We have currently launched a several month Sermon Series in Portlaoise on the Parables of Jesus. Parables were a way that Jesus took something ordinary and familiar and used it to teach deep spiritual truths. For some, like the Pharisees, sometimes they got it and sometimes they did not, as we recently noted in the Parable of the Seeds and Sower. It is amazing how much truth is hidden within nature itself. God’s mysteries hidden; God’s mysteries revealed.
In Roman’s chapter one, Paul informs us that there are two witnesses that will hold everyone accountable before God on Judgement Day. Our conscience and nature. These two stand testament to the fact that there is a Living God who governs all and longs for our hearts, souls, and minds.
If I were to give a summary for the whole Sermon Series, in each parable, there is some lesson or spiritual truth that directs us towards our personal responsibility in this journey of faith. It is by grace that we are empowered, but that by no means negates the part we play in our relationship with God…it should just give us a better understanding of what our part is, and more often, what our part is not.
We do not always like the word responsibility, as if it is some dirty word. Grace does not excuse us from responsibility, it empowers us for it! People empowered see God’s Kingdom come. Let me give you another word to ponder as you experience this Sermon Series (either in church or on the internet)…It is ownership.
If you own something, you tend to take care of it and make it last, keep it protected, and you make sure to get the most use out of it. Paul asks us throughout his Epistles to live alert, redeem the time (Ephesians 5:15-16), and work out our faith with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). Let us, therefore, have “ears to hear” and take responsibility and ownership for what God has given us.