I just finished reading an article by Jordan J. Ballor, on the Acton Institute website from which I felt I needed to share on my blog since it relates to my underlying theme of stewardship. I primarily use direct quotes and suggest you read the main article yourself. Here are some relevant excerpts:
The basic elements of the gospel message are familiar territory for most Christians. God created things good. Human beings fell into corruption and the rest of the world along with us. God’s care for his creation led him to send help in the form of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are the basis for the inbreaking of a new order, one in which “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4 ESV).
In a radical sense, God needs nothing other than himself. So why is there anything at all? Theologians, philosophers, and everyday people have struggled with these questions for a long time, but the best answer is that God, in his absolute and utter freedom, out of his liberality and love, chose gratuitously to create. And he didn’t just create one thing; he created many things. He created everything.
He decided to reclaim what had been taken away, and in this sense the gospel is all about God’s reclamation project.
When the integrity of that creation was compromised, he would have been entirely within his sovereign rights to renounce it. We get an idea of what a world without God’s ongoing care and provision would look like in the depiction of the time before the Great Flood in Genesis 6: a veritable hell on earth. There’s a sense in which to let things decay and return to the nothingness which evil strives for would have been just. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23 ESV).
But instead of abandoning his creation, corrupted and fallen though it was, God chose to remain faithful despite the unfaithfulness of what he had made. He decided to reclaim what had been taken away, and in this sense the gospel is all about God’s reclamation project.
Even though humanity embraced sin and death, God has given creation the gift of new life. And along with that life, God has given us a purpose, a role to play in his reclamation project.
This too is something utterly gratuitous. God is all-powerful. No doubt he can do whatever he desires to do as easily as he called everything into existence in the first place. But God has graciously deigned to give his fallible and frail human children some responsibilities in his larger work of redemption and reconciliation. And this is one of the places where the basic contours of the gospel really hit home with us. God has saved us, but he has saved us for a purpose. Yes, he has saved us for eternal life in Christ Jesus, but that eternal life already begins in some real sense right here, right now. God hasn’t just saved us from death; he has saved us for life. He has saved us not only for ourselves, but also for others, and indeed, all of creation.
God is concerned not only for human beings but also for all of creation. And he has placed humanity in a position of influence and responsibility, so that what we do matters not only for ourselves and for those around us, but indeed for everyone and everything.
And the resources he has given us include our own abilities. God has given us reason, will, and emotion. And he wants us to use everything we have to serve him. The first great command as Jesus teaches us is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 ESV). God wants us to see things as he does and to care for them as he does.
God …uses each one of us, in our unique situations and with our unique sets of concerns, worries, relationships, and gifts to play a small part in his grand reclamation project and to reflect some aspect of his image in that work. If God is the master builder, we are some of the construction workers he has put into his service to restore his great temple.
This means that as wide and diverse as God’s creation itself is, so too are his children called to serve faithfully across all of creation. There is work to be done in seeing God’s will done in every area of our lives and in every aspect of existence. We have work to do in physics, mathematics, biology, and chemistry. We have responsibilities in music, painting, poetry, and literature. Christ taught us to pray for God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10 ESV), and this is as true for the classroom and the dinner table as it is for the factory line and the church pew.
God’s design encompasses all of creation, and so his servants need to be able to be equipped in a similarly universal and comprehensive way.
Jesus gives us the basic lesson in stewardship when he concludes that “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48 ESV).
God has given us new life in Jesus Christ…. But he calls us as well to serve him and to promote life and flourishing in this world.
This applies not only to our own daily activities but also to our role of citizen in our nation. We must search out and advocate government policies to further that end—including political economics—even if it is only to the extent of commenting/debating on blogs such as this,
 https://acton.org/pub/commentary/2019/03/06/gods-reclamation-project?utm_campaign=Acton%20News%20%26%20Commentary&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=70531978&_hsenc=p2ANqtz--XBP-fcI_JZ0mEXLL9wS80o0qa4WZiO4rg6pyY82IRp5jNcsmZSHVR6bdAXUa6xJhKzjaosBdDmAy5bBWAkH2tUkEp6Q&_hsmi=70531978 Acton Commentary God’s reclamation project , by Jordan J. Ballor, PhD • March 06, 2019 This essay is adapted from the foreword to Faith in Society: 13 Profiles of Christians Adding Value to the Modern World by Anthony B. Bradley.