Pastor Kris Vallotton, from Bethel Church in Redding CA has a great message this week, Heaven Superimposed on Earth. His theme, Kingdom Stewardship/Service, is one that the Spirit of God has been planting in the hearts of leaders, pastors, missionaries, and ordinary believers across the globe. The prospects for His Kingdom are exciting! We’re finally gonna be about the Father’s Business!
Not that some folks weren’t already doing that, but there have been way too many “pew potatoes”, “religious” million-dollar entrepreneurs, and “doing only what’s humanly possible” shepherds working their own gigs throughout our history, and blocking the road to real discipleship–as defined by Jesus Himself–for everyone else!
But things are changing big-time! A critical mass of awesome Spirit-led Disciples are gathering, calling us all to actively steward the earth, to faithfully disciple, and serve all our brothers and sisters on the planet!
Whatever each messenger’s unique focus, their messages, admonitions, and prophecies have one common subtext–“All Believers have been assigned responsibility for the management of the Earth, and for healing, restoring, delivering, serving, and discipling all nations–every citizen, everywhere on the planet–using the name, authority, and power of Jesus. We all have been called and empowered to be “real” working disciples, as defined by The Word of God (Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 5; 10; 28:18-20; Luke 6:17-49; 9:1-6; John 13:1-13, 34; 2 John 1:5-6, 1 Corinthians 13, etc.)”
One the more interesting Stewardship reflections is posted on Adele Booysen’s missionary website. She talks about the Theology of Work and the Theology of Redemption, both initially rooted in the Genesis Creation-Redemption message, but applied unevenly throughout history. The focus for most of our shepherds has been the Redemption message, but Creation/Stewardship authority was God’s First Gift.
Before the Fall, God delegated responsibility for the Earth to both Adam and Eve, as co-equal partners in the governance of the Earth. That was God’s eternal gift to humanity. But after the Fall, humanity’s mandate to govern, steward, and work turned into “by the sweat of your brow” labor for Adam and “pain and submission” for Eve. Because of their primal rebellion, that punishment became the legacy for all of humanity until the end of time.
But, getting back to being about the Father’s Business, I am astounded by the creative power of the Holy Spirit! No matter how badly we mess up an assignment, our God finds a way to creatively help us fix things! The operative word there is “help”! God is our Helper, our Help-mate, but it’s our responsibility as Stewards and Disciples–ALL of us–to fully live the Gospel mandate, and to take possession of our World for the Kingdom!
Let us go forward, then, to mature teaching and leave behind us the first lessons of the Christian message. We should not lay again the foundation of turning away from useless works and believing in God; of the teaching about baptisms and the laying on of hands; of the resurrection of the dead and the eternal judgment. Let us go forward! And this is what we will do, if God allows.
God blesses the soil which drinks in the rain that often falls on it and which grows plants that are useful to those for whom it is cultivated. But if it grows thorns and weeds, it is worth nothing; it is in danger of being cursed by God and will be destroyed by fire. (Hebrews 6:1-3,7-8.)