Saturday, October 15, 2011

Family Responsibilities: Giving Up

by Andrew Cromwell

All of us come from some kind of biological family, even if we did not have a good relationship with them. We are a part of that family because we were either born or adopted into it. And membership in that family came with certain privileges and responsibilities. In the same way, those who are a part of the family of God also have “family obligations”.

Being part of the family of God is a wonderful thing. Membership is open to all who put the Father’s will before their own. And once we are a part of the family, we are given a new beginning. We are also given direct access to the Father along with all of His great wisdom and resources.

But we have some responsibilities as well. In my last column, I wrote about the responsibility we have to show up and be an active part of the family. This time, I’d like to talk about the responsibility we have to give up.

Anyone committed to his or her family will tell you that giving up is where it’s at. If you want a good marriage, you have to give up. If you want a lasting relationship with your kids, you have to give up. You have to give up your money, your time and your talents. You have to give up the need to always be right. You have to give up putting yourself first.

It is the same in the family of God. You and I must decide to give up and put God first in everything we do. In the Old Testament, the Israelites called this the tithe. The tithe was the practice of taking the first part of whatever income was received and giving it to God. God directed them to do this so that they would not forget that their source of supply was Him and not themselves.

It is interesting that today even large corporations are beginning to understand the importance of giving. Many of them do it simply because it is good public relations, but some do it because they understand that there is a principle of giving that is activated when resources are released rather then locked away and hoarded.

But it is not only money that we need to give, we need to give back to God in every area of our life. Doing so signals to Him that we are putting Him first in everything we do.  1 Peter 4:10 says, Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

When we put others needs before our own, we begin to look like the One who laid down His life for us. We also activate the principle from God’s word, Give and it shall be given. Members of God’s family are supposed to be the most generous people in the world.

This weekend, the pastors of Kings County would love the opportunity to teach you more about being part of the family of God. Why don’t you change your routine and get your family in church? You just might be surprised at what you discover.

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