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Ownership

NR7-07    REV-43

960818AM

Once a wealthy Christian plantation owner invited John Wesley to his home. The two rode their horses all day, seeing just a small part of all the man owned. At the end of the day the plantation owner proudly asked, “Well, Mr. Wesley, what do you think?” After a moment of silence, Wesley replied, “I think you’re going to have a hard time leaving all this.” The plantation owner was attached to the world he was in. Wesley was attached to the world he was going to.

Money, Possessions and Eternity. Ownership: Giving God All
DO WE HAVE THE PILGRIM MENTALITY? Open with me to Heb 11.13

I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
Martin Luther

John Bunyan wrote his classic Pilgrim’s Progress from an English prison cell to which he was condemned for unlicensed preaching of the gospel. This is how he interpreted the words of Christ and Paul:

Whatever good thing you do for Him, if done according to the Word, is laid up for you as treasure in chests and coffers, to be brought out to be rewarded before both men and angels, to your eternal comfort.

John Wesley said, “I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.”

Similarly David Livingstone stated, “I place no value on anything I possess except in relation to thekingdom of God.”

God’s kingdom was the reference point for these men. They saw all else in light of the kingdom. They were compelled to live as they did not because they treasured no things, but because they treasured the right things.

We often miss something in missionary martyr Jim Elliot’s famous words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” We focus on his willingness to go to the mission field. That willingness started when he relinquished his hold on things as MINE! (1)

Doesn’t that remind you of Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. (NIV)

DO WE HAVE THE PILGRIM MENTALITY?

And so it is that when a man walks along a road, the lighter he travels, the happier he is; equally, on this journey of life, a man is more blessed if he does not pant beneath a burden of riches.
Tertullian

Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.
Thomas A Kempis

J. H. Jowett once said the true measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money.

Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. (KJV)

This morning we start a four-week trek. We will be hiking the great passages describing MONEY, POSSESSIONS AND ETERNITY. Our four messages will be covering:

  • Ownership: Giving to God All in this Life
  • Stewardship: Giving to God His in this Life
  • Materialism: Giving to God First in this Life
  • Contentment: Giving to God Place in this Life

Why talk bout money? Because Jesus did! That is why one in seven words Christ spoke are about money and possessions.

  1. Sixteen of His 38 Parables focus upon the handling of money.
  2. Of the nearly 2,800 verses in the Four Gospels, 288 direct our use and possession of money.
  3. Fifteen percent of the Teachings of Christ are about proper and improper handling of our stewardship.
  4. In all the New Testament we find there are:
  • Over Five hundred PRAYER references
  • Just under 500 references to FAITH
  • But over 1,000 references to money and possessions

He accorded to money an astounding prominence in His teaching. An analysis reveals that it figured in sixteen of His thirty-eight parables. One verse in six in the synoptic gospels has the same theme. Why did He give it such prominence?

  • Because money is one of the central realities of life, and affects us all from cradle to grave. Jesus would have been unrealistic had He not given it due prominence.
  • Because money is an acid test of character. Whether a person is rich or poor, discover his attitude to money, and you gain a deep insight into his character. One cannot be neutral where money is concerned.
  • Because of its potential for good or evil. This obvious fact needs no elaboration.

God Owns the Universe

  • Deuteronomy 10:14 “Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. (NKJV)
  • First Chronicles 29:11-12 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. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. (NKJV)
  1. Job 41:11Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine. (NKJV)
  2. Psalm 24:1-2A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters. (NKJV)
  3. Psalm 50:10-12For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. (NKJV)
  4. Haggai 2:8‘ The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. (NKJV)
  5. Job 31:24-28If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; 25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; 26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; 27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above. (KJV)
  6. Psalm 147:4He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. (KJV)
  7. God owns the PAST the PRESENT and the FUTURE FINISH LINE!
  8. Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV)
  9. Psalm 90:2Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (NKJV)
  10. Isaiah 44:6” Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (NKJV)
  11. Revelation 1:17-18And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (NKJV)
  12. 2 Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (NKJV);
  13. Romans 14:7-12For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (NKJV)

God Owns You!

The Conclusive Proof of Spiritual Change is seen in an altered perspective on handling money and possessions.

  • Luke 3:7-14 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (KJV)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (NKJV)
  • That is precisely Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (NKJV). The believers in Corinth were doing what they pleased with their bodies and their lives. And why not? They said, “It’s my life.” Paul said, “No, it’s not your life. You own nothing, not even yourself. When you came to Christ you surrendered the title to your life. You belong to God, not yourself. He is the only one who has the right to do what he wants with your life-your body, your sexual behavior, money, possessions, everything. You owe him your full obedience.”

The point is, God is not just the owner of the universe in general, but the owner of me in particular. In fact, I am twice his-first by creation, and second by redemption. Ownership is living in the light of this overriding truth. It is living life with the acute awareness that we are managers, not owners, that we are caretakers of God’s assets, which he has entrusted to us, while we are on earth. How we handle our money and possessions will be determined by whom we really believe to be their true owner-and ours.

Transferring the Title Deed to God

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 recognize it.

  • The question is not whether we theoretically affirm God’s ownership.
  • The question is whether we have deliberately transferred the ownership of all our assets and ourselves to him.
  • Have we invited him to be what Scripture says he is-the Creator, Owner, and Controller of our family our possessions, our money, and us? And have we extended the invitation again after we have taken things back into our hands? This 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 I’m not asking, “How much of my money shall I, out of the goodness of my heart, give to God?” Rather, I’m asking, “Since all of ‘my’ money is really yours, Lord, how would you like me to invest your money today?”

When I truly realize that God has a claim not on a few dollars to throw in an offering plate, not on 10 percent or 50 percent but 100 percent of “my” money, it is revolutionary. Suddenly I am 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, God controls everything. Again, the implications are enormous. I don’t have to own everything. I don’t have to control everything. It is in better hands than mine. And when catastrophe strikes I can honestly adopt the posture of John Wesley, referred to at the beginning of this chapter, when he said, “No. The Lord’s house burned down. That means one less responsibility for me.”

As Wesley did, I must remind myself of both God’s role and mine 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.

To yield to this vital concept in your mind, I suggest you sit down and actually draw up a title deed, or use this one if you wish:

Date:

I hereby grant to the Lord my God myself and all of my money and 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:

Witness:

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-is all about.

Look with me at Zechariah 5:9-11 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.10 So I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they carrying the basket?”11 And he said to me, “To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.”

  1. The woman is used to give the idea of birth.
  2. The weights and all to give the idea of commerce.
  3. Two may be because of Revelation 17-18 twin evils of religious and material corruption.
  4. Alcorn p.

TAGS: REV, 960818AM

Once a wealthy Christian plantation owner invited John Wesley to his home. The two rode their horses all day, seeing just a small part of all the man owned. At the end of the day the plantation owner proudly asked, “Well, Mr. Wesley, what do you think?” After a moment of silence, Wesley replied, “I think you’re going to have a hard time leaving all this.” The plantation owner was attached to the world he was in. Wesley was attached to the world he was going to.

Money, Possessions and Eternity. Ownership: Giving God All
DO WE HAVE THE PILGRIM MENTALITY? Open with me to Heb 11.13

I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
Martin Luther

John Bunyan wrote his classic Pilgrim’s Progress from an English prison cell to which he was condemned for unlicensed preaching of the gospel. This is how he interpreted the words of Christ and Paul:

Whatever good thing you do for Him, if done according to the Word, is laid up for you as treasure in chests and coffers, to be brought out to be rewarded before both men and angels, to your eternal comfort.

John Wesley said, “I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity.”

Similarly David Livingstone stated, “I place no value on anything I possess except in relation to the kingdom of God.”

God’s kingdom was the reference point for these men. They saw all else in light of the kingdom. They were compelled to live as they did not because they treasured no things, but because they treasured the right things.

We often miss something in missionary martyr Jim Elliot’s famous words, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” We focus on his willingness to go to the mission field. That willingness started when he relinquished his hold on things as MINE! (1)

Doesn’t that remind you of Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. (NIV)

DO WE HAVE THE PILGRIM MENTALITY?

And so it is that when a man walks along a road, the lighter he travels, the happier he is; equally, on this journey of life, a man is more blessed if he does not pant beneath a burden of riches.
Tertullian

Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.
Thomas A Kempis

J. H. Jowett once said the true measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money.

Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. (KJV)

This morning we start a four-week trek. We will be hiking the great passages describing MONEY, POSSESSIONS AND ETERNITY. Our four messages will be covering:

  • Ownership: Giving to God All in this Life
  • Stewardship: Giving to God His in this Life
  • Materialism: Giving to God First in this Life
  • Contentment: Giving to God Place in this Life

Why talk bout money? Because Jesus did! That is why one in seven words Christ spoke are about money and possessions.

  1. Sixteen of His 38 Parables focus upon the handling of money.
  2. Of the nearly 2,800 verses in the Four Gospels, 288 direct our use and possession of money.
  3. Fifteen percent of the Teachings of Christ are about proper and improper handling of our stewardship.
  4. In all the New Testament we find there are:
  • Over Five hundred PRAYER references
  • Just under 500 references to FAITH
  • But over 1,000 references to money and possessions

He accorded to money an astounding prominence in His teaching. An analysis reveals that it figured in sixteen of His thirty-eight parables. One verse in six in the synoptic gospels has the same theme. Why did He give it such prominence?

  • Because money is one of the central realities of life, and affects us all from cradle to grave. Jesus would have been unrealistic had He not given it due prominence.
  • Because money is an acid test of character. Whether a person is rich or poor, discover his attitude to money, and you gain a deep insight into his character. One cannot be neutral where money is concerned.
  • Because of its potential for good or evil. This obvious fact needs no elaboration.

God Owns the Universe

  • Deuteronomy 10:14 “Indeed heaven and the highest heavens belong to the LORD your God, also the earth with all that is in it. (NKJV)
  • First Chronicles 29:11-12 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. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. (NKJV)
  1. Job 41:11Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine. (NKJV)
  2. Psalm 24:1-2A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein. 2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters. (NKJV)
  3. Psalm 50:10-12For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. (NKJV)
  4. Haggai 2:8‘ The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. (NKJV)
  5. Job 31:24-28If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; 25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; 26 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; 27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: 28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above. (KJV)
  6. Psalm 147:4He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. (KJV)
  7. God owns the PAST the PRESENT and the FUTURE FINISH LINE!
  8. Hebrews 13:8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV)
  9. Psalm 90:2Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (NKJV)
  10. Isaiah 44:6” Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (NKJV)
  11. Revelation 1:17-18And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. (NKJV)
  12. 2 Corinthians 5:10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (NKJV);
  13. Romans 14:7-12For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (NKJV)

God Owns You!

The Conclusive Proof of Spiritual Change is seen in an altered perspective on handling money and possessions.

  • Luke 3:7-14 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (KJV)
  • 2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (NKJV)
  • That is precisely Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (NKJV). The believers in Corinth were doing what they pleased with their bodies and their lives. And why not? They said, “It’s my life.” Paul said, “No, it’s not your life. You own nothing, not even yourself. When you came to Christ you surrendered the title to your life. You belong to God, not yourself. He is the only one who has the right to do what he wants with your life-your body, your sexual behavior, money, possessions, everything. You owe him your full obedience.”

The point is, God is not just the owner of the universe in general, but the owner of me in particular. In fact, I am twice his-first by creation, and second by redemption. Ownership is living in the light of this overriding truth. It is living life with the acute awareness that we are managers, not owners, that we are caretakers of God’s assets, which he has entrusted to us, while we are on earth. How we handle our money and possessions will be determined by whom we really believe to be their true owner-and ours.

Transferring the Title Deed to God

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 recognize it.

  • The question is not whether we theoretically affirm God’s ownership.
  • The question is whether we have deliberately transferred the ownership of all our assets and ourselves to him.
  • Have we invited him to be what Scripture says he is-the Creator, Owner, and Controller of our family our possessions, our money, and us? And have we extended the invitation again after we have taken things back into our hands? This 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 I’m not asking, “How much of my money shall I, out of the goodness of my heart, give to God?” Rather, I’m asking, “Since all of ‘my’ money is really yours, Lord, how would you like me to invest your money today?”

When I truly realize that God has a claim not on a few dollars to throw in an offering plate, not on 10 percent or 50 percent but 100 percent of “my” money, it is revolutionary. Suddenly I am 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, God controls everything. Again, the implications are enormous. I don’t have to own everything. I don’t have to control everything. It is in better hands than mine. And when catastrophe strikes I can honestly adopt the posture of John Wesley, referred to at the beginning of this chapter, when he said, “No. The Lord’s house burned down. That means one less responsibility for me.”

As Wesley did, I must remind myself of both God’s role and mine 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.

To yield to this vital concept in your mind, I suggest you sit down and actually draw up a title deed, or use this one if you wish:

Date:

I hereby grant to the Lord my God myself and all of my money and 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:

Witness:

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-is all about.

Look with me at Zechariah 5:9-11 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.10 So I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they carrying the basket?”11 And he said to me, “To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.”

  1. The woman is used to give the idea of birth.
  2. The weights and all to give the idea of commerce.
  3. Two may be because of Revelation 17-18 twin evils of religious and material corruption.
 
 
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