Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ISSUES OF THE HEART - 3: It's Mine


Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 
The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ 
So he divided his property between them. 
Luke 15: 11-12 (NIV)

The younger son was in essence saying to his father, “It’s mine!” Many of us today have the same mindset. However, we all need to take a reality check.

This world's system teaches that things in our possession belong to us. That idea of ownership instills a subtle message of entitlement in our minds, giving us the false sense that we have ultimate control. As a result we often jealously (and nervously) guard these possessions.

The Kingdom of God, however, is counter-cultural to this world’s system.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.”

Clearly we see here that it is the Lord who owns everything and everyone who lives on this planet.

David acknowledged the awesome truth of God’s ownership as he prayed during the dedication of the temple. It is recorded in 1 Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness,
The power and the glory,
The victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O LORD,
And You are exalted as head over all.


STEWARDS, NOT OWNERS
God has made us stewards of what He owns. According to the Blue Letter Bible, a steward is one “to whom the head of the house or proprietor has entrusted...
  1. the management of his affairs, 
  2. the care of receipts and expenditures, 
  3. the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant 
  4. and even to the children not yet of age.”
As a steward you cannot merely have great skills and gifts, yet lack the required close relationship with your Owner. The decisions you make must be based on your knowledge of your Master’s desires concerning His possessions. Keeping that in mind, let us do an assessment.

A SHORT INVENTORY
Let's look at some things that we often think of as ours.

'YOUR' BODY

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, 
and you are not your own? 
1 Corinthians 6:19

Do you keep a clean 'temple', inside and out? Are you feeding God’s body the proper foods, and giving it enough exercise? Are you clothing God’s body in a way that reflects His glory and beauty as well as His purity? How well are you maintaining the body that God has entrusted you with - the body that belongs to Him?

'YOUR' CHILDREN
The child that you brought into this world is not yours. He/she belongs to God. You are a steward, commissioned to ""train up a child in the way he should go" - Proverbs 22:6. The way that that child should go is determined by the One who created him for a specific purpose, not by your personal preferences.

'YOUR' MONEY
The money you have in your possession and in your accounts is not yours. It’s God’s….all of it. He graciously has made a covenant with you to receive 10 percent of it back to Himself, while He expects you to use the remaining 90 percent wisely, according to His statutes, plans and desires.
"'The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,' says the Lord of Hosts." Haggai 2:8

How well are you managing and using God’s money, especially during this Christmas season when extravagant spending is the norm? How would God evaluate your stewardship concerning receipts and expenditures?

 'YOUR' CAREER
When you go to work, remember that the One that you’re ultimately working for is God. Yes, He also owns your job! He is Head over all, including your boss and your boss’ boss. Knowing that you have been placed as a steward in that position should encourage you to do your work as unto the Lord. You are not merely working for your earthly supervisors. They also are stewards, whether they realize it or not.
"...there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." Romans 13:1b

'YOUR' MATERIAL POSSESSIONS
The car you drive, the home you live in, even the clothes you wear all ultimately belong to God. You bought them with His money, and He holds you accountable for the way you use them.

Is the vehicle you drive used to bless others, or is it your trophy? Is the home you live in cluttered with items that you don’t need, but someone else could use? Is that clothes closet overflowing from hoarding? (See #3 under the definition of a steward). Are your material possessions reflective of Christ's desires and plans for their use?

'YOUR' MINISTRY
Even those in ministry can become very possessive and territorial about the position they have been chosen to serve in. This mindset is especially dangerous since God Himself says, "My glory I will not give to another." - Isaiah 42:8. God is the Chief Shepherd of that ministry, and He will never abdicate His position. Does your stewardship in this area reflect His vision?

'YOUR' FUTURE
The world teaches that you must have short term and long term goals. Goals are good. However, plans made without the Master Planner are risky at best. There are also those who are anxious about the future and resort to consulting fortune tellers. Only God Himself knows what the future holds for you because He holds your future. Anyone else is counterfeit.

The young son in the parable probably had plans for his future when he took his inheritance. But because his father had no input in those plans he ended up in trouble. God’s Word is clear on this issue. All time belongs to God. Even your future doesn’t belong to you. It’s His.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11

Take a look at your life.
Everything in it, without exception, belongs to the Lord.
How would you evaluate your stewardship of the tangible and intangible things He has entrusted to your care?

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2

15 comments:

  1. Audrey, that was a very thought provoking post. I know that all belongs to the Lord, but you put it in such a great way it just become more real to me than ever. I also want to thank you for the gracious comment on my Daily Grace blog. God bless, Bobbi

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  2. Hi Audrey,

    Stewardship is not a topic that should be taken for granted. As you've said a steward, "...cannot merely have great skills and gifts, yet lack the required close relationship with your Owner."

    Understanding and accepting the truth that my life belongs entirely to God; every facet is His. This enables me to have an appreciation for what God gives me responsibility for; my life, children, earnings, career, material possessions, ministry, and my future. They all belong to God. I'm being trusted by God to serve as a steward over these many aspects of my life in a way that pleases and glorifies God.

    Blessings and peace.

    MTJ

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  3. So true, we owe God a big thank you for all that he has loaned to us while here on earth. It belongs to God and everything we have we should take special care of.

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  4. This is something we may need to be reminded of often. Everything we have belongs to God. It is a temptation to get to thinking that we earned what we have and that it belongs to us. Thank you for this reminder.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  5. Wht a very clear post on this topic. Like Bobbi said, we know all is God's but when it is laid out in such a fashion I can see areas where I need to surrender! Blessings.

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  6. Hi Audrey ~ a great study on keeping the right heart attitude. I agree that it's essential to living upright in every area of our life. I love your strong teaching gift (: Blessings.

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  7. Wow! This post is loaded!!!! I am going to read it again. You are on fire, Sister.
    Alleluia. Thank you, Jesus.

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  8. Hi Audrey, I echo the other's sentiment of how well you've brought our attention to every faucet of God's ownership in our lives. It's easy to say God owns everything but covertly hold certain areas as belonging to us. After reading this, I find myself re-examining areas in my life. Am I acting as steward or owner?

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  9. Thanks for the reminder that everything we own, desire, and long to be is all in the hands of our loving saviour. I just also want to thank you for your visit and gracious comment. Have a blessed day Audrey.

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  10. Wow, that is definitely a lot in one post! Thanks so much for stopping by my corner and leaving your encouraging words. God bless :)

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  11. Yes we owe God our everything.. Its just seems soooo impossible to me to NOT worship our Abba Father. The LORD of Heaven and Earth, in my every breath..Praise to the newborn King, Father God our Everything...Amen

    You are an Awesome woman of God and His ways...
    Thanks for being YOU!!!
    Merry Christmas~~~May our Sweet LORD cover You with blessings while you seek Him in this, His beautiful season.
    Isn't it magnificent knowing He is the Reason for every Season...I'm sooooo very blessed that He directed me to such Beautiful Blogging Sister's ..Truly, it sooooo warms my heart......Hugs Dena

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  12. Wow too great post for WFW!. Thanks for sharing...

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  13. I stopped by because your name is the first on the list of names at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS. When I use to do SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, I would start at the bottom of the list. Today I changed my habit. Why? Only because the Holy Spirit must have told me to do it. I am so glad the whisper was heard by me for a change. Your blog post is just packed with spiritual meaning for me on the day after Christmas.

    I wrote your points down. While writing the points expounded by you, I realized all of our possessions belong to the Lord. It is important for me to cling on to that scripture verse about the earth is the Lord's and everything in it. Thank you for having this post here today. I hope to come by here more often in the future.

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  14. Thank you for the audio clip too, "I Surrender All."

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