This is such a critical question since the trickledown effect of the answer is significant. There is a difference between ownership and stewardship! There is a difference between authority and subordinate! Who is in charge? Can people tell by the way you live who is in charge? Let’s consider some things from God’s Word…
First let’s look at the statement “The earth is the Lord’s…”
- FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS. – 1 Corinthians 10:26
- The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. – Psalm 24:1
- For all the earth is the LORD’s, and he has set the world in order. –from 1 Samuel 2:8
- for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof –from 1 Corinthians 10:28
These verses speak to the fact that God is in charge! Now if we consider God is the owner, what does that mean to us? We are to be stewards of what God give us! We are to show our trust in Him in how we live with what He has given to us. What does it look like to be a good steward? What does it look like to be a bad steward? God’s Word provides examples of both.
- And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? — Luke 12:42
- So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. — Matthew 20:8
- And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. — Luke 16:1
- 7Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. — Titus 1:7-9
So we know who is supposed to be in charge, but God gives each of us freewill to choose how we will live. Will we choose to live as stewards or try to control everything? Will we choose to live as good stewards or live lives that try to promote ourselves? We need to make it all about God!
So who is in charge of your life?
Today’s reading starts with …
The Question about Jesus’ Authority
(Matthew 21.23-27; Mark 11.27-33)
1One day when Jesus was in the Temple teaching the people and preaching the Good News, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law, together with the elders, came 2and said to him, “Tell us, what right do you have to do these things? Who gave you such right?” 3Jesus answered them, “Now let me ask you a question. Tell me, 4did John’s right to baptize come from God or from human beings?” 5They started to argue among themselves, “What shall we say? If we say, ‘From God,’ he will say, ‘Why, then, did you not believe John?’ 6But if we say, ‘From human beings,’ this whole crowd here will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7So they answered, “We don’t know where it came from.” 8And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you, then, by what right I do these things.” –from Luke 20
So, “who is in charge”? Will you give an answer for the hope that is in you? Will you speak to the truth that has set you free? Will you live as a servant leader that others may come to know the freedom and the truth that comes from your relationship with Jesus?
Do you realize what you need to do? Today’s reading continues with this wisdom…
9But avoid stupid arguments, long lists of ancestors, quarrels, and fights about the Law. They are useless and worthless. 10Give at least two warnings to those who cause divisions, and then have nothing more to do with them. 11You know that such people are corrupt, and their sins prove that they are wrong.
12When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me in Nicopolis, because I have decided to spend the winter there. 13Do your best to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos to get started on their travels, and see to it that they have everything they need. 14Our people must learn to spend their time doing good, in order to provide for real needs; they should not live useless lives. 15All who are with me send you greetings. Give our greetings to our friends in the faith.God’s grace be with you all. –from Titus 3
So let’s turn to the Book of Truth, the Book of Love, the Word of God for wisdom in our daily steps…
17Those who are good travel a road that avoids evil; so watch where you are going—it may save your life. 18Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall. 19It is better to be humble and stay poor than to be one of the arrogant and get a share of their loot. 20Pay attention to what you are taught, and you will be successful; trust in the Lord and you will be happy. 21A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is. 22Wisdom is a fountain of life to the wise, but trying to educate stupid people is a waste of time. 23Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive. 24Kind words are like honey—sweet to the taste and good for your health. 25What you think is the right road may lead to death. 26A laborer’s appetite makes him work harder, because he wants to satisfy his hunger. 27Evil people look for ways to harm others; even their words burn with evil. 28Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships. 29Violent people deceive their friends and lead them to disaster. 30Watch out for people who grin and wink at you; they have thought of something evil. 31Long life is the reward of the righteous; gray hair is a glorious crown. 32It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities. 33People cast lots to learn God’s will, but God himself determines the answer.
–from Proverbs 16