Celebrate God’s Ownership

KEY VERSE: “The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.” —Leviticus 25:23

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Leviticus 25:8-10, 23-28, 39-42

IN THE FINAL sense of the word, all that we or anyone else possess belongs to Jehovah God. To the Israelites, their possession of the land of Canaan was in reality a stewardship. They were to use the land for their good, according to specific commandments imposed by God.

Christians, too, are stewards over the things they may possess. These possessions are not only of a material nature, but include those things of much greater value which Paul described as the “all things [which] are become new.”—II Cor. 5:17-20

The Apostle Paul expressed the thought clearly in verses 14 and 15, saying, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

It is only through the merit of the blood of redemption that we are able to present our bodies a ‘living’ sacrifice, for otherwise our bodies would be dead; that is, under condemnation to death because of Adamic sin, hence could not be ‘holy’ and ‘acceptable’ to the Lord as a sacrifice. (Rom. 12:1) However, we have the blessed assurance, not only that we have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, and therefore belong to the Lord, but also that in devoting our lives as ‘bond slaves’ to our new owner, our sacrifice will be reckoned perfect and counted as part of the better sacrifices of this present Gospel Age.—Heb. 9:23

In devoting our lives to the Lord, however, it is essential that we “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2), and conform ourselves thereto. Sacrifice, in order to be acceptable to God, must be in keeping with the divine will. It would be quite possible to sacrifice all that we have and are, yet not be acceptable to the Lord. For example, Paul wrote that we might give all our goods to feed the poor, yet if we have not love, it would profit us nothing.—I Cor. 13:3

A faithful stewardship of our lives, therefore, involves giving proper attention to the directions given us in God’s Word as to the manner in which acceptable service may be offered. We are not to be conformed to this world. The selfish pleasures of the world, and its grasping after wealth and fame and power, should hold no attraction for those who are devoting their lives to God. Instead, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Old ambitions and habits of thought are to be replaced by the things of God—his plan, his work, the fellowship and service of his people. In principle, the will of God is the same for all his consecrated people, although it may vary in detail. This is particularly true with respect to the manner in which we serve the Lord.

In further explanation, the apostle wrote that God has given unto us the “ministry of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:17-20) First we are reconciled to God through Christ, and then we are appointed by the Lord to serve as Christ’s ambassadors. This work of reconciliation is accomplished through the Word of reconciliation, so it is obvious that the Word needs to be proclaimed. If we allow the Word of reconciliation to lie dormant in our hearts it will not effect the reconciliation of others. Thus our stewardship of the Gospel calls for faithfulness in proclaiming the Gospel. We know that the time when all mankind will be given a full opportunity to be reconciled to God will be during the Mediatorial reign of Christ, but this does not preclude our privilege now.

In II Corinthians 6:1, the apostle states that we are “workers together” with the Lord. And he is speaking of the same work: namely, that of reconciling the world to God. What a high honor has been bestowed upon us But we can render acceptable service only through compliance with the ways of God. Let us, then, as Paul beseeches us, see to it by our faithfulness that we use all that we have as worthy stewards—for all that we have belongs to our Heavenly Father.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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