Debbie Peterson - Olympia I, Washington Convention - 2018

What is my responsibility, and what is not? If I become consumed with things that are not my responsibility, it robs me of the strength to do things that are my responsibility.

Matthew 25:1, “Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” The 5 wise and the 5 foolish all went forth and took lamps. “They that were foolish took no oil with their lamps but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” So very early on it would be evident that the foolish hadn’t paid the price to have oil, but that wasn’t the responsibility of the wise! When the cry of the bridegroom came, the foolish asked the wise to give them oil, but they said, “No, that’s not our responsibility!” To the wise, being responsible equated to having oil, going forth, and then going in with the bridegroom.

John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”

In the parable of the sower and the seed, the good soil was the honest heart. There were 4 kinds of soil the seed was cast into – wayside, stony, thorny, and good soil (those who were honest). It’s talking about the sower going out to sow. The responsibility of the sower wasn’t to determine which soil was good and honest, but to simply sow the seed. It’s my responsibility to bring the seed of the gospel and love!

Luke 10:25, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying, 'Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' He said unto him, 'What is written in the law? How readest thou?' And he answering said, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.'” And He said unto him, 'Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.' But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?'”

So Jesus went on and told that story about the man who fell among thieves. The priest and the Levite saw and passed by on the other side. Then a Samaritan man saw and took heed of it, and then cared for the wounded man. This lawyer said, “What do I need to do – what am I responsible for, for salvation?” When he was wanting to justify himself, he didn’t want to do what he was responsible for! Why was this man in a place to be robbed? Why did he fall? The Samaritan didn’t get taken up with that – that wasn’t his responsibility. His responsibility was to show compassion and love and help the injured man! If he had been taken up trying to figure out why this man was where he was at, he would have missed what really was his responsibility – to show compassion and love!

Mary didn’t take responsibility for Martha’s spirit. Martha took responsibility for what Mary was doing but it wasn’t really her responsibility. She was anxious and disturbed about many things because of it! It limits God’s power and work because I get in the middle of things not my responsibility! It is always my responsibility to love, to forgive, to pray, to put first things first, and to seek the leading of the Spirit. When I go seek to do what is my responsibility, there is strength and grace to do it.