Posts Tagged ‘stewardship

02
Nov
09

Learning to garden all over

From where I sit I see dusk descending; it is evening and will be morning, another day.  The greater lights of the mall are now aglow, so too the lesser lights of the autos, marking the circuitous route of workers stopping by on their way home.

Another day of labour has ended for many, ended I suspect without much reflection save some relief that Monday is finally over.  [Ah yes the second day of the week, even from the beginning, the day was not designated as “good”! 😉 ]

Credit - http://farm1.static.flickr.com/203/454698071_c8ae54e1af.jpgUnlike the many, whom I resemble often enough, I have been thinking, not just about work generally, but the working relationship that exists between man and God’s creation.  The LORD God assigned our elder brother to work and keep the garden (Ge 2:15).  The word “work” here is also translated as “care”, “dress”, “cultivate”.  The relationship is a positive one; the work of the man would be such that the garden would continue to be fruitful.  The man’s labour in the garden and with the garden, would serve God’s purposes for the garden.  Man in his toil would be representing God himself, he would be acting as his vice-regent, guarding the garden’s God-given capacity to bring forth harvest upon harvest.  In so doing, he was protecting the very means that God had ordained to provide man with his sustenance (Ge 1:29-30).  Man was to steward the garden, so that the garden could sustain the man.

That idyllic state did not last.  Man was not content to be vice-regent, even to God Almighty.  That rebellion, to which all of us naturally sign on to, has had devastating results.  We no longer care for God’s creation as we ought, instead we often rule over it with self-centred, short-sighted ruthlessness.  Instead of dressing it, we denude it; instead of cultivating it, we corrupt it.

From where I sit, dusk has given way to darkness.  A fitting metaphor of how I feel as one man reflecting upon mankind’s relationship to God’s creation.  I do not feel at all enlightened nor empowered to act in God’s stead as steward.  It seems so much easier and simpler just to thoughtlessly function as a squatter in God’s garden.

But that will not do.  Creation longs for the adopted sons of God to once again live as vice-regents.  God’s Kingdom has broken into our broken world and with its inauguration the futility that enslaves creation ought to be challenged.  I understand that I cannot change the world in global proportions, but it does not follow that I cannot change my world in personal and local proportions.  That seems to me to be very much a part of following Jesus.

How do you see it?

06
Jun
08

Becoming a man of prayer – praying for provision (ch. 7)

“Even in coming to the Father for our own needs, we need to focus on God and His agenda.”

There are some principles according to Beltz regarding God’s provision that men need to understand. First, to be assured of God’s provision we need to be in proper relationship with him; authentic prayer and scripture reading fuel that relationship. The author states that if we are not in daily fellowship with the Lord, then God might withhold His provision to encourage us to restore our relationship with him. God’s provision is also linked to our obedience in the area of financial stewardship. If we rob God of what is his due then we rob ourselves of God’s blessing and provision. On the other hand, if we are faithful in our stewardship then we will know God’s blessing.

When praying for God’s provision the author focuses on two general areas. The first is his real needs of the moment which include physical and financial needs, as well as needs that arise out of what is on his agenda. The second area is his anxieties and his desires. Here Beltz prays cautiously, praying for what he wants but asking God not to give it to him if it would not be a blessing.

It seems very natural to me that as we seek God’s provision that we reflect on the blessings that we have in hand and ask for our “daily bread” from the context of gratefulness. Many of us are blessed by safety, security, freedom, shelter, clothes, food, and health. Thanking God for these puts our other needs in better perspective.

Click here for this week’s assignment.

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