By G. Edward Reid, Director, North American Division Stewardship Ministries
Summary: Because of His inclusive love, God desires us to be more than His children. He wants us to be His partners in the work of redemption.
We understand the pecking order: God is Shepherd; we the sheep. God is Father; we His children. God is Creator; we His creatures. God is Owner; we His managers. God is Master; we His stewards. But there is a deeper level of intimacy that God wants to develop with those who are being sanctified. He invites us to be partners in the firm!
Unlike business people in partnerships who want to get out, we can rest in our partnership with God, for He works in and for us. In our partnership with God our part is faith and obedience, and God’s part is guidance and blessing.
Ellen White highlights this important relationship with God frequently in her writings. The Lord calls upon every one of His children to let heaven’s light--the light of His own unselfish love--shine out amid the darkness of this degenerate age. If He sees you acknowledge Him as possessor of yourself and all your possessions, if He sees you use your entrusted means as a faithful steward, He will register your name in the books of heaven as a laborer together with Him, a partner in His great firm, to work on behalf of your fellow men. And joy will be yours in the final day, as it is seen that the means wisely used in helping others has caused through you thanksgiving to God--Counsels on Stewardship, pp 299, 300.
Paul asserts with confidence and joy, We are God’s fellow workers (1 Cor 3:9), workers together with Him (2 Cor 6:1). With this is mind, there is a positive necessity for the steward of God to pray much that he may not be deceived in anywise in handling the Lord’s goods. He is a steward, a partner in the firm, and if he moves not from impulse but from a sense of conviction that he must invest his Lord’s goods to advance the glory of God in the work of saving souls to Jesus Christ, then he himself will be benefited eternally, if he holds fast his confidence and faith and trust in God firmly unto the end--Manuscript Releases, vol 16, p 258.
We can violate our partnership with God by being unfaithful stewards, especially in regard to the use of the tithe. Let none feel at liberty to retain their tithe, to use according to their own judgment. They are not to use it for themselves in an emergency, nor to apply it as they see fit, even in what they may regard as the Lord’s work. God has shown honor to men in taking them into partnership with himself in the great work of redemption. He expects his agents to labor not against Him, but in unison with Him, that His treasury may be supplied--The Watchman, Oct 9, 1906.
Because of His inclusive love, God desires us to be more than His children. He wants us to be His partners in the work of redemption. As a father takes His son into partnership in his business, so the Lord takes His children into partnership with Himself--Sons and Daughters of God, p. 324.