For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)
I don’t know about you, but I have heard more times than is good for my sanity, my sweet children fight over “stuff.” “Hey, that’s mine, put that down.” “Don’t touch my toys”, “He is watching my show!”, “No, you can’t have some of my candy.” “She is sitting on my couch cushion.” (sigh)
If only our kids would come to understand that all the things they have actually belong to our Lord, and he has graciously given those things to them for a time, to enjoy, share, and use to his glory. But this is hard for them to learn, and in part that is because we too have a hard time learning this lesson.
Paul makes it very clear who the Creator of all things is and why he creates.
Jesus is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of everything, therefore we know that everything we have comes from him.
Every good thing in our lives is a gift from God (James 1:17): our money, our talents, our time, our bodies, our “stuff,” even our spouse and children! Not only is it all from him it is also all good.
He gives us these good things to steward in such a way that makes him the brightest aspect of the gifts and our lives. We should think of these gifts as treasures that are entrusted to us for a time. We have them for now, and we should be careful to use them well, but ultimately everything first belongs to Jesus Christ. Understanding this will encourages us to not abuse, neglect or waste them, but to use them as instruments through which we make much of him.
The first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks:
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Paul says it this way, “All things were created through him and for him.” This means he doesn’t give you things simply to have, but to use as a means of glorifying God and enjoying him. The gifts are good, but the Giver is even better!
Jesus is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of everything, therefore we know that everything we are comes from him.
Do you think much about who you are? Take away your titles, your roles and responsibilities. Do you know who you are? You should. It’s important, because this is also a gift of God.
As a human being we are all creatures made in God’s image. But as big as this truth is, there is more for the Christian. As a Christian you are a sinner saved by his grace through faith in Jesus Christ—and this makes you a saint, an adopted child of God, a royal priest in service to the King and his people (Eph), co-heirs with Jesus, and much more!
He has made you all of this not to simply be, but to used who you are for his glory. All things–even you– have been made for him.
How can we steward the gifts God gives including what we have and who we are?
1. By maintaining an attitude of thankfulness (1 Thess. 5:18) to God for what has given us and made us. We can’t be thankful for something and abuse or misuse it at the same time. Let gratitude govern your use and enjoyment of all things.
2. By taking care of what he gives us including possessions, relationships, our bodies, and our souls. For some of us this may mean learning to be more organized so we don’t waste our time. Some of us may need to learn to be more disciplined in order to keep our homes tidy and our laundry put away (ahem, this one’s for me. I need to remember that while laundry may be a curse, that even laundry work is a gift from God). Some of us may need to take more seriously the fact that we have only one body and need to care for it well so it can be used for God’s glory and for the good of others.
3. By sharing what he has given us, including our very lives.
God did not give us time, money, a home, talents etc. to shelve, but to share. The Christian life is all about glorifying God and loving others. The most practical way we can this is by giving to others what God has given us. And we should do so joyfully, without expecting anything in return (including a thank you note).
All that you have is given to you to receive with thankfulness. We are to enjoy, care for, and share them with others and the best way we can do this best by keeping our “chief end” in mind.
Looking to Jesus,