God's Sovereignty, My Responsibility

God's sovereignty does not negate my responsibility.

My life was predetermined. When I was born, there was already a lot going on, and no one asked for my input.

My dad got married. But she wasn't my mom. Then our country drafted my dad to serve in Vietnam. While he was there, he lost his wife.

When he returned home, he met this girl. While they dated, my dad went to business school and improved his skills. Dad married that girl, and they bought a house. That girl was my mom.

And then I was born.

They didn't consult me on how to raise me. My parents had a predetermined set of values and morals for me to adhere to. As I got older, they revealed them to me and called me to greater responsibility to adhere to them.

But I richly benefited from their work. I enjoyed their house. They even allowed me to call it my house even though financially, I contributed nothing. It's tough for a three-year-old to hold down a job. They fed me. I was not too fond of the fish sticks, but they kept on providing food.

They loved me, and they disciplined me. 

One could say that my parents exercised a high degree of predetermined sovereignty over my life. But with that sovereignty comes responsibility. 

The right way to respond to them was not to loathe my lack of choice or even to argue it, but to gratefully build on the benefits that they had bestowed on me. In fact, it could be said, that because I had good parents that their sovereignty calls me to greater responsibility.

Our Good Sovereign God

The sovereignty of God does not negate our responsibility. In the Bible, we see both God's sovereign choice and our response.

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-15

He chose you, so give thanks.

He chose you, so stand firm.

He called you, so hold to the traditions that you were taught by us.

You are His, so His Word is yours to know and obey.

Because God is good, our responsibility is great - not negated. 

A child that does not respond to His father's goodness is abnormal, ungrateful, a rebel, a prodigal. 

A person who bears no sense of responsibility to respond to a sovereign God is not a theologian. He's an idiot.

Because God is sovereign, you have a choice. Rebel against what He has provided long before you were created or gratefully respond to Him as our good Father. There is only one wise option.  

Bible Study

Read 1 Chronicles 29:10-19.

  • How does David's prayer reflect both God's sovereignty and David's responsibility?
  • How does God's sovereignty bring us comfort?
  • How does this passage call for us to praise God?


Make a list of things that happened before you were born, but have influenced your life. Some of those things have been good and some bad. Now make a list of things God has done before you were born that have influenced your life. Praise God for those things He has done and overcome.

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