“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 (ESV)
This is one of my favorite verses. It reminds me that everything I have comes from our Father, who loves to give His children good gifts. As I consider His gifts, I’m reminded that many of them are temporal, only to be used for a season.
Ultimately, everything belongs to God. This is where we get the biblical concept of stewardship; a steward is not an owner. Stewards are required to take care of something until the master returns to take possession. We can love the gifts we’ve been given, but the Bible warns us to never love them more than the Master.
Recall the parable of the wicked tenants (Luke 20: 9-18) who were placed in charge of a vineyard. When the master wanted to harvest the produce, the tenants refused and went so far as to kill his son. There was nothing wrong with enjoying the vineyard, but they sinned when they loved it so much that they tried to steal it for themselves.
Time is a great example of this. It is a gift – one we’ve been entrusted to use wisely – but not one that we own. This humbles me as I also reflect on other gifts in my life. I often forget that all these wonderful earthly treasures we enjoy belong to God.
In the New Year, let’s be faithful with what we’ve been entrusted, whether it’s time with friends, ministry positions, communities, career, or family. Love these gifts, just not more than the Giver.
Dear Jesus, help us to cherish the gifts You’ve given us but refrain from worshipping them. Remind us that every gift comes from You. Help us be good stewards of these things until Your return. Amen.
Are there treasures in your life that you value higher than God? Pray about that. Then ask Him to help you hold those things with an open hand. Symbolically lift your hands in prayer, surrendering them to Jesus.
Read Lifetime Resolutions. What will you choose to treasure this year?