WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 10, 2021
TOPIC: BE ACCOUNTABLE
BY T. O. BANSO
“You are a pleasure-crazy kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure, bragging as if you were the greatest in the world! You say, ‘I’m self-sufficient and not accountable to anyone! I will never be a widow or lose my children’” (Isaiah 47:8 New Living Translation).
To be accountable is to be responsible to someone or for something: it also means to be answerable. An unaccountable person is a dangerous person. There is no human being to report him to! He is dangerous to himself and to others around him.
Whether at home, work, school, or anywhere else, be accountable. If you see anyone anywhere who is acting as someone unaccountable, be careful of him. Don’t associate with him. If you’re in a business or love relationship with him or her, it’s wise to withdraw because the person could harm you later.
Many people live as if they are not accountable to God. They do what they like even as the ministers of the gospel. The apostle Paul says, “You see, we are not like those hucksters — and there are many of them — who preach just to make money. We preach God’s message with sincerity and with Christ’s authority. And we know that the God who sent us is watching us (2 Corinthians 2:17 New Living Translation).
Babylon boasted of not being accountable to anyone. “You are a pleasure-crazy kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure, bragging as if you were the greatest in the world! You say, ‘I’m self-sufficient and not accountable to anyone! I will never be a widow or lose my children’” (Isaiah 47:8 New Living Translation). But God said He would punish her with widowhood and the loss of her children (verse 9).
As a Christian, you must know that ultimately you are accountable to God. Therefore, live as such. Whether you occupy an ecclesiastical position or not, be accountable to God. God is a God of accountability. The Bible says, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12 King James Version). Matthew 12:36 also says, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (New King James Version).
Revelation 20:12b says the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Jesus says, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work” (Revelation 22:12 New King James Version). You will give an account one day – here on earth and at the final judgment.
Also, Paul speaks on the final judgment by God. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11 New King James Version).
In light of the foregoing, have an accountability mindset; be accountable to God and man. Work in the house of God knowing that you’ll give account to God one day. James 3:1 warns brothers and sisters in Christ that not many of them should become teachers in the church, for those who teach would be judged by God with greater strictness.
Those in higher authority should not think they are accountable to God alone. They are also accountable to the people they lead just as those under them are accountable to them and to God. Leaders must not behave as if they’re the Alpha and Omega, which leads to leaders abusing their authority.
In 2 Chronicles 16:10, the Bible says that King Asa of Judah began to oppress some of his people. That was after he had thrown Hanani the seer into prison for delivering to him God’s message of displeasure with him for trusting in the king of Aram instead of in the LORD his God.
Act responsibly in leadership, knowing that you will be held responsible for your stewardship. Be ready to give an account. Be accessible to your followers; be answerable to them but ultimately to God. But don’t claim you’re only accountable to God. Samuel didn’t say that; Paul didn’t. They both maintained integrity in leading the people (1 Samuel 12:1-5; 2 Corinthians 7:2). If you’re under a leader, be accountable to him.
In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus empowered his disciples and sent them out to preach the gospel, casting out demons and healing all diseases. In verse 10, the Bible says, “And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done” (New King James Version). Mark 6:30 reports a similar thing. They were under His authority and they should give him an account. That’s the right thing to do. In Luke 16:1-13, the master of the unjust steward sacked him over reports that he had been wasting his goods and asked him to give an account of his stewardship.
Who are you accountable to? Don’t be unfaithful like the unjust steward. Don’t become uncontrollable. Don’t act as if you’re not a man under authority. The centurion in Matthew 8:9 told Jesus he was a man under authority, having soldiers under him and giving commands which were obeyed.
In the family, there must be mutual accountability between the parents and the children (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20; Colossians 3:21; Ephesians 6:4). The same applies to husbands and wives (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19). Servants should also be accountable to their masters. They should be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). They should “Please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Obey them willingly because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:22-23 New Living Translation). Also, masters should give their servants what is right and equal, conscious that they have a Master in heaven (Colossians 4:1). Ephesians 6:5-9, 1 Timothy 6:1-2, Titus 2:9-10, and 1 Peter 2:18-20 also talk about master-servant relationship.
Although Christians, like others, are ultimately accountable to God, to run the Christian race successfully, a Christian should have a Christian leader or pastor that he is accountable to. I must repeat this: Anyone who is not accountable to anybody is a dangerous person; he is dangerous to himself and those around him even if he claims to be accountable to God alone. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they know they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this joyfully and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit” (New Living Translation).
There should also be mutual accountability among believers. We must be accountable to one another. That’s part of the benefits of fellowshipping with other saints. Hebrews 10:25 says we should not forsake assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting (one another); and so much the more, as we see the day drawing nigh. As the Bible says in Proverbs 27:17, as iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. Being accountable to each other does not reduce one; it actually protects one. In addition, others have regard for those who have someone or those they are accountable to. Responsible people make themselves accountable to others; irresponsible people don’t. They want to do as they like whether it’s right or not.
Those who don’t understand that Christians should be accountable to each other are lone rangers and it’s so easy for Satan to defeat them. James 5:16 says we should confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. A Christian who is struggling with a particular sin should have an accountability partner – a mature Christian or a trusted Christian friend – he can confide in and can support him in maintaining victory over this sin and monitor his progress. Do you have a prayer partner?
Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (New King James Version).
Similarly, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (New King James Version). These two scriptures underscore the need for mutual accountability among believers.
Unfortunately, many believers enjoy keeping their sins secret. Satan loves it even more because he knows such Christians can never gain victory this way but remain slaves to their sins. Such people continue to pretend that they are all right when they are decaying inside. Expose Satan’s activities in your life and you will be on your way to victory.
Don’t keep your secret with Satan. Stop pretending. Seek godly help. Confess your sins to a mature Christian who can pray with you, advise you, guide you, encourage you, etc. I’m not talking about someone who’ll be gossiping about you and raising your case as a prayer point everywhere in the guise of helping you.
Always remember that as the king in Matthew 18:23 and the master in Matthew 25:19 settled accounts with their servants, God will settle an account with you one day. The ten servants who were given one mina each were also asked to give account (Luke 19:11-27). You’ll give an account of your work in your office or business as the need arises but, more importantly, you’ll ultimately give an account of your life to God. Be accountable.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I will be accountable to You, the authority I am under, and the brethren. I shall not associate with those who are unaccountable. Holy Spirit, help me to be faithful to God and the human beings that I serve. By the power in the blood of Jesus shed for the forgiveness of my sins, I have victory over sin; I shall not become a slave to sin again.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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