Friday, April 21, 2017

The Police Jury Election, The Tax Renewal For The Animal Shelter & Christian Stewardship

The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
For He has founded it upon the seas
And established it upon the rivers.
Psalm 24:1-2

     Everything belongs to God, including you. When you believe in God through Jesus, His Son, you surrender the control of your self. You confess that He is Lord of Your life, and joyfully give yourself to His word and His ways. His Word begins to inform and shape your opinions, your desires, and your direction. Before you believed in Jesus, you thought you owned your cars, your house, and even yourself. Now you know you don't. Rather than being an owner of everything, you've recognized that you're just a steward, a caretaker of everything in your life. There's great peace in knowing that God has and will provide all you need, and all you have to do is take care of it for Him.
     What does stewardship have to do with local politics and an animal shelter? Well, a great deal. Most of us will vote for the police juryman we believe stands the best chance of fixing our roads. We want an official who will take care of our tax money, and we should. But, these aren't really our roads, and that's not really our tax money. It's all God's. We should elect someone who will also be a good steward of all within his realm of responsibility. 
     What about the animal shelter tax? Well, the animals belong to God, too. So, if you have animals, and you're a follower of God, you're supposed to take care of them. The shelter is a place for those animals whose keepers have failed in their stewardship.  So, will those realities impact your vote?
     As a follower of Christ, you have a responsibility to take care of the environment because it belongs to God. It's easy in a world of radical environmentalism to forget that it's the believer's responsibility to take care of the world. The Bible doesn't dismiss environmentalism. It defines it. That responsibility extends to the animal kingdom as well. In a world where many people seem to love animals more than humans, it's easy to forget that. Don't.
     Look, animals aren't humans. They're not eternal. God didn't create them in His image, nor did He breathe the breath of life into them. They are given to mankind to have, use, even consume, but not in an irresponsible manner. The Bible says God created animals, takes joy in them, and uses them for His glory. While they have no soul, they reason and have emotion of a sort.
     So, a person who takes God's ownership of all things seriously, and His Word seriously, will treat animals humanely. "A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel." (Prov. 12:10) If all people would do that, we wouldn't need an animal shelter. There would be no indiscriminate breeding, no starved livestock, and no abandoned pets.
     That doesn't mean we would never kill an animal. God gave many animals for food. It means that when you kill an animal for food, you do so humanely. It also means that when stray animals must be destroyed, it is to be done humanely. That's what an animal shelter does when it cannot place the animals with someone who will take care of them.
     Now, He did not send His Son into the world to save the earth or the animals. He sent His Son to save human beings. When He returns, he will redeem the world from the curse of sin, but at the end of the age He will also destroy the existing heavens and the earth and create a new Heaven and earth in which redeemed men, women, boys, and girls will live with Him. Until then, followers of Christ should take good care of the earth, all it contains, and those who dwell on it as they go about demonstrating the Love of Christ and preaching the Gospel of Christ.