By Bonnie Ricks
"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” (1 Samuel 2:30 NIV)
God had promised that the Levites would have the privilege of serving Him as His priests forever. Eli was a Levite and a priest. He was a part of this long line of men who had the right to serve God in this special way. But along with the blessing of being a priest, Eli also had responsibilities, some of which he neglected by not controlling his sons. So God removed the blessing. Eli's descendants would not be allowed to be priests. In fact, Eli's line was cut off with the death of his sons. God's blessing was removed because Eli didn't live up to his responsibilities.
A blessing from God is just that – a blessing. It is not a "right". It is a privilege. And every blessing carries with it responsibilities. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." It is, perhaps, the greatest of all blessings to love Jesus. But if we truly love Jesus, we will illustrate that love with our lives. We will keep his commandments. Both of them. Jesus gave us only two commandments, and stated that His two commandments were the only ones we need to know and to follow. In Matthew 22:37-40, He said, “’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 the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Jesus knew that the 613 Laws given to Moses would be nailed to the cross with Him. So He left us with His two commandments, knowing that if we followed them faithfully, all else would naturally fall into place through our obedience.
Psalm 37 says that if we "delight" ourselves in the Lord, we can have the desires of our hearts. The blessing is to have the desire of your heart. The responsibility is to delight yourself in the Lord – to give him all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your might, all of your love. It is to place Him first and foremost in your life, to make Him your central focus, your reason for doing everything you do.
Are you blessed with a beautiful voice? If so, do you sing in your church choir or help with the music in Sunday School? Are you blessed with a gift for organizing things? If so, do you ever volunteer to take charge of an activity or a committee? Are you one of those rare individuals who actually understands and likes teenagers? If so, are you involved in the youth program at your church, or coaching a soccer team, or participating in some other activity with young people?
Take a long look at the blessings God has given you and evaluate whether you're living up to the responsibilities that go along with them. Remember, living up to your responsibilities is part of serving God.
From Newsong Ministries
Used with Permission