Counting the Cost#9. “Give up all his own possessions” (Lk.14:33).

Counting the Cost#9. “Give up all his own possessions” (Lk.14:33).

I am always careful when speaking about possessions. It is easy for embittered spirits to condemn others for having too much or too little. What people have is between them and God, and who am I to judge my brother or sister?

John the Baptist and Barnabas did not share the same postal code. Moreover, there was obviously a big difference between their financial portfolios—John literally lived off the land and Barnabas had spare land to sell for the church benevolence fund. But no one ever questioned their dedication to their common cause.

One of Jesus’ non-negotiable conditions of discipleship went thus: “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions” (Lk.14:33).

I think we agree that we see a lot more Christians like Barnabas than we do like John; and there is nothing wrong with that. Jesus is not interested in the quality and quantity of your current inventory; he is interested in whose name is on it. If you own it, it is not His.

Stewardship by its very definition indicates ownership beyond the servant. This sounds restrictive until the full extent of its advantages is grasped. God’s time, God’s money, God’s house, God’s car… (you get the point), are placed into your care for His use.

However, He is not standing by uninvolved. You are part of His divine plan to win the world to Christ and these are some of the tools for you to use as one of His workmen.

So, back up and ask yourself two questions: 1. “Who owns all this stuff in front of me?” and 2. “How am I using it to serve the cause of Christ?”

According to Jesus, how you answer the first question determines whether you are fit to be his disciple. And, assuming you are a disciple), how you answer the second question, determines your level of faithfulness as a steward.

Do not delay, give it all to Jesus.

John Staiger

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