Summary: This message shows that God owns everything - and teaches why you want it to be that way. It was a introductory message to a series on Stewarship.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, he world, and all who live in it; Psalms 24:1 (NIV)
Have you ever borrowed something from someone and kept it for years? After a while, it may become difficult to remember whose it is…
Have you ever lent money to someone, and then tried to collect it? People get all angry with you, and often relationships are lost. Why would they get angry? They get angry because over time they tend to get a false sense of whose money it is… Sometimes people even begin to throw back at you “you don’t need it, why do you want it back?” That’s why you need to be very careful about lending people things – especially money.
When you lend objects, they can come back intact. But when you lend money, you’re not expecting back exactly what you loaned. If I give you a twenty – I’m not going to get that twenty back. I know you’re going to break that twenty, but obtain another one for me! (Would I lend you my lawn mower if I knew that is what you were going to do?)
I’m sure you can probably relate to both sides of this story. You have owed others, and others have owed you. And I think you can understand how easy it is to forget who really owns things.
Our text this morning tells us that the earth belongs to God, including everything and everyone in it…
This morning I invite you to “detach” yourself from everything for a moment, and consider this question: Whose life is it, anyway?
Many of us may be familiar with the TV show called Whose Line Is It Anyway? In a scripted drama, you have your lines, and the other actors have theirs. But this show features several comedians who are given subjects to act out, or topics to sing about – without any scripting. It’s up to them, as they go along, to decide who “owns” the next line, or the next scene, or the next verse of the song…
Life is unscripted. God is not a puppeteer, pulling our strings and telling us what to do next. As a result, sometimes it’s unclear who owns the next line. But because it seems we’re responsible from time to time to come up with the next line in the script – it’s easy for us to forget who owns the show!
My title today is a spin on this idea, and I’m asking whose LIFE is it, anyway?
WHAT DOES GOD OWN?
- The EARTH - text
- The HEAVENS - The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; Psalms 89:11 (NIV)
- LAND - The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens Lev 25:23 (NIV)
- ANIMALS - for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. Psalms 50:10 (NIV)
- MONEY - silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. Hag 2:8 (NIV)
- LIFE itself - For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son Ezek 18:4 (NIV)
WHAT DOES GOD’S OWNERSHIP MEAN?
Why would you want to accept God’s ownership of your life?
He PROTECTS and CARES for what is His... Ultimately, its well-being is His responsibility
He can and will USE what is His…
He TREASURES what is His… His possessions are not merchandise (not for sale) In the kingdom of darkness, the souls of men are merchandise. The merchant never emotionally takes possession of merchandise. But in the Kingdom of God, souls are referred to as a treasure.
WHAT MAKES GOD OWNER OF ALL THESE THINGS?
He is the CREATOR of all. There is no record of him ever giving it away or selling it.
HE ALONE IS ETERNAL. He exists before and after all things, and is around throughout their existence. We have temporary possession, but what happens when we’re gone?
Who has used a vacation rental? It’s a common practice for us in the US to rent a vacation home, because we’re only going to be there for one week. So it is with all things… We have possession for 70 years or so – but we needn’t get too attached.
Ultimately – it all belongs to the last man standing. And that is the eternal God…
HE PURCHASED OUR LIFE - You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. 1 Cor 6:19-20 (NIV)
“Wait a minute” you might say… “Why did he purchase my life if it was already his?” I think there are two reasons for this transaction:
WHY WOULD GOD PURCHASE WHAT HE ALREADY OWNED?
It had been stolen from him… And you know what? It wasn’t Satan that did the stealing… Satan ended up the owner, but we’re the ones that sold out what wasn’t ours.