Human beings exist as supplicants and stewards in God's creation. In terms of truth and reality, we own nothing, can do nothing, and are nothing apart His creative and sustaining provision.
"We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out" (I Timothy 6:7).
"Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).
"In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
"He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).
Our Heavenly Father made us to receive His good gifts, to appreciate them as His blessing, and then to trust Him to enable skillful stewarding of ourselves and the things He gives. We make application of His provision as a way of serving as moons to His sun, absorbing and reflecting His light that "lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9).
I thought of this while watching a documentary about an especially gifted athlete. The man achieved much during his career, to the degree he has a place in his sport's Hall of Fame. He acknowledged numerous people who helped him to accomplish many notable goals and records during his career. He troubled me, however, for never doing the presentation did he acknowledge the Source and Supply for his gifts, nor did he seem to adequately realize his role as a steward of the gifts rather than their owner. "What I did" and "what I accomplished" set the tone for most of what he had to say. I intend no criticism. Perhaps the man gave credit where credit was due, but had his acknowledgement edited out of the production. Thus, I simply offer an observation, but one based on a serious concern.
Regardless of how hard we work as stewards, we exercise gifts and talents that did not originate in ourselves. We apply ourselves by dedication, discipline, and determination to that which God supplies by His gracious bestowal. Moreover, even the dedication, discipline, and determination flow from the fount of His working upon and within us. We play a role, of course, and are fully responsible for our application as stewards. At the end of the day, however, looking back with clear vision reveals we used gifts given by our Heavenly Father that empowered our aspirations, achievements, and accomplishments. "I labored more abundantly than they all" testified the Apostle Paul. Certainly He did. However, our brother of old proceeded to confess, "Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (I Corinthians 15:10).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus are doers. The power of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit motivates a proactive life of action for His glory in countless ways. However, we recognize and acknowledge our doings as the fruit and product of His doing for us, upon us, and within us. Scripture teaches He will reward us one day for the things we did in this life. Respectfully, however, I suspect we will inwardly smile as He affirms our accomplishments, knowing that apart from His gifts, motivation and enabling, we would have done nothing. And then we will fall before Him in wonder, giving praise and thanksgiving for the blessedness of stewarding His gracious bestowal and provision in our hearts and lives.
"Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us, for Thou hast wrought all our works in us."
"He that glorieth, let Him glory in the Lord."
(II Corinthians 10:17)
Weekly Memory Verse
"He shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied."