Are You Keeping Something Back?

Christians need a clear understanding of who possesses what, and who owns what.

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Acts 5:1-2 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

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Let me come directly to a point that needs to be understood in the body of Christ.  Possession and Ownership is NOT the same thing.  Let me give you the clearest natural example of which I can think.  A thief may be caught with money, jewelry, or other expensive items in his possession, but that is absolutely NO indication he owns that which is in his possession.  I realize this example is an extreme one, but it does make the point.  But how does this apply to the Christian who is not a thief?  Let’s look more deeply.

As a Christian, to whom do you belong?  You already know the answer to that question.  You belong to Jesus.  You belong to Him spirit, soul, and body.  Apostle Paul understood that so well he called himself a “prisoner of the Lord.”  And we must remember that in the government and culture of that day, a prisoner would be used for slave labor.  The only real difference between a prisoner and a slave is that the prisoner would generally be in a cell, and possibly even chains when not engaged as slave labor.  The point I wish to make is this, prisoner, or slave, may be in possession of many things from time to time, but was the owner of nothing.  Now put yourself into that picture as a prisoner, or slave, of the Lord Jesus.

Another thought can bring clearer understanding to what I write.  Often, if I am speaking about tithing, I will ask a congregation, “If you earn $1,000, how much of it belongs to God?”  Almost every time the answer is “$100.”  When that is the response, I say, “In truth, it all belongs to the Lord, but all He requires of you is 10%, the tithe, and in that he leaves 90% of what He owns in your possession over which you serve as steward.”  Think on that, dear one.  Once again, the point is simple; God OWNS it all, but by His great mercy, compassion, and grace, He leaves 90% of it in your POSSESSION.  Even then, you are required to use it properly, for Father is the OWNER and you are the STEWARD.

Of course, you and read further in the Scriptures to see the deception used by Ananias and Sapphira.  Because they “kept back” a certain portion, and especially because they lied about it, they made themselves thieves, God-robbers, and that, my dear friend, is not a category into which anyone would desire to be placed.  And they did it to themselves.  Keep in your mind; ALL you possess is owned by the Lord.  Hold NOTHING back from Him.  Yield it all to Him.  You will NEVER regret it.  Be blessed!

Manna for Today – Acts 5:1-11; Ephesians 4:1; Malachi 3:6-12

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