Recognizing God’s Ownership

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1).

God owns everyone and everything.

One day when John Wesley was away from home, someone came running to him, saying, “Your house has burned down! Your house has burned down!” Wesley replied, “No, it hasn’t, because I don’t own a house. The one I have been living in belongs to the Lord, and if it has burned down, that is one less responsibility for me to worry about.”

John Wesley viewed his material possessions from a biblical perspective, for Scripture makes clear that God owns everything. In 1 Chronicles 29:11 David prayed, “All that is in heaven and in earth is Yours” (NKJV). God is the sole owner of everything, including you, your family, your house, and your car. Therefore, if you lose a possession, you don’t really lose it because you never owned it.

Although God does own everything, He entrusts us to be wise stewards of all that He gives to us. Theologian Walter Kaiser wrote, “Material things, goods, and natural resources are in and of themselves ‘good,’ for they are all made by God: that is the constant refrain in the creation narrative of Genesis 1—‘and God saw that it was good.’ . . . The misuse of goods comes from unholy people. Forgetting that: (1) these are creations by God, (2) God gave men and women the ability to earn these possessions, and (3) goods must not be exalted to the level of ultimate or absolute concern and worth, people begin to worship the created realm rather than the Creator himself. Such idolizing of the things of this world violates the first commandment and leads to an inversion of values in life.”

We should worship God as the owner of all things, thank Him for whatever He entrusts to us, and never allow our possessions to be a cause to forget Him.

by John MacArthur