According to Chuck Sheppard’s News of the Weird, an adult in Tulsa, Oklahoma cleverly removed security tags from articles of clothing he was taking from a store. As he strolled through the exit door, however, the alarm went off. Apparently, he had merely put the removed tags in his pocket…

We can find ourselves laughing at certain theft failures. Yet I wonder how often God watches the foolish ways in which people act as though things which belong to Him are theirs. Psalm 24:1 declares:

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”

Some individuals appropriate the belongings of others and grow so accustomed to having them at their disposal, they’re incensed when their ownership is challenged. Even the most intelligent of beings can forget the obvious.

When it comes to Psalm 24:1, I confess my need for reminders.

Any time we forget (or live in denial of) the truths of Genesis 1:1-31—that God is the Creator of all things and the earth and everyone and everything it holds belong to Him—we forfeit rational thinking.

Such forfeiture not only occurs on an individual basis, but within families and corporations, with no immunity at the national or global level.

When we dismiss from our minds God being the maker and owner of everything, we transfer to ourselves or others the respect of power and ownership which belong to Him. We’ve then embarked on a downhill slide.

Our sensible fear and awe of Almighty God wanes.

Our thankfulness and gratitude—due our Creator—is diminished or marginalized.

We fail to exercise good stewardship of what God has entrusted us with.

We begin entertaining unfounded notions we know what’s best.

We become indignant or hostile when truth no longer fits our agendas.

* * *

Although we can give our hearts (back) to God and walk in relationship with His Son and Holy Spirit, it’s easy to begin thinking certain of His possessions really belong to us.

While I’m guilty of this at times, here’s an amazing thing…

God’s Holy Spirit now sets off alarms when I begin to forget everything is the Lord’s. He lets me know I’ve headed for the store’s exit—so to speak—nonchalantly carrying what isn’t mine, with removed security tags jostling in my pocket.

Yet rather than facing the dire consequences wholly appropriate for having been “busted”, the opposite frequently occurs: God graciously and sweetly reminds me how liberating it is to be reoriented in truth: The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains; the world, and those who dwell in it.

* * *

Do you know this freedom?

* * *

You were never meant to be under the pressure of trying to “live your best life.” We didn’t create ourselves—God did. Similar to an artist’s painting not owning itself, we don’t own what God created. How encouraging to know we can entrust our “on loan” lives (minds, bodies, souls, and talents) from God to God!

The same holds true for those we love.  The spouses, children, parents, family members or friends we cherish were created by God and He holds all proprietary rights. They are on loan to us and the world. And when they leave this earth? The freeing truth is that God is not being cruel—He was exceedingly gracious for ever having shared them with us.

And such is the case for the things we love. When “our” health tanks, “our” housing is lost, “our” vehicle is totaled, “our” business or job fails, “our” pet dies, or we suffer loss of anything we hold dear… we need to remember that everything—the earth and all it contains and those who live on it—were and are the Lord’s. He has every right to exercise His will upon all people and things (including judgement and mercy).

This also is true of our enemies.  We should recall how God not only created us, but formed in the womb those we recognize as enemies. His compassion and love for everyone was enough to pay the penalty for sin and open salvation’s door through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. Remembering this is essential as we endeavor to follow Jesus’ teachings that we love and forgive our enemies—which, I must add, is not the same as trusting or empowering them (see Forgiving—With Wisdom).

 * * *

 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.”

(Psalm 24:1)

When we acknowledge God as the Creator and owner of all, a marvelous peace begins to permeate our hearts.

There is one thing, however, which does belong to us.

Sin and its earned wages are truly ours and not God’s. However, God—at greatest cost to Himself—made provision to take those  away from us, if we so choose!

Romans 3:23 identifies humanity’s common problem, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Yet, praise His name! He provided the remedy, as we find in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What amazing love and power!

* * *

Unlike security tags retailers affix to goods in order to help guard against theft, God grants us “security tags” of truth and salvation that we may know freedom and eternal joy. These are available to anyone through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. We also find security in His wondrous teachings, instructions for living, in loving and forgiving— as found in His Word, the Bible. God will generously deposit these “security tags” into willing minds and hearts through the Holy Spirit.

* * *

My friend, our lives are not our own.

God lovingly formed each of us in our mother’s womb and has made provision for us to know what it means to head out the door, in security, into the world He spoke into being.

To live out what we were created for.

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

4 Comments

  • Beryl says:

    What a “freeing” reminder June! What an awesome God we serve!

  • Judi says:

    Thank you for this important and encouraging reminder, June!

  • Becky says:

    I love the way you put when those we love leave this earth, “The freeing truth is that God is not being cruel—He was exceedingly gracious for ever having shared them with us.” It brings tears to my eyes.

  • Brad says:

    Challenging and helpful reminder in this blog. I struggle sometimes watching choices that people I love make and wanting to try to fix things or even control the outcome. How easy it is for me to forget that even these closest relationships are a gift on “loan” from Almighty God

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