Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Bethany Bullet-October 21, 2008

In mathematics there is a ‘law’ that states since 2 + 5 = 7 that 7 – 5 must = 2. This law is called the inverse operation. If this law can work for words as well as for numbers maybe nowhere is it more true than Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:21, “where your treasure is there your heart will be.” The inverse operation would state that the corollary is also true, “where your heart is there your treasure will be.”

At the very heart of original sin is the conviction that our treasures are our own, that our stuff is our stuff and that God is a withholder of His stuff! When Adam and Eve reached out to lay hold of forbidden fruit they no
longer received life in the garden as gift, but something to be made their own. Their focus shifted from what they had been given, Paradise, Purpose and a Partner to what they did not have – the Produce of that one tree. Suddenly they were no longer receivers but takers, not stewards but owners.

Since that time personal ownership has become rather important to us; and we are quite accustomed to making claims of ownership. Can you hear, however, the words, “Mine, ALL Mine!” coming from the mouth of God? In the creation account He declares just that. God is the creator and owner of everything. Every animal of the forest and the cattle of a thousand hills belong to him. Every filling in every tooth, every ounce of toothpaste you can squeeze from the tube, every decimal point in your paycheck, every penny of your allowance, every inch of your waist and every hair on your head, all the cloths in your daughter’s closet and every toy on your son’s floor belong to God. The Redwoods and Niagara Falls are all His. “It’s all mine”, says God. Presidents and presidential hopefuls, your little sister and big brother, “all mine”, says God.

The heart of stewardship is to echo God’s words back to God. The statement, “My stuff is not my stuff”, is nothing more than an echo of the words of God that says, “It’s all mine.” Will you for a moment consider everything that you have in your name, everything you claim ownership over and everything in your possession; imagine God saying of it, “Mine, all Mine!” for that is whose it truly is.

That is not all God says in terms of ownership for He has also said, “What’s mine is yours.” And then He gives us His Son. God has said, “I am yours.” “I am yours in Christ and therefore all I have belongs to you. The inverse operation goes to work at this point and we respond ALL WE HAVE BELONGS TO HIM.


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