Walking, driving, and horrors aside, there are some interesting aspects of Russian. For example, if I want to tell you how old I am, I must say "Мне 28 лет." (Mn-yeh dvad-tzat vo-sim lyet). Literally, this means "To me is 28 years." So I suppose I could say "I have been given 28 years."
If you think about it, this lesson could apply to every area of our lives. I have been given the gift of 28 years on this earth, despite the scrapes, illnesses, troubles, and difficulties along my way. I could not have made it without the help of God, my parents, friends, etc. But what about my other things - clothing, shelter, education, relationships? Sure, I have worked hard to gain and earn these things, and I will not deny that. I have certainly done my part, and I shall continue to do so. But without help and God's providence, I would not have been able to enjoy them. One of my favourite verses is 1 Timothy 6:17. I have mentioned this verse before on this blog, but it is worth repeating:
"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy." (English Standard Version)
Note how it is God who gives us everything to enjoy. We should not only trust in Him to provide for all of our current and future needs, but we should also thank Him and give Him credit for doing so.
But in the end, whose is it? Yes, we are able to and should enjoy the things God has given us. But with that privilege comes responsibility. Perhaps the best Biblical passage describing this principle is the Parable of the Talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30. For the sake of brevity, I'll allow you to read it on your own. ;) But basically, this story describes a master who gives his servants some money to invest. While two wisely use this money to increase the master's profit, a third does not, and he is punished for his foolishness. This idea applies to our spiritual lives. God has given us so much, and He expects us to use what we have to help Him, glorify Him, and grow His Kingdom (the Church) on Earth.
Here are some other passages that are much shorter. 1 Corinithians 3:23 says to those who have accepted Jesus: "...you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God." (New Living Translation) And 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 says: "You are not your own: you were bought at a price." (New International Version)
So there you have it. When we have become Christians, we have been given many gifts and treasures. But we also have responsibilities to "give back to God" of what He has given us. How can we do this? Perhaps by giving at church on Sundays? By spending time with and reaching out to our friends who do not yet know the Lord? There are many ways we could do this, and this is where prayer comes in. Let us all pray that God will give us the desire, skill, and wisdom to effectively use His gifts to us for His ultimate good.
- Christian Basar