Nothing is Withheld by God

Scripture: Luke 15:31
Then the father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. (NRSV)

I don’t know if I can actually wrap my mind around all the implications of this verse.  It seems to be saying that if I can accept it, when I see myself as a child of God, all that God has is available to me.

Think about the implications of that.  Nothing that I need is withheld from me by God.  But it also means that nothing that is part of this created world belongs exclusively to me.  I can’t actually “own” the land, or the sea, or the sky, or anything that is contained in it.  If it is available to me, it is available to all of God’s children.  This is extremely counter cultural and hard for me to internalize.

This certainly makes sense in that when we die, we take none of the material possessions we thought we owned with us.  It is all left behind.  The energy and time we spent to accumulate what we call “our” possessions, is really waisted time when we think about it carefully.  The only things that really matter are the relationships we have developed with others and with God which we believe will last into all eternity.

Part of the sin and brokenness of the world is the greed, pride, avarice, and hunger for power that comes in trying to “own” what really belongs to God and is given freely by God to all.  Instead of being stewards of God’s resources so that they are available and sustainable, we fight over them, destroy relationships because of them, hoard them, and store them in our attics and basements.

In Matthew 6:19-20 Jesus says, “‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.”  When we know that everything that belongs to God belongs to all of us as his created children, we can live in peace and contentment not being concerned about gathering things around us and instead focused on the treasures that are really treasures, the love we share with God and with our neighbor.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of all good gifts speak into my heart the spirit of freedom that allows me to be free from the material possessions of this world that seek to fence me in keeping me from what is truly important and will continue through all eternity with you, your love and the love of neighbor.  AMEN.

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