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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - May 5, 2007

  • 2007 May 05
  • COMMENTS


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!

 

 

SATURDAY: Transferring the Title Deed to God

 

“… Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2, Emphasis added).

 

God owns all things, whether we recognize it or not. But life becomes much clearer, and in some respects much easier, when we consciously and continuously choose to acknowledge that Truth. The question is not whether we theoretically affirm God's ownership. The question is whether we have deliberately transferred the ownership of our assets and ourselves to Him—like that sweet little white-haired lady who wanted to sell me her car when I was a teenager. It was hers, and no matter how much she told me she wanted me to have it, it was not mine until she relinquished the title deed to it; then it became mine. We can talk about God, and sing numerous songs of commitment, but until we actually give our all to Him, it is not real.

Have you invited Him to be what Scripture says He is—the Creator, Owner, and Controller of your family, your possessions, your money, and yourself? And have you extended the invitation again after you have taken things back into your own hands? Such self-surrender to God is the beginning of true stewardship.

When we come to grasp that we are stewards, not owners of our money, it totally changes our perspective. Suddenly we are no longer asking, "How much of my money shall I, out of the goodness of my heart, give to God?" Rather, we are asking, "Since all of my money is really Yours, Lord, how would You like me to invest it today?"

Commonly, most Christians reverse this. Instead, they think that it is really magnanimous of them to give God something. But in reality, it is all His anyway, so how much are you keeping of His money? His time? His talents?

It was revolutionary when I truly realized that God has a claim on 100 percent of “my money”—not just a few dollars to throw in an offering plate, or whatever percentage I was willing to give Him. Suddenly I was God's steward, God's money manager. I am not God. Money is not God. God is God. He is in His place, and I am in mine.

Not only does God own everything, but He also controls everything. Again, the implications of this are enormous. I don't have to own everything. I don't have to control everything. It is better in His hands than mine. And when catastrophe strikes, I can honestly adopt the posture of John Wesley when someone told him that his house had just burned down while he was away from home preaching. He said, "No, the Lord's house burned down. That means one less responsibility for me."

As Wesley did, we must remind ourselves of both God's role and ours to gain perspective in the face of loss or turmoil. What a life-changing and freeing perspective is God's ownership and sovereignty when the house is robbed, the car is totaled, the bike is stolen, and even when the diagnosis is cancer. We thus can think: It is not my life; it is not my body; my possessions are not mine. They belong to God. Accordingly, we have two choices:

1.    We can give ourselves to God: “… They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will” (2 Corinthians 8:5, NIV). It is easier to staff the material needs and ministry positions of a church if this is obeyed absolutely and positively.

2.    We can neglect to give ourselves to God and live for our own pleasure:This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21, NIV).

Do you believe that God owns you? Have you acknowledged that to Him? Will you relinquish the anxious care of stuff and the continuous calculating of whether you will have enough? Will you trust God to tell you when He wants some of it, and how to be a steward of it?

If you send your treasures ahead to be with Christ, you will never have to worry about which way the markets go. And you won’t have to fret about lightning strikes, tornadoes, or floods—because He is the Master of the winds and the waves. You can safely entrust all that you have to the care and control of your Almighty God.

 

Make a Choice to Live in Hope: When we come to Christ, God puts all His resources at our disposal. He also expects us to put all our resources at His disposal. This is what stewardship and life in Christ is all about.

If God has deeply touched your heart through this week’s devotionals, to reinforce this vital concept of stewardship in your mind, I suggest you sit down and actually draw up a title deed to your life. (You may wish to use the one below from Randy Alcorn’s incredible book: Money, Possessions, and Eternity.[1][2])

 

Date:

 

I hereby grant to the Lord my God myself, all of my money, possessions and all else I've ever thought of as mine, even my family.

 

From this point forward I will think of them as His to do with as He wishes. I will do my utmost to prayerfully consider how He wishes me to invest His assets to further His Kingdom.

 

In doing so I realize I will surrender certain temporary earthly treasures and gain in exchange eternal treasures, as well as increased perspective and decreased anxiety.

 

Signed:

In light of all He’s done for you, what are you willing to do for Jesus? I exhort you to make a choice to live in hope! Take a moment, please, and meditate upon the challenging words of this old song:

 

I Gave My Life for Thee

The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. —John 10:11

 

I gave My life for thee, My precious blood I shed,

That thou might’st ransomed be, And quickened from the dead;

I gave, I gave My life for thee, What hast thou giv’n for Me?

I gave, I gave My life for thee, What hast thou giv’n for Me?

 

My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throne,

I left, for earthly night, For wand’rings sad and lone;

I left, I left it all for thee, Hast thou left aught for Me?

I left, I left it all for thee, Hast thou left aught for Me?

 

I suffered much for thee, More than thy tongue can tell,

Of bitt’rest agony, to rescue thee from hell;

I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, what hast thou borne for Me?

I’ve borne, I’ve borne it all for thee, What hast thou borne for Me?

 

And I have brought to thee, Down from My home above,

Salvation full and free, My pardon and My love;

I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, What hast thou brought to Me?

I bring, I bring rich gifts to thee, What hast thou brought to Me?

—Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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