Lord will look first for their replacement rather than leaving the ministry behind otherwise that is utterly irresponsible.
I heard someone says, “Donot let someone irresponsibility becomes your responsibility.” It that is indeed true we Elisha took over what Elijah have given up? Elisha might be the “second-choice” of God but take note that he received a double-portion of his mentor’s anointing (2 Kings 2:9).
Scriptures are taken from KJV unless otherwise specified.
Some photos are taken from the internet.