This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/
Give All to God
(Revelation 18; 2 Corinthians 8:5)
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you give your all to God!
WEDNESDAY: God Owns You and Me
“… Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit … and you are not your own … For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Emphasis added).
God owns you and He owns me. God owns the universe, and the finish line that we are all going to cross, whether we die or He comes for us. In the verses above, Paul is saying, "No, it's not your life. You own nothing, not even yourself. When you came to Christ you surrendered the title to your life. So you belong to God, and not yourself. He is the only One who has the right to do what He wants with your life—your body, sexual behavior, money, possessions, everything. If you belong to Him, you owe God your full obedience."
Look at the problems the Corinthian believers suffered because they did not grasp Paul’s point:
· Chapter 1: They were puffed up with their wisdom.
· Chapter 2: They discussed who was enlightened and who was not.
· Chapter 3: They built on the wrong foundation.
· Chapter 4: They argued over the stewardship of things.
· Chapter 5: They had problems morally.
· Chapter 6: They took each other to court.
· Chapter 7: They had problems with their marriages.
· Chapter 8: They did things with demons.
They had one problem after another. Do you know what these people were doing wrong? By their lifestyle, they were saying what we often say about our own life: “I can do what I want with it.”
The point is this: God is not just the Owner of the Universe in general, but the Owner of each of His saints in particular. In fact, we are twice God’s—first by creation, and second by redemption. Recognizing His ownership means living in the light of this overriding truth. It is living life with the acute awareness that we are managers, not owners. We are caretakers of God's assets, which He has entrusted to us while we are on earth. I have many friends who manage companies. They do not own them; they manage them, and are answerable to the owners or stockholders. Owners are answerable to the marketplace and the government, and they have more power.
How we handle our money and possessions will be determined by whom we really believe to be their true owner—and ours: “… He died for all, that they which live should not … live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15, KJV; Emphasis added).
When I first memorized 2 Corinthians 5:15, it was a class assignment at college. Those three words “but unto Him” really gripped me. I remember taking a marker and writing on the face of my watch “but unto Him.” Because we look at our watches frequently, I would see those words and think: Is the way I am living right now acknowledging the fact that He died for me that I should no longer live for myself but unto Him? When will we be measured for how we did at living for Jesus? Second Corinthians 5:10a gives the answer: “… We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ ….”
We are all going to stand individually before Him “… that each one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10b). The conclusive proof of spiritual change will be seen in an altered perspective on handling money and possessions.
Note the words of John the Baptist’s message of a changed heart’s response: “Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, ‘… Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance … [for] every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’ So the people asked him, saying, ‘What shall we do then?’ He … said to them, ‘He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.’ Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, ‘Teacher, what shall we do?’ And he said …, ‘Collect no more than what is appointed for you.’ Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, ‘And what shall we do?’ So he said…, ‘Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages’ ” (Luke 3:7-14, Emphasis added).
Our life will be judged according to whether or not it was lived “unto Him” or “unto self.” The first step to grasping Christian stewardship is acknowledging that God is the Owner of all—you included. Do you have this mindset: “I don’t own anything. My life is to be lived ‘unto Him’!”?
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