In the beginning God created the heavens and earth. After separating light from darkness and gathering the water so dry land would appear, He told the land to produce different kinds of plants and vegetation. After putting lights in the sky to separate day from night, He made creatures to fill the waters and winged birds to fly in the sky. Finally, He created animals of different sorts to roam the land, culminating with His creation of human beings.
People, made in His image and likeness, would be special and superior. While all He created had a purpose, the way God made people gave them a significant purpose to fulfill for which they would be responsible.
A Participation with God’s Work
From the beginning God made it clear that He wanted people to work in cooperation with Him. He brought the animals He had created “to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name” (Gen. 2:19). Certainly God didn’t need people’s help, and could undoubtedly have done a better job Himself, but He wanted people involved. Participation, not perfection, was His goal.
Through the pages of Scripture we continue reading of God getting people involved in His work here on earth in various ways. Even today, we are to be “co-workers in God’s service” (1 Cor. 3:9).
Implications: Let’s make sure we not only provide opportunities for people to serve in the church but also help them understand that ministry is about purposefully participating with our All-Powerful, Creator God. Each person’s part is significant to Him and therefore should be to us as well.
As members of His Church, we have been given special empowerments, called spiritual gifts, to serve in cooperation with Him as dispensers of His grace. — “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Pet. 4:10) — People will be more prone to get involved when they sense a purpose in what they’re doing and they feel they are equipped to succeed. (For more on spiritual gifting, go to: Spiritual Gifts Resources)
A Purpose That’s a Stewardship
Having been made in the image and likeness of God, people had the ability to “rule over” all the other creation. 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.” (Gen. 1:26). They were “to be fruitful and increase, to subdue and rule over the rest of creation” (Gen. 1:28). “God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Gen. 2:15)
Implications: Since God made humans to be responsible, let’s encourage one another to be faithful stewards of all He’s given us. We will one day stand before Him accountable (1 Cor. 3:9-15). Let’s make the most of every opportunity (Eph. 5:15-16).