But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. — Isaiah 43:1
Let’s start with a question: Of what will you be more likely to take greater care? Something you own? Or something that isn’t yours?
This might be a slippery slope question for a devotion during a stewardship series based on God’s simple gifts. However, as one hears the words of our Lord through the prophet Isaiah, it is a question that does bring a great deal of comfort.
As God plainly states through Isaiah, stewards that have been created and are being sustained by God have no reason to fear. Why? Because they belong to God! They are owned fully by Him. With His mighty power, the Lord created them. By His amazing grace, He has redeemed them in the innocent suffering and death of His beloved Son Jesus! You, my friend in Christ, are doubly owned!
God, as the Owner of all things by virtue of creation, sees you as a treasured possession. He promises never to hold out on you. He may not make you stupendously wealthy, incredibly intelligent, or dashingly beautiful. But you do have the sure and certain promise that God is with you. In Word and Sacrament, our Lord dwells with you, giving you His gifts of life and salvation!
As one contemplates the simple gifts our Lord gives and how we might be called to share them with the church for the Gospel, and our neighbors for God’s glory, we need not fear. We have His promise that He will be with us. For this reason, we can indeed be extravagantly generous! We have the Lord’s promise! He will not abandon us.
The faithful stewardship and generosity to which we are called is to be a confession of our trust in His promise. It isn’t always easy. But this is the stewardship to which we have been called. But it isn’t about us. It is all about the One who owns us! In Him, we believe. In Him, we trust. In Him, we have no reason to fear. Because of Him, we are free to be faithful stewards of all He has. It is for His glory and our neighbors’ benefit!
©2019 The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Used with permission.