Friday, January 18, 2013
Today’s Topic: It’s All On Loan
Today’s Text: Psalm 24:1 (ESV) The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…
Haggai 2:8 (ESV) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.
Psalm 50:10 (ESV) For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
One sunny spring day a wealthy man by social standards went into a bank owned by his long-time friend to begin the process of purchasing a new home. He sat at a small table and filled out all the necessary financial statements and application forms. When done, he handed the paperwork to the administrative assistant behind the desk. He was told that the loan officers would review his information and get back to him within a few days.
When the phone call came three days later, it was his friend who called. The bank owner was puzzled. He asked his friend to explain why he had not listed any assets on his application. “How do you expect to get a loan for this huge mansion you want to purchase when you state that you own nothing? I’ve known you for a long time, and I can see on your credit report that you are extremely wealthy. Why have you chosen to not list anything as a personal asset?”
“Oh, that’s easy to answer,” said the wealthy applicant. “I don’t own anything. It’s all on loan to me. By your standards it’s mine, but not by God’s standards. Everything I have is His asset, not mine.”
I thought of this story this morning as I was reading an email I received from a friend who shared what God was teaching him in his personal devotions. With his permission, I share his thoughts with you.
As I was reading a devotional this morning, the opening reading was Psalm 24;1-2 which basically says that it’s all God’s. This led to Haggai 2:8 and Psalm 50:10 saying that all money and everything on the face of the earth is His. What especially made me stop was a comparison. “Since God consistently reiterates that He is the exclusive owner of all creation, we should respond appropriately when using His resources–including money. In other words, we should have exactly the same response as when using something that belongs to our neighbors: ask permission to use it; honor the owner’s instructions and do as he has designated; take no unnecessary risks; handle it the way we would want others to handle one of our possessions; and return it in a timely manner, preferably in better condition or more plentiful than before. And then say “Thank you.”
Well that sure hit me like a ton of bricks. I immediately went to my garage and made sure I didn’t have anything of my neighbor’s that I hadn’t returned. But seriously, I did immediately begin thinking about what I claim to own and possess, and I discovered I was guilty of taking ownership of what had not been deeded to me. You see, it’s all on loan. So here’s my plan – actually it’s God’s plan that I’m choosing to make mine:
- I hereby declare that I own nothing, and that everything currently at my disposal is God’s, and He has assigned it to me to use solely for His purpose.
- As the Owner of all I have, He can ask for anything He wants at any time, and I will cheerfully give it to Him. This includes people as well as possessions.
- If I think I can use it in some way, I will ask God for permission to do it first, and wait for His response before taking action.
- I will not put His property at risk hoping to gain more for myself.
- I will not hide His property to preserve it, but will put it to use for the current needs of the Kingdom.
- I will invest His resources in ways that bring an abundance of eternal treasures. I will not invest in building earthly security.
- I will learn to say “Thank You” more consistently, and seek to minimize my complaining that He hasn’t given me enough.
See the parable of Jesus in Matthew 25:14-30