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Biblical Stewardship includes caring for animals!

January 27, 2016
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Biblical Stewardship includes caring for animals!

Adam in the Garden of Eden Genesis 2:7-8Biblical Stewardship includes caring for animals!

As the founder of a ministry and a Christian counselor, I exercise stewardship everyday by caring about, ministering to, teaching, counseling, and praying for everyone that God sends me. I love people. I believe to love people is to love God. But does stewardship just include people? Not to me it doesn’t; it includes the animals. I love animals, and I have to admit that I have been called a crazy cat lady!

I consider caring for people and animals a part of stewardship. I have rescued, provided food, shelter, medical needs, and found homes for 12 cats. God has literally dropped 3 sick, abandoned, 3 week old kittens behind the fence of my backyard. When a small animal suddenly appears on the inside of my 6 foot fence, or is crying at my sliding glass door, God knows I am not going to turn a blind eye on its suffering. I have rescued and bottle fed 8 other kittens as well as helping to reduce the homeless population of kittens by catching to spay or neuter the feral cats.

Most recently God has brought to my back door an abandoned Siamese who was hungry, anemic, had mouth tumors, and was in desperate need of food, shelter, love, and a vet. I believe that what God orders He will provide for through finances, effort, and the time required so that I can say yes to helping.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

God did not say He loved just people, He said He “loved the world.” In Greek the word world is “cosmos” and it means, orderly arrangement, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants). The earth is inhabited by a myriad of living things with man being the highest of God’s creation. He charged us with stewardship and dominion over all that God created and loves.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:7-10).

The animals know God, and are known by God. In the above Scripture it says the animals will teach you. The love of an animal is unconditional, something that reflects God. God treats people, created lower than Himself, with amazing love and tender compassion.

Mankind is created higher than the animals. Your tender loving kindness toward people and animals is a reflection of how God has treated you. You are reflecting His image when you care for people and animals, thus displaying His qualities.

The Scripture says,
The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel (Proverbs 12:10).

As godly stewards and righteous believers we are called to care and kindness toward animals as well as people. I wonder how people can treat animals and fellow believers with such disrespect. God is very clear you are to reflect him in all of your ways.

So what is biblical stewardship and how is biblical stewardship a part of worshiping God?

Merriam- Webster defines stewardship as, “the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something.” Biblical stewardship teaches that human beings are created by the same God who created the entire universe and everything in it. When you look after the earth you are caring for God’s creations, and God charged the Christian steward with this responsibility. In obedience to this calling we are worshiping our Creator.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Genesis 1:26).

At the beginning of time God gave man dominion, or rule, over every living thing that moves on the earth. Having dominion over something is having authority or responsibility over it. This means being a steward or living in stewardship over the creation.

You were created in the likeness of God. Do you resemble Him in the way you live your daily life? God has perfect thinking, willingness of heart, holy actions, mercy, justice, and complete righteousness which qualifies Him as the Lord of all creation.

He has charged you with the command to rule over, “the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

The picture of God’s attitude toward you should then be reflected in your attitude towards the creation. God is powerful in His holiness. Mankind seeks power out of selfishness, and arrogance, and not necessarily working on behalf of those that are weaker. God is merciful; He is a protector, provider, deliverer, comforter, and stronghold. All of which as a steward of creation you should demonstrate.

You were created to be stewards of everything on the earth. Stewardship isn’t just simply for you to serve others; it is to righteously rule over the things God created. He is letting you borrow and rule over the earth, animals, your possessions, relationships, and finances.

God has created all of us to be a manager over a certain area of His creation. It may be by raising children, cleaning toilets, making the coffee at church, or running a corporation. You don’t have to be in the 5 fold ministry to be a steward. You are a steward or manager in whatever area God has placed you.

Stewardship is a form of worship to God.

Ask yourself: what do you value most in your life, where do you spend your time and money, where does your worship of our Lord and Savior rank in your daily, weekly, and yearly lives?
Your gifts to God should be your very best. God does not want blemished sacrifices. He calls you not to sacrifice but to obedience. He asks for the first fruits of your heart, time, labor, and finances. He asks you to love your neighbor as you love yourself and treat others as you want to be treated.

Your worship of God comes in many forms: prayer, studying the Bible, worship in song or dance, serving, volunteering your time and talents, community and fellowship, working with youth, cooking and serving meals, cleaning, assisting the homeless and hungry. It also includes caring for homeless, sick, hungry, and frightened animals. The list is endless but these are just a few forms of worship.

If you’re doing any righteous behavior to the best of your ability, you are worshiping God through your stewardship. To be a steward of your everyday actions is to have the mind of Christ. Stewardship is what you were created for; it is who you were designed to be. It is through stewardship that you use your talents and gifts, fulfilling your purposes and callings.

The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ “Heal the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give (Matthew 10:7-8).

You minister to the whole of God’s creation to reflect God’s characteristics and show His heart and behavior in a dark and fallen world where your love, compassion, and light can shine brightly. You do these things to show gratitude for your relationship with your Creator and your salvation in Him, as well as the blessings of health, jobs, family, friends, and all of His provisions.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. (2 Corinthians 9:7-9).

You are God’s servants, His friends, and His family. God provides and blesses through your hands and heart. Worship Him with your stewardship.

Click the link below to see photos and read Mavericks story.

https://www.fundme.com/en/projects/27888–Maverick–abandoned–sick–and-needs-our-help

Dr. Michele

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