Who really owns what?
Who really owns what?
We in America can sometimes struggle with the issue of what is ours, we don’t want anyone else to mess with our stuff, and when they do, look out.
Now, I know the horrifying feeling of being broke into, when I was young a person broke into our house, and our cars at times have been vandalized, I have had things stolen from me........ and most likely you have too. It leaves you feeling as though someone has crossed a line or violated you in a terrible way. It is not a fun experience. God says it is wrong to steal. But why would do you think God would call stealing wrong? ever thought about that? Could it be because stealing is not loving? giving is loving but stealing is not. it is disrespecting another, it is treating another as if what they have should be yours and it is looking down on another. the thief has contempt over their victims.
what we are going to talk about today will challenge us to that core sense of what actually lose when someone takes what is ours. Maybe this will give us a whole new perspective on what we own.
because today I am going to ask you that question. What do you and I actually own?
our homes? our cars? well, maybe the bank technically owns them because we are paying them off right now. But what if you are not paying because you own it outright? do you own it? is it yours?
The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
what do we do with a verse like this? do we just say, oh it sounds good that God owns everything, but my stuff is mine. all mine.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
So, is it mine or is it the Lord’s? can it be both?
we can see that all belongs to the Lord. So it is His. Where does that leave us?
The bible uses a term as stewards. or trusts. we are given things, we buy things and we are stewards over them.
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
Now, here Paul is speaking of the battle that the church was in about who was who, because the church had been operating in the flesh instead of the spirit with a view of lifting up men instead of God...... a solemn warning here....don’t ever lift up people to a place that they don’t belong. that is dangerous and wrong. people should never ever be worshipped. only God deserves worship. So Paul does what is right and leads them back to the truth, that God owns all things in chapt 3:21-23.
So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
this is right before chapt 4. Paul needs to correct the error in their thinking. it is God who owns everything but we are stewards. so God calls us to be faithful over what we are in charge of.
lets look at a parable that Jesus spoke about this issue.....
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
the first thing we need to take care of is the purpose of a parable. it is to convey a truth. another way put is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
it is not really made to draw theology out of it. or to take it further than intended. it is simply to make a point about a topic. so, what do we have for a topic here?
the Faithlife study bible says this parable focuses on the theme of responsibility in the master’s absence. so, what it is saying is we have things we are stewards over....how are we doing as a steward of God’s things?
the Holman bible handbook states Matthew 25:14–30 teaches proper behavior however long that interval turns out to be—faithful stewardship of every resource with which we have been entrusted.
So, Jesus is using a word picture to convey a truth about the Kingdom and people.... about what they have been given from the Lord....but this is not really about physical money but about spiritual principals. let’s dig into this.
First, let’s talk about Jesus. 2000 years ago Jesus physically went away, right? to the Father. in this parable, Jesus is the Master of the servants, that is going away..... this master left His servants but gave them something, right? and Jesus gave His people something as well, He gave them faith and the Holy Spirit and to do the work that He called them to.
When we live in this world in faith the power of the Holy Spirit, we are walking in the will of God and God is doing His work in and through us.
question...... Do we claim credit for His work He does through us or His reward that He earns? no way, it is all His.
So, how much did this Master give His servants? five talents is equal to 75 years wages. WOW!
1 talent is worth over 15 years wages.
some used what the master gave, and one buried, or didn’t use what the master gave. What does the fellow, that He knew the master to be a what? interesting....that this mans view of the master caused him to not use what the master gave him.
think about your view of God. Do you see Him as a mean master or a very giving Master? your life, in the way you live will answer that question.
one of my first sermons that I ever preached, this was 10 years ago, was on the currency of God. God owns everything that is physical and spiritual, but the true currency that He gives us to trade and deal in is Love, His love, His Forgiveness, His Mercy, His Grace, He gave that to us because we needed it, we were poor and wretched. He has made us rich in abundance.
I always had this picture of a beggar outside a gate of the castle of the King, and the King’s Son coming out and trading places with the beggar.....and that beggar was me. He gave me grace. His grace.
God’s currency is a currency that is kept in the heart and that comes out in everyday life. When we give love to those in need of it. we give forgiveness to those who sin against us. We give His currency because God has given it to us first. He gave us forgiveness for every single one of our sins. the great transaction that God initiated was this......His life for ours. think about it.
And after that He gives us all we need to give to others around us, the very currency He deals in.
And like in the parable, those who use this currency, God blesses and gives more. we have heard it said, we can never out give God. well, it is true because when we give His love, He seems to fill us with more to give.
we become richer and richer in His currency, and we find that the riches of this world are not so valuable. God’s currency is of great value and no one can buy it. it is freely given, but was bought with the price of Jesus.
So how can anyone, that sees the True Living God that gives freely all that we need, how can that person dig a hole and bury this? how can they? they can’t I tell you. they can’t hide it, they can’t contain it! It will come out of their hearts because that is the way God made us. remember, what is in our hearts will come out our mouths… .because it’s in there!
All of what God has, is everything there is. If it is all His, everything......then what’s mine?
finish with this....
what is yours? nothing, nothing but what is His. you and I are simply stewards of what we have. We have been given physical things to watch over and we have been given spiritual things to use. God calls us to use His currency so it multiplies..... How you see God will tell you if you will freely share what He has given you or will you bury it?
This God that owns in all, you must ask yourself this one question.....
Who is your God?
your life and how you live when you are mistreated will answer the question......