Recently, my daughter celebrated her 21st birthday. It was a joyous occasion and an opportunity to reflect on the role God gave me all those years ago: to raise her in the ways of the Lord.
As parents, it may surprise you to learn that we don’t actually own our children. They have always belonged to God.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” God calls us to teach them to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
This is not always an easy task to fulfill, but it is one that God enables us to do to the best of our ability through continually depending upon Him.
Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Just as children are a gift from God, so is a range of talents, resources and opportunities entrusted to us from God that we are to steward well.
Howard Dayton, founder of Compass – finances God’s way, once said that the first step toward contentment is to recognize God as being the owner of all our possessions.
Participating in any one of Compass’ excellent financial discipleship studies will give you a solid foundation and understanding upon which to build your finances God’s way.
In many of the studies, one of the first things we ask participants to do is to “transfer” the ownership of their possessions to God through completing an informal deed. This practical exercise in and of itself is oftentimes a turning point in a participant’s life as they seek to acknowledge God’s Lordship.
Not only are we called to play our part in faithfully handling money biblically, God also fulfills His part to us in promising to provide for our needs. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”
God has always taken care of His people. He is our Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. He longs to provide us with “our daily bread” when we acknowledge Him as our Creator and Provider.
Jesus implores, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Are you carrying a burden of ownership that you have not been designed to carry? Even when our financial need is great, nothing is too difficult for the Lord (Jeremiah 32:17).
When we acknowledge that God owns everything, relinquish control over to Him and recognise that He is the Maker of Heaven and earth, we will learn how to live freely and lightly just as He intends for us. The way that we make financial decisions changes. Every spending decision now becomes a spiritual decision.
As Howard says, “No longer do we ask, ‘Lord what do You want me to do with my money?’ It becomes, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do with Your money?’”
God has called us to faithfully steward what He has entrusted to our care.
Whether it’s our children, our money, our possessions, our time or our talents—it all belongs to God. And for that I’m very thankful.
Yours in His Service,
Founding Member, Compass Australia
P.S. You can learn more about contentment and how to acknowledge God’s ownership by attending Compass’ Inaugural Global Conference on March 1 & 2, 2023. Reserve your spot now: https://compass1.org/globalconference
Before being called into ministry, Gwenda was a CPA and worked as a management accountant for an engineering company for three years. In 2017, she graduated with a Master of Divinity from Malyon Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, and served as a chaplain at residential aged care community Carinity Clifford House for two years. Gwenda has served on the ministry since 2015 and is a member of the Compass Australia board and associate pastor for Connect Groups and Teaching at North-East Baptist Church in Nundah, Australia. Gwenda and her husband, Prasantha (PJ), who serves as board chairman for Compass Australia, have three children, Taruna, Rasika and Prashan.