“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of he sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘I give you everything seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—-everything that has the breath of life in it—-I give every green plant for food. And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—-the sixth day.’” (Genesis 1:26-31)
All of creation is God’s work and reflects His character. Therefore, it is good. All people are special, for He made us in His image to represent Him in the world. As humans, we hold a special place of importance and service in God’s perfect plan. God placed humans in charge of his material world to manage and care for it. Under God’s authority we must fulfill His purpose in our lives. Being a manager for God is the foundation of stewardship. Sin, however, corrupts God’s perfect order. It distorts our likeness to God. It causes us to try to take over God’s primary ownership and authority, even though we know He only gave us authority for a finite amount of time. Material possessions are neither good nor bad in themselves. Selfish misuse of possessions is sinful beloved, and there will be a day of accounting for how well we have accomplished the task we were to take care of for Him.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, God has given humanity the authority to care for all of His creation: the birds of the air, the fish in the sea, the plants animals that we eat and so on; for we were to bear more fruit for Him while caring for all life. Have we been good stewards of God’s creation? I think we have much to pray about with God and it must be fully heartfelt and worth of God’s trust in us. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The thing to spend on your children is ‘time’.”
“Before this, Eliashib the priest had been put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God. He was closely associated with Tobiah, and he had provided him with a large room formerly used to store the grain offerings and incense and temple articles, and also the tithes of grain, new wine and oil prescribed for the Levites, singers and gatekeepers, as well as the contributions for the priests.” (Nehemiah 13:4-5)
Whenever people store and manage gifts negligently, both the ministries supported and the practice of giving tend to suffer. The person who treasures or manages gifts performs a sacred responsibility. Offerings to God should be used only in ways directed by God and His people. Such gifts must not be used to buy influence from powerful leaders. I pray you are all in agreement with me on this.
“I said to them, ‘You as well as these articles are consecrated to the Lord. The silver and gold are a freewill offering to the Lord, the God of your fathers.’ Then the exiles who had returned from captivity sacrificed burnt offerings to the God of Israel: twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven male lambs and, as a sin offering, twelve male goats.” (Ezra 8:28, 35)
Israel’s returning captivity brought a spiritual renewal that resulted in new commitments to serve God and the generous use of resources for rebuilding the house of God. Exiles in Babylon gave generously to rebuild God’s house. Ezra followed careful and procedures in determining and reporting the amounts given. Everyone responsible for collecting, storing, and spending money given to God’s work should follow Ezra’s example of care and accountability.
2ND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On he first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it us, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.” (1st Corinthians 16:1-4)
A good plan can assure that one’s commitment to give is fulfilled. Paul urged the Corinthians to fulfill their pledge to the Jerusalem offering and suggested a three -point plan: 1) be regular—-set aside money each week; 2) be worshipful—make the offering as part of the Lord’s Day worship; and 3) be worthy in the amount given—give according to the amount earned. These guidelines in the spiritual needs of Christians for growth in giving. Our giving is to be freely given, given with joy in our hearts and given according to each man’s income.