October 12 – Extravagant Generosity Daily Devotion

Day 11 – Ownership

James 1:17 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of
the heavenly lights.

Fundamentally, we either consider the material things in our life as belonging to God, and
we manage them for God’s purposes, or we view them as owned by us. If they are
owned by God, then our tithes and offerings represent our returning to God what belongs
to God already. What we keep also belongs to God, and we feel obligated to spend it
wisely and not frivolously, and to invest it in ways that do not dishonor God’s purposes.
We try not to waste money or to live more lavishly than we should. We spend
responsibly, allowing our relationship with God to form our minds. We manage God’s
resources as faithfully as we can. But, if we believe that our material resources belong to
us and that we entirely possess them ourselves, then we can do whatever we please with
what we own, and our tithes and offerings are giving something that belongs to us, to
God. God should be grateful for our generosity in giving a percentage for God’s
purposes rather than our feeling grateful for the privilege of using what belongs to God.
Which perspective fosters better decisions and deepens a spiritually grounded sense of
community and responsibility? Scripture reveals the truth: those who live as a stewards
find greater happiness in life.

– Which of these two views do you hold?
–  How does this belief shape your actions? Your giving?