“In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth.” Gen 1:1 STEWARDSHIP: The creation Mandate
SO Everything Belongs to God
The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters Ps 24:1-2
I am God, your God ... for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains and the creatures of the field are mine. Ps 50:7-11
'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty.Haggai 2:8
Mountains • Trees. • Flowers • Money • Possessions • Time • Talents • Spiritual Gifts • Everything… is God’s
Yes! Everything belongs to God
But the Creation Mandate made us Stewards of everything! God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Gen 1:28. NIV
The earth and its resources are entrusted to us. Stewardship of possessions is the “gift of God” Eccl. 5:19
“As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God.” Ecl 5:19 Stewardship of Possessions is a Gift God – the owner of all.
What do you have that you did not receive? • 1 Corinthians 4:7 • For from him and through him • and to him are all things. • To him be the glory forever! Amen. • Rom 11:36
But what is STEWARDSHIP?
STEWARD One entrusted with caring for a superior's goods. • STEWARDSHIP The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. The management of anotherperson's property, finances, or household affairs
We have been made in the image of God (our DNA) • We desire to create (continue creating from the resources God created from nothing) • Our design is our giftedness (enables us to add value to the world and to steward his creation) • We were created to be God’s representatives (stewards) of His creation ( purpose)
Adam was steward of the garden in which God had placed him. Gen 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
However, sin has marred the image of god in humanity • The Fall broke relationship with God, ourselves, others and • the earth.
But… Jesus Christ came to redeem us so that we can experience the fullness of what it means to be the image of God and stewards of the created order.
As redeemed humanity we can now resume our role as stewards of God’s creation, stewards of the resources and gifts entrusted to us by God.
We can live again in the garden atmosphere, caring for God’s handiwork, communing with Him and with each other
1 Corinthians 4:2“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
1 Peter 4:10-11 • As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. • If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.
God is the landlord; He is the owner of everything (Psalms 8:3-6; 24:1) • As God’s stewards, we do not own anything, but have responsibilities • As stewards, we cannot be exploiters, but caretakers • Whatever our calling (or talent), we all work for His pleasure • Some stewards given more responsibility than others (Matt 25:15-18) • We were created to do significant things • As stewards, we are called to work within four God-given Institutions: Before the Fall: After the Fall: 1. Work (Business) 3. Government 2. Family 4. Church • All 4 Institutions equally important We were Created to Work as Stewards on the Earth
1. Work (group work = business) • To Work with and care for the earth and all life forms • To be creative like our God • To do great things in partnership with God • Have joy 2. Family • Headed by the union of a man and a woman – become one body • For procreation • For passing on values and faith from generation to generation • Have joy God-ordained Institutions
3. Government • For organizing initiatives for the well-being and safety of people • For setting limits and standards (laws) for people to live and work • For maintaining justice and extracting revenge by punishing wrong-doers 4. Church • To spread the good news of the Gospel • For serving as the presence of God’s rule on earth • To be the light to the world • To act as an agent for the reconciliation between God and humans • For making disciples, resource and commissioning to ministry those who are called to work in the other God-ordained Institutions God-ordained Institutions, Cont’d
Loss of the purpose to steward God’s creation • Environmental crises • Social, economic and justice inequalities • Loss of seeing people as made in God’s image • We use our power to control others, not to serve others • We have a self-identity built on materialism • We are indifferent, disconnected to God • We experience and hold onto transactional social relationships, rather than transformational ones • Transactional relationships satisfy basic human needs • Transformational relationships satisfy all our needs Breaks Have Cause Much Confusion and Pain in the World (Gen 11:1-9)
God has permanently committed himself to the welfare of human beings • God still cares for the same things after the Fall as He did before the Fall: People, Creation, Righteousness, Integrity • One thing that still matters to God is people and how we treat them in our economic and social dealings with them • We can see from the Bible and creation, that beauty is not just a visual aesthetic. Beauty in a person’s life and in the place where he or she works comes from consistency in modeling Christ-like behavior • True Worship (Micah 6:6-8) “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with the Lord.” Truth and Beauty
Good stewardship discerns what the Owner wants then does it • (Romans 12 ) We work according to the gifts God has given us • Joy comes from: • Faithfully doing what we were created and called to do • To the good steward, the Owner says “well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your lord” KJV The Reward of the Master’s Joy(Parable of the Talents, Matt 25:14-30)
Good stewards are committed Good stewardship discerns what the Owner wants then does it Stewards are held accountable (Romans 12 ) We work according to the gifts God has given us God does not judge us on “success” as the world measures it, but on our faithfulness to our calling
Apostle Paul was “committed” to maintaining the “pattern” of the gospel given to him by inspiration (Gal. 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:3, 6; 2 Timothy 3:16). This same apostle declares that we should follow him as an example in keeping that commitment (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17; Philippians 4:9). Paul an example of Commitment
The preaching of the simple and pure Gospel of Christ – Romans 1:14-16; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 4:2.2) The teaching of the Gospel of Christ – 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:10-11; 2 Timothy 2:1-2.3) Serving God and Christ – Romans 1:1,9; Romans 12:1-2; Philippians 1:1.4) Serving fellow Christians – Romans 12:10, 13, 16; Gal. 6:10.5) Serving all men – Romans 12:17-20; Romans 13-15; Gal. 6:10.
Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (KJV) Accountability to God
How do I practice my personal spirituality in the work world? • How do I pursue my life’s purpose, gifts & talents? • How do I extend Christ’s love to coworkers, people I serve and still get my work done? • How do I contribute to a healthy culture at my workplace, one that honors Christian values? OTHER AREAS OF STEWARDSHIP
God designed us for work, and we are to do it willfully and joyfully to God’s agenda for the earth We work according to the gifts God has given us (Romans !2 ) Even the sun, moon, trees, and animals praise God in worship by “being what God designed them to be and do” (Psalm 148) We give glory to God when we do what God designed us to do, acknowledging that we are doing it for God’s pleasure Joy: “a deep, abiding, inner peace that no circumstances can take away, because we are in God’s will and aware of God’s presence.”