WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 16, 2020
TOPIC: GOD IS NOBODY’S DEBTOR
BY T. O. BANSO
“Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine” (Job 41:11 New Living Translation).
The year was 1994. A young man was planning his wedding and began to pray for resources. He actually opened a file, listing all the things he needed. As God began to provide in answer to prayer, he would tick each need as a matter settled.
One of the things on his list was a cow. About this time, he came across this scripture: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine” (Psalm 50:10-11 New King James Version).
He reasoned that these cattle refer to cows and that although the scripture does not say how many are on each hill, they would be many. He believed that God who owns all of them could give him, as His child, one of the cows for his wedding! He took this scripture very seriously the way it is presented and began to ask God for a cow from the many on a thousand hills.
As he prayed, he remembered that Jesus said in Luke 11:11-13, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (New King James Version). He applied this scripture to his request.
Nearly all other requests had been answered as the wedding approached, remaining the cow. God is never late. He showed up. The man didn’t see the cow appear like a ram caught in the thicket by its horns, which God provided for sacrifice by Abraham in place of Isaac (Genesis 22:13 ). However, God miraculously provided the money to buy the cow. It came in time. God answered the prayers. It was a glorious wedding. This is a true story.
There are some scriptures I read that make me afraid. They make me shiver particularly when these scriptures talk about God. I get even terrified when they are direct statements by God. If God has to tell you who He is, you had better be careful!
I was studying the Bible yesterday and this verse hit me: “Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine” (Job 41:11 New Living Translation). The New International Version presents the verse thus: “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.” The verse in the English Standard Version says, “Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.”
The LORD made this statement as part of the challenge He threw to Job, who had said a lot during his trials without any response from the LORD. The LORD’s silence caused him more pain as he couldn’t understand the cause of his trouble, though he had lived a righteous life. God even testified that there was none like Job on the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feared God, and turned away from evil (Job 1:8, 2:3).
In Job 38, the LORD began to address Job’s ignorance in all he had said during his conversation with his friends. The LORD opened his challenge to Job by answering him from the whirlwind, “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them” (Job 38:2-3 New Living Translated).
I won’t go into all the details of what the LORD told Job but it is enough to say that when He was through with Job, he was remorseful. In Job 40:2, the LORD said to Job, “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” (New Living Translation). His response was, “I am nothing — how could I ever find the answers? I will put my hand over my mouth in silence. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say” (verses 4-5 New Living Translation).
The LORD challenged Job further, asking him more questions and educating his ignorance up to the end of Job 41. Job had to offer more apologies to the LORD, adding, “I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance” (Job 42:6 New Living Translation). After Job’s three friends, the miserable comforters, had done what the LORD instructed them to do for not speaking accurately about Him as Job had done and Job had prayed for them, the LORD restored Job’s fortunes and blessed him in the second half of his life more than in the beginning (Job 42:10-16).
Some people behave as if God owes them something. They behave as if they’re God’s creditors. They have the attitude that they’ve done God a favour by living a holy life, praying and fasting, worshipping Him, giving money in church, etc. Therefore, they believe that God owes them something for what they have done for Him or given to Him. That’s an error. Those behaving like God’s creditors must stop it. God doesn’t owe anyone. He is nobody’s debtor.
We read earlier what the LORD told Job in Job 41:11, “Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine” (New Living Translation). Paul, obviously, quoted this scripture when he said in Romans 11:35, “Who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?” (New King James Version). He said in verse 36 that of God and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.
Never have a creditor-mentality in your relationship with God. Don’t ever think you’ve done Him a favour by giving Him anything. He owns everything including what you have given to Him. And whatever you have given Him can never make Him richer; whatever you withhold from giving Him can never make Him less rich!
After saying in Psalm 50:10-11 that every beast of the forest is His, and the cattle on a thousand hills, He knows all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are His, the LORD said, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” (Verses 12-13 New King James Version). This should humble every person.
Humble yourself before the LORD, no matter the service you render to Him, the sacrifice you make, the offerings you give, the seed you sow, etc. Don’t let it make you feel God owes you something or you’re the one financing Him! Whether spiritual gifts or material things, what do you have that you did not receive? (1 Corinthians 4:7b).
1 Corinthians 8:6 says there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we exist for Him; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life. You are nobody without God. Colossians 1:16b says of Jesus that all things were created through Him and for Him.
No one should think he is doing God a favour. Neither should anyone think he has done Him a favour. He created everything, including you, and it is for His pleasure that they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11). Therefore, consider it a privilege to do anything in and for His name, or give anything to Him. He will certainly bless you back (Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8) but not because He owes you a debt He must repay.
Both riches and honour come from Him, He reigns over all and in His hand is power and might; in His hand, it is to make great and to give strength to all (1 Chronicles 29:12 ). Therefore, give to the LORD glory and strength, give to Him the glory due to His name and worship Him in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:1-2). God doesn’t owe anybody anything.
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: Father, I have no claim against You that You must pay; I know everything belongs to You and I am grateful for all You have given me. Thank You, Father, for the privilege to give back to you out of what You have given me. Help me LORD to be a faithful steward of your manifold grace and blessings.
(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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