A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

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MAKING GOOD USE OF THE WORLD’S BOUNTY

God made the world for us.

More specifically, he made it for us to use as a resource.

He didn’t make it for us to exploit, but he also didn’t make it for us to turn into a nature museum or an object of worship.

He made the world for us to use, and he put the world and all its creatures under our stewardship.

He wants us to use the world and its resources wisely.

He doesn’t want us to harm and exploit the world, but he also doesn’t want us to worship it and prevent other people from using it.

I have a big problem with those who exploit nature, but I have just as big a problem with those who worship it and turn land that otherwise would be viable for housing and farming into protected parks.

As Christians, we need to use God’s earthly resources wisely. We should never exploit nature for money or power, but we should also not try to prevent other people from using natural resources to their benefit.

There are more than enough resources for everyone on this planet. The problem is that some people exploit those resources, while others try to prevent the resources from being used. Both approaches are wrong.

God wants us to use the world. He made it for us to use. This includes the resource of human societies. Some Christians are fanatical about rejecting the world, meaning the elements that are manmade, but God also inspired some of those elements to serve as our resources. Like nature, human society is our resource and, like nature, it should be used wisely. But it should be used.

Think of how Jesus lived and moved through the world during his ministry years. He rented rooms and houses, chartered boats, taught at local synagogues, and even preached in the temple in Jerusalem on occasion. He rejected the sin of the world, but he didn’t reject the world’s resources, whether natural or manmade. He knew God had put them there for his use, just as surely as God put the gold coin in the fish’s mouth for Jesus to pay the custom tax.

We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Being in the world means using its resources for our purposes. God wants us to use them and is very generous in providing for us. We do God a great disservice when we, in rejecting the ways of the world, also reject the resources of the world that God has put there for us. We throw out the baby with the bathwater. We shouldn’t do that.

God is beyond generous, even to those who hate him. Don’t reject the gifts he wants to give you through the natural and manmade resources of the world. This includes the gift of meat. Did you know that all the animals you eat have a place Heaven? Don’t feel bad or guilty about eating them. God put certain animals on Earth solely for that purpose. Just do what you can to make sure that they have a good life here (that’s what good stewardship is about) before it’s time for them to go home. To the best of your ability and knowledge, only support farmers who treat their livestock humanely.

Since Adam’s fall, the world has become a breeding ground for sin and is heading for sure destruction. But the world is also a near limitless bounty for those who do God’s will. Jesus showed us how to use the world’s resources, both natural and manmade. He ate well by accepting dinner invitations from the rich, he lived well by letting his female followers minister to his needs, and he dressed well by accepting gifts from his supporters. He didn’t solicit these gifts; he graciously accepted them and made use of them. These are all resources that God put in Jesus’ path to help him in his ministry work.

God knows what we need, and he’s more than willing to provide, as long as we do our part. So do your part in the Kingdom (don’t be spiritually or physically lazy!) and graciously accept God’s gifts that he so wants to give you. Use all of the resources God has put on Earth for your benefit, whether natural or manmade, because anything that benefits you as a born-again believer ultimately benefits God’s Kingdom.


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