21 Aug

The Dominion Mandate

To have dominion is to rule. At the highest level, it means that man understands that he has a free will and a measure of power delegated to him by God and that he is charged with using that free will and power responsibly.

Psalm 8:6-8 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

But some men fail to recognize that.

John 19:10-11 10Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?   11Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 

Even though man has repeatedly failed to exercise dominion well, that doesn’t mean that God failed in His design. The way one rules is determined by the character of the one ruling.

When Adam sinned, he forfeited dominion to Satan who became the prince of the power of the air. The Dominion Mandate is still in force even though it has been greatly affected by man’s sin. The mandate came from God, and God will never cede total dominion to Satan, although Satan certainly has the power to influence man to use the mandate for fleshly, carnal purposes.

While most fail to recognize the biblical basis for the mandate, it is still in effect and indirectly authorizes all honorable occupations – science, technology, medicine, commerce, government, education, the arts, etc. God’s intent was for it to benefit mankind and to honor Him.

We are God’s stewards. He has charged us to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill) the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:28). May you and I as believers do our part well.

11 Aug

Small Things

“For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zachariah 4:10)

In 587 B.C., Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. The magnificent temple that Solomon built was among the ruins. Soon after the destruction, the Jews from the tribe of Judah were exiled to Babylon. Their stay would last approximately fifty years.

In 538 B.C., Cyrus, the King of Babylon, allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. However, the returning Jews were few in number, and their resources were small. Twenty years would pass before the building of the second temple. Finally, under the leadership of Jeshua, the High Priest and Zerubbabel, the governor, the building of the second temple began. There were many difficulties, but God promised that the temple would be finished, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit.” (Zachariah 4:6) As the foundation was laid, the old men cried and the young men shouted for joy.

The temple was completed in 515 B.C. After seventy years, the Jews could once again worship God in their temple. It was during this difficult time of temple rebuilding, that God asked the question: “For who has despised the day of small things?” (Zachariah 4:10) God is not hindered during difficult times because He is the God of all resources.

Does this not encourage our hearts in this time of uncertainty! Small things become great things when given to God. Today, we find ourselves somewhat in a day of small things. Our choices have become smaller. If severe suffering comes, what should be our reaction? We serve a God who has promised: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

There are many examples of how God used small things to accomplish His purpose. For example, Christ used a lad’s lunch consisting of five barley loaves and two small fish to feed at least 5,000 people. (John 6:9) May we in these days think of the importance of small acts of service to others: a card, a phone call, an email, a smile, a meal, a prayer, an expression of gratitude. We serve a God today who promised that by His Spirit He would accomplish great things in “the day of small things.”

“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things – a chance word, a tap on the shoulder, or a penny dropped on a news stand – I am tempted to think…there are no little things.” Bruce Barton

When a small thing provides a great blessing, it is no longer a small thing.

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