Giving Back to the Owner

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In order to build a sanctuary in which to worship the Lord, we have to face the question of ownership. One of the reasons why property rights (which are actually human rights) are under assault in our day is that we have refused to acknowledge that God owns absolutely everything. We function as stewards, under the authority of His Word. If we deny the foundation, then we will have trouble keeping the house standing.

Now for the church to build a building, we need to own land, and buy brick and stone, and hire architects, and so forth. This means that we must have money, and we must have enough of it.

But remember that we are building a house in which to honor God. This means that we must get money from Him in order to return it to Him. We are like little kids getting money from dad in order to buy him a birthday present. It might seem like a charade to some, but it is not. This is one of the deeper and more profound realities of Christian living. In order to return something to God rightly, we must get it from Him in the first place.

Now if your father gave you some money to buy him a birthday present, and you decided it supplement with money you borrowed from a bunch of other sources, the chances are pretty good that you will buy him a present that is more expensive and more tangled up in extraneous obligations than he wanted. It is the same with us.

We don’t want to spend a dime more on this project than what God has supplied to us. By the same token, we don’t want to spend a dime less than what He has provided. If we do the former, we are entangling our worship of Him unnecessarily. If we do the latter, we are pocketing money for ourselves that He gave us for another use.

In order to be godly stewards of the building the money built, we have to be godly stewards of the money first. So let the stones cry out.

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9 years ago

I have been fascinated by your logic and your deliberate-ness in this series of posts. But you brought something up here in a throw-away comment that I was not sure what to think. You mentioned “property rights (which are actually human rights).” In what way? My instinct was to be skeptical, but after I thought about it, I did not know why I was. Would you care to flesh this out a bit?