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We are God’s caretakers!
That’s right. God doesn’t need us to take care of Him, but He does need us to care for what belongs to Him on this earth.
We are told in Psalms 24 that everything belongs to God.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” ~ Psalms 24:1(NLT)
While everything belongs to Him, God created us to manage his belongings.
“And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:28 (AMPC)
There are two words I want to look at closely in Genesis 1:28; subdue, and dominion.
To subdue means to conquer, or bring into subjection. And to have dominion means to rule.
Therefore, within the context of these definitions, God left us in charge to rule His earth.
And not only did He leave us in charge; He has given us the resources to serve Him, and each other.
We didn’t understand the importance of this until we were faced with great financial challenges.
As we sought God’s Word to understand kingdom financial principles, we learned this one simple truth.
Being a caretaker is equally defined as being a good steward.
According to the dictionary, a steward is the conducting, supervising or managing of something, especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to ones care.
In essence, stewardship defines man’s relationship to God.
It identifies God as the owner and man as the manager. In which, Paul describes this best in 1 Corinthians.
“For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:9 (AMPC)
You see, we are the building, God is the landlord.
And when we understand this perspective, it helps us accurately view and correctly value our possessions.
When we internalized that everything we have belongs to God, it became easier for us to be caretakers by giving everything back to Him.
Now you may be wondering: how did you give those things back to God?
By humbling ourselves before the Lord through place we placed our marriage, our family and everything we owned in God’s hands.
Then we asked God for the wisdom to take care of what belonged to Him.
With God’s leading, we began to prioritize our marriage to reflect Christ and the church.
As much as we love our children, we know God loves them more.
So we placed our children in His hands; committing ourselves to raise them according to His ways and not our way or our upbringing.
Because God is a God of excellence, we made it a priority that our home would reflect His excellence.
So we began to care for our home as God’s property and not ours.
We committed our finances to Him, by giving when He said to give; and practiced good stewardship by spending wisely.
Speaking of money, this is probably the hardest things for most people to give back to God.
But, if we take a different approach to money, it may help put things into perspective. For example…
When you see a penny on the ground, do you pick it up?
Most people won’t, because they don’t think the penny has enough value to pick it up.
However, when we live with the mindset that we are caretakers over everything that belongs to God, we would understand the need to pick it up.
And by doing so, we will show God that we are good stewards of His money.
When we can learn the value of taking care of a penny, we will then be in a position to take care of a million.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” ~ Luke 16:10 NLT
It is God’s desire to bless us with more as we honor Him by taking care of what He has already given us.
However, in Deuteronomy 8 warns us that when we receive more, be sure we do not forget our God!
Make sure you don’t forget God, your God, by not keeping his commandments, his rules and regulations that I command you today.
Make sure that when you eat and are satisfied, build pleasant houses and settle in, see your herds and flocks flourish and more and more money come in, watch your standard of living going up and up—make sure you don’t become so full of yourself and your things that you forget God, your God, the God who delivered you from Egyptian slavery;
the God who led you through that huge and fearsome wilderness, those desolate, arid badlands crawling with fiery snakes and scorpions; the God who gave you water gushing from hard rock; the God who gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never heard of, in order to give you a taste of the hard life, to test you so that you would be prepared to live well in the days ahead of you.
If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today. ~ Deuteronomy 8:11-18 (The Message)
What if we nurtured every relationship and everything we own as God property?
Just maybe, we would see fewer divorces, stronger families, and less financial challenges.
When we recognize our need to be God’s caretakers, we will have no problem giving God what belongs to Him.
After all, He is the rightful owner of it anyway.
~ Timberley Gray
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