Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, ESV).
We’ve been meeting as a committee, well actually a couple of committees, for several weeks to plan the Lights, Camera, Action! stewardship campaign. During this planning we decided that we would select several passages of scripture to be the focal point of the entire effort. Because 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 was assigned to me to share with the Church body in a couple of weeks, we began to discuss this as a family as appropriate opportunities presented themselves. This verse is a family favorite. It was introduced to us through Crown Ministries, and it was week two’s memory verse (I know I just lost half of my readers with the Crown reference, think Dave Ramsey for old men like me).
The first time an opportunity presented itself was during morning devotion. Most days I’m gone before devotion, and Kristen has a devotion that she has been working through with the kids. On occasion, as schedules dictate, I have the school drop-off duty, and on this occasion we couldn’t get our hands on Kristen’s devotion book (that’s Dad-speak for too lazy to look real hard for it), and the timing was such that this particular morning landed a few days after we decided on these scriptures. So, like any non-creative, enterprising Dad, we unpackaged 1 Chronicles 29:11-12.
This particular morning, I focused on the last phrase…”in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” I asked the kids what that means (it was 6:55 AM, and you could hear crickets in our living room)? So, I began asking questions I knew they could answer easily…
- Did you choose your family? Your parents? Your brothers and sisters?
- Did you have any say with regard to Dad’s job? Mom’s job? Our lifestyle?
- Did you get a choice about what country you were born in? Would it have been different if you were born in a developing nation? How about if each you were there now?
- Did you choose your intellect? Your health? Your athletic talent?
So, when this phrase says (in some translations) that it is by God’s hand that Kings are made and brought down, what does that say about you?
When we think about it in those terms, it is overwhelmingly clear that every blessing we have comes from God.With that as our overarching truth, what is our responsibility as good stewards with these blessings?
(More crickets…until the discomfort of silence prompted one answer)
“To give God the Glory in all that we do”. (Excellent, Annie, even at 6:57 AM, I can count on Annie to step up)
Over the past few weeks, during the peaks and valleys that life brings suburban American youth, we have had several opportunities to drive this home: after a poor showing at soccer, or when a bad test score comes back, or when we make a poor behavioral decision – trust me, in our home, there are no shortages of opportunities for improvement. As adults, we have no shortage of peaks and valleys in our lives either – they are just packaged according to age or maturity level. And it actually becomes tougher with age to put personal pride and accomplishment on the back burner and remember it is by God’s hand that Kings are made and brought down (and of course we don’t have Kings in our culture…but substitute Dad, Businessman, Deputy, Soldier, Teacher, Nurse, Doctor…you get the point).
When I was asked to write this blog, I had a little bit of trepidation. I didn’t want to come across as ‘holier than thou,’ or having all the answers. Because we certainly don’t. What I wanted to do--what I was asked to do--was share a little about how we use these scriptures (much like some of our Sunday School lessons) to work them into the everyday conversations of life. To become dependent and obedient to God’s word, one life event at a time.
More than anything I hope you find this encouraging, and if you aren’t working on some of these lessons into your daily life – try it. I hope it bears fruit for you, the way God has provided his instruction and blessings to us.
Lastly, it is my prayer that as you prepare for the “Lights, Camera, Action!” offering on December 18, that your family will have discussed what you think your role as a member of the Heritage Church family is. What does stewardship, in the context described above, look like for your family, with regard to this important need in our Church?