God’s Ownership of His People (Generosity Devotional #3*)
“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” – 1 Corinthians 4:7
Read – 1 Corinthians 4:7-14
Apply – Everything good in our lives comes from God: our abilities, our upbringing, our educational background. We would not be where we are without countless interventions by God on our behalf. Beyond those temporary blessings, God has given his children the greatest gift of all: his only son. The Corinthian church, and many of us today, practically ignore the full wonder of that claim.
The gospel is a gift. Our union with Christ is all by God’s grace. There is nothing we did to deserve it or earn it. In fact, we were all in rebellion against God (Romans 1:18ff, 3:23). And yet Christ died for his people, bearing their sin and giving them his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we forget that, according to Paul, we become prideful and selfish.
What if someone loaned us $100,000? Would we resent giving them five dollars? Would we treat all those resources as ours alone? God gives us things of this world to use on his behalf. He didn’t have to. But we are his children now, he loves us and gives us what we need and what we can employ to further his kingdom, to spread his grace even more. His goodness includes giving us the joy of commitment to him.
- Would you treat your things differently if they belonged to someone else? What if you acted as if God owned everything you have: your home, your clothes, your furniture, your money, your time?
2. What have you received from God? How is your life different because of Christ?
Pray – Pray for a renewed, joyful heart, using the words of Psalm 100. “Know that the Lord is good. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”
Do – Think of ten big purchases that you’ve made in the past year or so. Discretely (or even just mentally) label them “Provided By and Belonging to God. For His Use Only.”
*To supplement our “Live Generously” community group content, we will be posting devotionals every few days. These will benefit both those in the group and those who are not able to make it. Content from “Generosity: How God’s Radical Grace Changes Our Perspective on Money and Possessions” devotional from Redeemer Presbyterian Church.