ODJ: Real Stewardship

July 15, 2016 

READ: Psalm 115:1-18 

The heavens belong to the Lord, but he has given the earth to all humanity (v.16).

Rick Vuyst hosts a local call-in radio gardening show in my hometown. Vuyst, who identifies himself an “entre-manure”, weekly “soils” the airwaves with gardening advice. But don’t let his “cracked pot” puns fool you. If you’re having problems with your lawn or plants, this master gardener can help, often telling listeners who have called in, “Thank you very ‘mulch’.”

Vuyst is a bit of a modern-day example of Adam and Eve. In the beginning of the biblical story, God gave the first couple the task of looking after His amazing creation, starting with the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:15).

Because Adam and Eve rebelled against their Creator, we sometimes forget that God’s original mandate for humans is still there for us today. But God didn’t scrap the human stewardship programme after the first couple rebelled, nor did He tell them to get a divorce and ditch the institution of marriage. Biblical stewardship is still in play today, and it doesn’t just happen in gardens and farmlands. It certainly includes agriculture and taking care of the physical world, but it encompasses all domains of life (Psalm 115:16).

Stewardship can happen when we’re in a boardroom negotiating a business merger that saves hundreds of jobs. It can happen in a classroom, as we teach chemistry with dedication and compassion that helps students grow and succeed. It can happen while we’re sitting at a piano, writing music that moves the soul to worship the Creator of all things (v.15).

As theologian Michael Goheen writes, may we be “busy within the creation, developing its hidden potentials in agriculture, art, music, commerce, politics, scholarship, family life, church, leisure and so on, in ways that honour God.”

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: Matthew 10:16-42

Read Genesis 1:26-30 and consider what it means to steward God’s creation. 
How are you using your gifts and talents to bring God to others? How can you be a better steward of what He’s given you on earth?