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)
Everyone is owned. The question that each of us must answer is, Who or what owns us? It’s easy for the Christian to answer, because there are only two options: either we are owned by our Savior or by our stuff. How is it with you? How would you answer this question today?
When we are owned by our stuff, we have removed our Savior from the throne of our lives and, in essence, we have made Him the “previous owner” of all we possess . . . including ourselves! We have elevated the gifts we receive in this life above the Giver of those gifts. Our lives are marked by enjoying (at least for a while), serving, and loving the gifts from God rather than God Himself. We are owned by what we possess rather than being owned by the One who possesses everything.
We must always remember that everything we have has been loaned to us by God. As Paul asked rhetorically in today’s verse, “What do you have that you did not receive?” The Sovereign Lord is never the “previous owner.” “The world is mine,” our Lord says simply, “and all that is in it” (Psalm 50:12). He owns everything, and He simply allows us to be managers and stewards of His world for His glory and for the good of others. Everything we have has been given to us by God; our next breath and our next heartbeat is a gift of God, for “He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25). How foolish to believe that we are owners, rather than being owned by the One who is both the Creator and Sustainer of life itself.
Let me challenge you to examine yourself and answer the question: Who or what owns you today? What is the confession of your life right now? No matter how much you have accumulated, whose is it really? Perhaps this would be a good time to prayerfully consider a transfer of ownership? Remember, we were bought at the highest price possible: the precious blood of the Lamb of God. We are not our own; He is the eternal Owner. The only place in life where we will ever truly find the peace and happiness and significance that we all crave is at the foot of the cross.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!