I had such a great time at church last Sunday! Everything was great. The singing, the message, the fellowship. Amongst it all, one thing grabbed my soul and spirit in that special way you can all relate to. It was when Ed gave a snippet of what could develop into an incredible message of peace and freedom. He said, "I am a steward, not a property owner". Wow! That hit me with a ton of elation. I am sure it was a Spiritual Revelation. I began to think of all the things in life that I take ownership in that don't belong to me at all. My husband, my children, my car, my home, my pets, my clothing, my shoes, my food, my money, my talents, my abilities; none of these belong to me. You notice it is hard to get away from the word "my"? We are so used to grabbing and holding things. Along with that comes all the weight of responsibility to fix, heal, maintain, understand to the fullest, keep the peace, pick up the pieces, referee, mend, have the right answers, be successful, never fail. The list goes on and on. Yes, all those possessions are in your arena of life and you do have a responsibility toward them. However, there is a huge difference between Stewardship and Ownership. I Timothy 6:7 "For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." God, our Father is the true owner of everything! We, ourselves, are bought and paid for by the precious Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ! Out of God's goodness and grace, he has given us everything we need to exist in this place. He is the Owner and we are the Stewards, the caretakers, the managers. On a train, ship or plane, a steward is responsible for the comfort of the passengers. In the U.S. Navy, a steward or Petty Officer is responsible for the Officer's quarters and the mess or kitchen. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein." Psalm 24:1 He is so gracious that he makes us feel like things belong to us. We have the freedom to do as we choose with all these. Bottom line, it is all God's. An example of this and I have experienced it personally, is renting a home. The home is so beautiful. You love it. On top of that, the owners tell you that you can do what you like to make the home really yours. Choose paint colors, wallpaper, carpet, etc. They only ask that you maintain it properly and let them know immediately of anything that breaks so they can make sure it is fixed properly. So, there you are, all comfy in your custom home and you get a phone call. The owner informs you that he/she has decided to sell the house. You really come to know it is not "your" home when realtors and potential buyers come trekking through each room giving their opinions on what they would change or do differently. Well, if you haven't noticed, most of life is like that. You change over the years. Your spouse changes. Your children leave home. Your clothes wear out or just plain don't fit anymore. Your car gets wrecked or stops running. You get laid off your job and have to get a new one. Yikes! Turmoil strikes. The truth of the matter is: Everything belongs to the Lord, even YOU and he can do as he pleases with you and that which concerns you. Yes, his gifts are great and we can have many blessings in this place. He also told us we would have troubles but not to worry because he has overcome the world and we can be overcomers as well. Isaiah 32:17 "And the effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever." The key is righteousness, His Righteousness which allows us to be in right standing with God and to be Justified (just as if we'd never sinned). Those are the things of continuous peace in our lives. Jesus said "My peace I leave you." The things of the Kingdom of God are: Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Spirit. Those things are constants. The things in the world will change. They are not constant. Since our Father God is the owner of all the things we have been given to enjoy, we take special care to do our best. It is up to the Owner what ultimately happens. Isaiah says, as we walk in righteousness, we will walk in peace and quietness. We will trust the Lord not only in what seems to be positive circumstances, but in those things we deem as negative and have trouble understanding the reasons. We walk in the knowledge that we are laying up treasures in Heaven as we live our life in harmony with him. Let us take hold of the grace and sufficiency to walk in that restful place of inner trust as we carefully handle all the many gifts he has given us for life as we await that trumpet call and are ushered into a new dwelling place for the rest of Eternity. Have a victorious 2011!