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Posts Tagged ‘psalm 139’

The Main Sphere of Stewardship: Our God-given DNA *

I’ve loved Psalm 139 from my earliest days as a believer.

In this wonderful passage, we see depicted how God has been intimately and intricately involved in our design as individuals.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Your makeup is not an accident. God made you like that for a reason. For many reasons, actually – including your work.

If we are to be faithful stewards, we must embrace the truth that we are uniquely created by God for His wise purposes. The better we understand and embrace our “wiring,” the more intelligently we can move along a path of maximum fruitfulness.

Yesterday, on my Clarity Therapy blog, I summarized some thoughts about working in our sweet spot. The focus in that post is on business, but the principles are universal.

Of course, some of the responsibilities God calls us to will force us to see, and work on, our weaknesses as well. For instance, if you are a parent, you have discovered ALL KINDS of weak areas along with your strong suits (I certainly have)!

So we never end up doing only the things that we are best at. But, in our callings, we should still seek to discover our strengths, and shape our work around our DNA as much as possible.

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* This series is part of a 12-week study on the topic: Being Stewards of God <— (outline). We’re now in week 7, considering the sphere of our stewardship – why it is vital to determine our gifts and abilities. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, just put your email address in the Email Subscription box on the blog’s right sidebar.

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Stewardship: Our Generous God *

Have you ever heard of Deism? Perhaps you’re not familiar with the term, but the deistic worldview surrounds us.

Wikipedia briefly defines it this way: Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature.

In other words, there may be a god, but He’s not involved.

The God of Israel and the Church – the God of Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jesus, Paul, and all who adhere to biblical teaching – that God doesn’t bother conforming to deistic standards.

He’s totally involved.

14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

(from Psalm 145)

Steward3

God is not only the Creator of all things – He is the actively involved Sustainer. He is personally involved with every aspect of His universe, and with every creature in it.

“Look at the birds of the air,” Jesus said. “They do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

But this is not just an abstraction about the world out there. It is very true of us, as individuals made in His image. A reading of Psalm 139 leaves us breathless with the extent of God’s involvement, even in the formation of our very cells in the womb.

As good stewards of our pets, we personally remain involved – generously loving, providing for, and sustaining them. With heartfelt affection. Would we believe that God is somehow a lesser being than we are?

No-one would care about being the steward of a deistic god. A lovingly involved Father, however, is worthy of all affectionate service.

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* This series is part of a 12-week study on the topic: Being Stewards of God <— (outline). We’re now in week 3, staring directly into the generous heart of God. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, just put your email address in the Email Subscription box on the blog’s right sidebar >

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Infinite Memory

Walking last evening in mid-town Manhattan, I was struck, as always, by the vast multitude of people, walking past and with me from all directions. At most, I will “know” these people in the fleeting depth of one glance, barely registering on my consciousness; soon unseated in my very limited memory by a million other sights and sounds and ideas and thoughts.

A chance visual encounter, never to be repeated; a passing glimpse that doesn’t even qualify as a passing acquaintance.

Yet – God, the Creator of us all, knows every one of those people down to the deepest atom of their bodies and souls. Every word, every thought – every moment of their lives. And millions of others in cities large and small throughout the world – towns and villages, too. And every one of our ancestors, generation after generation backwards through time – God knows and has known every person, every event, with undimmed clarity.

He even knows the unborn before we do. And the generations yet to come.

And that’s just our tiny little world. Now multiply by billions of galaxies, with countless trillions of stars – each of which God can recall by name.

I marvel at our current electronic devices, at their accelerating speed and capacity and memory. I well remember the floppy disk era of computers with 8088 processors – and yet, reading this week a new book called Turing’s Cathedral (about the development of the earliest computers in the 1940s and 50s), even those DOS-powered clunkers of the 1980’s were utter powerhouses compared to the truly primitive efforts of our earliest, room-sized machines with tiny memory and capacity.

What those earliest machines could store and compute, as marvelous as they were back then, is ant-sized compared to the most compact smartphone of today. Let alone any modern-day WOPRs (old movie trivia reference!).

Either the true God is an infinite Creator, or he is not. The Bible is refreshingly clear on this point, even if some of those who claim to believe it are rather fuzzy about who is really in charge around here. Give a fresh read to Psalm 139, which contains such provocative phrases as, “…even before there is a word on my tongue, You, O Lord, know it all…” and, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret…Your eyes have seen my unformed substance, and in Your book was written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

I will only learn a millionth of a miniscule percentage of what there is to know, and my memory, full of Swiss cheese as it is, will soon fade and fail altogether. Yes, as the psalm above beautifully affirms, I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” – yet God, the Maker, is far more fearfully and wonderfully not-made. Our minds and machines are mere molecules in the face of an infinite Creator and Sustainer of a massive (but finite) universe, whose fingerprints are all over everything created inside and outside of us.

Sometimes, people very casually employ the phrase, “God knows!” Perhaps we should never hear that phrase casually again.

It’s no wonder that we are called, first and foremost, to worship.

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