Chapter 36 – Possessions

 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moths and vermin cannot destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

– Matthew 6:19-20, NIV

In a world that promotes the pursuit of wealth, comfort and complete lack of need, it can seem like too huge a challenge to speak of surrendering our money and our possessions to God. Our money is ours! We earned it through hard work! Why should we let God have a say in what we do with it? Our comfort and financial stability must be the priority. Right?

Perhaps the only occasion when money is preached about in church is in the context of a plea to give money to the church or to a charity. I wonder, how often do we consider our money and possessions in the context of ‘we are His – therefore all that we own is His’…? All that we are and all that we have was provided by God. He gave us the ability and resources to earn or receive enough to live on and more. We are His. The very fact that you are reading this implies that you are more well off than a vast number of other people in the world.

I am not writing this in order to make you feel guilty about what you have. Rather, I believe we ought to be immensely thankful to God for all that we have! And not only thankfulness should we offer Him, but our very selves. We have been purchased by His blood; we have been saved by grace – no amount of money could buy our salvation, and we are wholly His. This divine ownership of our lives, I believe, should and must include all that we own.

So may we surrender to God all that we own. We are His, and all that belongs to us is His. May we offer ourselves, then – including our wallets and our homes and all within them – into His hands, and allow Him to guide our decisions regarding our spending and the ways in which we use all that we own. May we give ourselves to Him gladly, not reluctantly, knowing that He can use and bless us, and that He wants to work for good within us.

What is our life’s purpose? We belong to God, and He is the reason we live. As we surrender, may He help us to order our lives and our priorities according to the purpose that He has for us. Our wealth and our possessions are meaningless if taken as an end in themselves: if our life’s goal is comfort and pleasure then our money all that we own surely point in that direction. But if we belong to God and our purpose is in His hands, our aim in life is something surely more meaningful than simply comfort and pleasure. Being happy, comfortable and relaxed is indeed important, but let us consider our true priorities. What is the purpose of our finance? To make us happy? Or to build the Kingdom of God? I believe we need a balance: God has provided us with sufficient wealth to live in a certain degree of comfort, which is wonderful and for which we can give thanks. But He has also given us a responsibility of good stewardship and of kindness.

Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.

– Luke 3:11, NIV

Therefore let us hold what we have lightly. Let us surrender it all to God, and be willing to give generously, as He has been generous with us. Let us be thankful to Him and seek first His Kingdom. Let us seek to love and give and bless, and store up ‘treasure in heaven’, in recognition that we are His. After all, we cannot cling to possessions forever – and we know that there is infinitely more to life than owning lots of money or an amazing house or lots of beautiful things. Let us seek to use what we own to build the Kingdom, to bless others, to serve the poor and the outcast, and to please God first and foremost. Let us surrender to God our priorities, our attitude towards what we own, and our wealth and possessions. As we surrender may He teach us and shape us, guiding us to prioritise His will and His plans with what we own.

Are we willing for God to use us? Are we willing for Him to do what He likes with our wealth and possessions? Are we willing to do His will and follow His guidance in our financial decision-making? Would we be willing to obey if He asked us to give, or to share, or to lend without expecting anything in return (Luke 6:35)? May we surrender to God our will, and our attitude, and our possessions. And let us keep ourselves and our finances in His hands. Let us put ourselves in a position of openness to God, so that He may lead us. And may God bless us as we surrender.

 

God, my Saviour and Lord,

Thank You for modeling divine generosity to us in such a profound and clear way.

Thank You for all that You have given to me – all my abilities and talents, my money and possessions, my life and my very existence.

I’m sorry for my hesitation to give, my selfishness and the way I cling to my wealth.

I’m sorry for living as if my life were my own, and as if my possessions were my own.

I surrender to You my hands and ask that You would teach me.

Help me to hold things lightly. Please plant your generosity within me.

Teach me to prioritise Your will, to love and serve and give as You lead.

May I live in Your ways, serving You the way You want me to.

Amen

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