The things we think we possess…

There are three truths about our money and possessions that we tend to forget in a volatile economy. Yet the Bible presents them over and over again. These truths can be explained in a few minutes, but they will take a life-time to truly learn.

Think grace given, not wages earned.

The Biblical word grace means gift. Everything you have is a gift from God. The next breath you take. The next time your heart beats. The education you received. The talents God has given to you. The job God supplied.  The consumer who still desires the service you provide. It’s all a gift from God. We tend to think that we earned it, but this is not the case. You might have participated, but God provided. For the Scripture says,

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights… (James 1:17)

Think stewardship, not ownership.

The word steward is an archaic term, but it was prevalent in the Biblical world. Stewards were people who managed the possessions of another. In America we tend to think in terms of ownership. When we own something we believe we can do with it as we please. But if all we have is a gift from God, then all we have is to be used for God. That seems to be the Apostle Peter’s focus:

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:10-11).

You should invest your time and money wisely– they are His, not yours.

Think eternally, not temporally.

Two thoughts help us embrace this principle: (1) Don’t assume this is all there is to life, and (2) don’t believe the lie that these things satisfy.

When we are guided by these thoughts we are more likely to think in terms of our heavenly citizenship not our earthly one.

Pay careful attention to what the apostle Paul says,

For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  (Phil. 3:18-21)

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