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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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And what do you have that you did not receive?”—1 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)
America gained an enormous chunk of land from Britain after the Revolutionary War. It stretched northwest from the 13 colonies and contained a wealth of resources. But it had to be surveyed before it could be settled. So in 1786, the U.S. Public Land Survey was created to survey what would later become the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The first step; however, was to establish a fixed point from which all measurements and calculations could be based. This point of origin was staked on the Pennsylvania/Ohio state line and would eventually determine lots and land divisions hundreds of miles away. A monument to this point still exists in East Liverpool, Ohio.
Why the history lesson? It illustrates how great endeavors require a fixed point of reference. Without that point, things eventually unravel and lose their way. And when it comes to living generously, there’s a fixed point of truth that determines every generous endeavor: We’re managers and not owners of our resources.
God’s Word couldn’t be any clearer. Whether it’s Paul reminding us we’ve received everything we have or David proclaiming the earth and everything in it belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1), we really don’t own anything. Instead, we’ve been entrusted with resources from our Heavenly Father to manage according to His will.
We’re managers and not owners of our resources. This is the fixed point of truth that determines everything, because it moves us from a mindset of what we want to do to what He wants to do. Everything God gives us; every ounce of strength, every second, every cent . . . it’s all His and ought to be invested when, where, and how He wants.
Our human nature resists this. The natural mind, constantly in survival mode, wants to squirrel away as many nuts as possible in light of an uncertain future. It’s a scarcity mindset that holds us hostage to fear and greed. But once we are in Christ, God takes total ownership of our lives, and we can rest in knowing He holds our future in His hands. We loosen our grip on the false securities of our resources and find freedom to be generous with them—and living generously is truly the will of the true Owner of all things.
DIG: What is the fixed point of the generous life? Why is this point so important?
DISCOVER: How can you remind yourself that you’re a manager, not an owner of your resources?
DISPLAY: Write down today’s verse and put it in your wallet or purse. Make sure to carry it around with you in the place where you keep cash, checks, and cards. Let it serve as a constant reminder of your role as manager, not owner. Let it inform your purchases.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.