Have you noticed that it’s all or nothing with God? Throughout Scripture, we see “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Though God’s people failed to obey, God made this promise through his prophet, “I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me” (Jeremiah 33:8).
Jesus began his earthly ministry saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).
In his Great Commission, Jesus declares, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-19). He asks us to teach people to obey “everything I have commanded you” and promises to be with us, “always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
In Colossians, Paul describes Jesus as “the firstborn over all creation.” He says, “By him all things were created.” It says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). Elsewhere, Paul proclaims, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
We could explore numerous other texts. These are just a few. They reveal that God shows no partiality. God didn’t create most of the world or love some of us or die for a few of our sins … or call us to follow him with a percentage of our hearts. With God, it is all, every, and always.
Why is all important?
When Scripture proclaims, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1 NIV), we must take seriously both the absolute sovereignty of God and the unequivocal inclusiveness of his ownership of all creation. That includes everything that we experience in the four spheres of relationship in which we were created.
Genesis 1-2 describes a loving Creator who designed us for whole, loving, and satisfying relationships in four spheres: with God, with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with the creation. Put another way, the first couple hung out with God in intimate relationship, found their self-image and meaning in him, loved each other, and cared for creation, which he made wonderfully for them.
These perfect relationships reflected the holy God who created them. As long as they followed God’s instructions, Adam and Eve experienced abundant life. But in Genesis 3, they chose a different way. Desiring to be “like God,” they claimed ownership and began to conceive of things as “mine” (Genesis 3:5).
With this counterfeit ownership came all the ills and sorrows of a life separate from God.
Free from the fallout of ownership
And so it is with us. Jesus came to set us free from all the fallout of our ownership ways. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). Jesus won the victory for us over the powers that seek to put us in bondage. He freed us to follow him. When we do, we find ourselves on the journey of the faithful steward, the pathway to life in all its fullness.
That journey begins with surrender, an absolute and total giving back. It’s an all-in decision. We set at the feet of Jesus everything we claim to own. Just as God reigns over everything, our surrender permeates all four areas – our relationship with God, with ourselves, our neighbors, and all creation. With us, as with God, it’s all or nothing. (See Matthew 6:24.)
So, we give him back our lives, our marriages, our children, our ambitions, our careers, our health, our reputations, our time, our future, our money and all that it buys. We surrender our wealth, our investments, our assets, our pensions, and our possessions. And we surrender the false sense of security they pretend to offer.
We surrender our wealth, investments, assets, pensions, and possessions. And we surrender the false sense of security they pretend to offer.
Here is the most amazing part of this surrender. The result is not sadness or a sense of loss, but absolute freedom and pure joy! It is the source of our peace and the guarantee of our divine contentment. It is the abundant life Jesus promised us. (See John 10:10.) Surrender marks the road for taking hold of “the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19).
The result is not sadness or a sense of loss, but absolute freedom and pure joy!
So who owns all you have, even yourself?
We can boil it all down to three little words: It’s all his. Say them aloud. They are a declaration of freedom. From this place, we can walk the path of the faithful steward who rejoices in thoughtfully allocating all of God’s resources to giving, saving, and spending in ways that reflect God’s heart.
I pray you know this freedom in every area of life and enjoy each day of your journey as a faithful steward.
This text was originally part of Purposeful Living: Financial Wisdom for All of Life, compiled by Gary G. Hoag and Tim Macready and is used here with permission from the editors. Feel free to download your own copy of the e-book.