WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 24, 2020
TOPIC: GOD DOESN’T WANT TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU’LL OWN, BUT WHAT YOU’LL STEWARD
BY T. O. BANSO
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Psalm 24:1 New Living Translation).
It is in the character of man to want things that he can claim as his own. It makes him feel good and fulfilled. It boosts his ego. God has no problem blessing His children with things that will make them happy. The Bible says the LORD has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant (Psalm 35:27).
However, the LORD does not want to give His children what they’ll own; He wants to give them what they’ll steward! In other words, He gives them what they’ll manage or use on His behalf. The original mandate God gave man at creation was to manage the earth on His behalf. “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15 New King James Version). He gave man dominion over the earth (Genesis 1:26-28; 9:1-4). The dominion mandate still stands.
God’s purpose in giving His children things – give them material things or put them in good positions – is not so that they can use them for their selfish goals or vainglory. When God gives you something or allows you to acquire something, or to occupy a position, it’s not so that you’ll only have a self-satisfying feeling of ownership, but so that you’ll be a steward, who is accountable to Him.
It is not that God does not want you to enjoy whatever good things He gives you, but He wants you to have the mindset and attitude of a steward as you enjoy His blessings. This is what makes you not to become a slave to what God has blessed you with or become proud or intoxicated with power.
He warned the children of Israel that after receiving His blessings in the Land of Canaan, they should not say that the power and the might of their hand had gained them their wealth (Deuteronomy 8:11-17). Verse 18 says, “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (New King James Version).
In walking with God, always acknowledge that God owns everything you have and He puts you in any office you occupy. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Psalm 24:1 New Living Translation). James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (New King James Version).
God wants to bless you with things that can make you happy, but He expects you to be a faithful steward. Paul understood this very well. He said, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2 New King James Version).
If you become proud because of the things you have or the position you occupy, the problem is that you do not see yourself as a steward or manager, but as the owner. You will become humble once you realize that whatever you have belongs to God and there is nothing you have that He didn’t give you.
The apostle Paul says it like this: “What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” (1 Corinthians 4:7 New Living Translation). Never let anything go to your head; remain a steward, no matter the promotion the LORD allows you to enjoy or the blessings He showers on you.
Hear the words of the apostle Peter: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10-11 New King James Version).
Please take note of the opening sentence in that scripture: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” That should be your goal. Be a good steward of whatever blessings of God are evident in your life. Don’t just use them selfishly. If you’re a good, faithful steward, God will increase His blessings in your life.
This is what the master of the servant, who earned five more talents from his investment of the five talents he was given, said: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21 New King James Version). He said the same thing to the servant who had been given two talents and earned two more talents.
But the wicked servant, who went to hide his talent and didn’t profit with it, but rather insulted his master, was dispossessed of the one talent he had been given. It was given to the servant who had earned five more talents.
Verses 29-30 say, “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (New King James Version). The faithful steward will be blessed, but the evil steward will be punished (Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48).
God doesn’t want to give you what you’ll own, but what you’ll steward. Abraham understood this and he had no difficulty obeying God’s command to sacrifice Isaac. When he was about to sacrifice Isaac to God, He stopped him, allowed Abraham to keep him, and blessed Abraham again.
“Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son — blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice’” (Genesis 22:15-18 New King James Version).
Hannah, who had no child, obviously saw God as the owner of everything when she vowed to give back to God the child she had prayed for though she had no other child at that time. When she came to fulfill her vow, she said, “I asked the LORD to give me this child, and he has given me my request. Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life” (1 Samuel 1:27-28 New Living Translation).
Hannah didn’t own Samuel; she was only a steward. The LORD visited her and gave her three more sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21). You could have anything, but don’t own anything! Remember that you came naked from your mother’s womb, and you’ll be naked when you leave. You’ll leave empty-handed (Job 1:21a; Ecclesiastes 5:15a).
You may be very rich, but what you have is not your own! You’re a steward or rather, you should be a steward, a faithful steward. 1Timothy 6:17 says, “Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment” (New Living Translation).
Paul continued: “Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of real life” (verses 18-19 New Living Translation). As a good steward, share with others the blessings of God in your life; don’t be stingy or selfish.
God doesn’t want to give you what you’ll own, but what you’ll steward. Be a faithful and wise steward.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to be a faithful and wise steward of the blessings of God in my life. Father, deliver me from vain-glory. Help me to enjoy whatever blessing you have given me in a way that will glorify Your name. In the name of Jesus, I shall not fail God as I function in any position or office He puts me.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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