Live second journey: Generous giver or willing servant?

(Note: These next four days will be on my experiences reading through a section of a new book called “Live Second: 365 ways to make Jesus first”. This has been a phenomenal experience for me. Other bloggers are doing the same thing. We are doing this as a launch for the book entitle “60 days of second” You can follow this experience of all the bloggers at http://www.iamsecond.com/category/i-am-second-blog/. The book goes on sale December 9th and I strongly encourage you to purchase a copy. Purchasing the book by December 15th could give you the opportunity to win $150 of downloads from the I Am Second ministry. I will also be doing a free book giveaway. Comment on any of these posts of my I am Second journey and I will enter you int my personal drawing for a free copy of Live Second. All you need to do is comment on one of these posts with your personally thoughts on what I have written, and saying you would like to be entered in the drawing. I will announce the winner December 12th. Please enjoy, and don’t forget to comment!)

So it begins! My time to put up posts for the Live Second book has arrived, and I could not be more thrilled to share my experience with my readers. Over the next few days you will be seeing how God has worked in my life specifically through a short section of this book. The week I was assigned for writing about was week 8 entitled “Success”. This topic largely has to do with wealth and where Scripture stands on this. As I began to prepare reading through this section I thought, “What do I have to write about this form what I learn? I’m far from a wealthy man. I will never become a wealthy man.” God nudged me pretty hard and told me, “Since when was this lesson not needed for the poor man?” So I moved along and got right to it. This lead to a climactic ending of the whole process that you will need to wait to hear about until the end of it all. The main emphasis on this week is what should our purpose be for success, and how is it defined by God?

At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. Luke 10:20

This changes everything. No longer must we be generous with our things, but we are stewards of his things. – Live Second 53

A tough passage to swallow with an even tougher lesson to apply. As I read through this passage I went through it with fresh eyes. I had never viewed it from the concept of being a poor steward with what God has provided us with, but that is exactly what is happening in this passage. Mankind id a poor steward with God’s blessings, and I am no different. We take what we are given, and are always greedy for more to use on ourselves, and bring about a comfortable life.

Surely I’m not that bad though. I’m not greedy like others in this world are. I don’t live out of richness and wealth. I don’t mistreat other to make another buck. I don’t hunger for material possessions like other do. I’m even generous with what I already have… Ouch. There’s the problem. I’m generous with what I have. As though what I possess really belongs to me.

It is such a subtle little thing. I say I live my life in order to make sacrifices in it for God, but that is the wrong way to look at it. What do I actually even have to sacrifice? Nothing I have belongs to me. I don’t even own myself. Anything I give to God is simply an act of returning it to its proper owner. Even the giving of my very life.

You see this is not a lesson for the rich. It is not a lesson for those with the big houses, fancy cars big screen TVs, the vacation home, and the big boat with your own personal Broadway cast to sing you show tunes all day long. This is a lesson for all children of God. I’m a tenant of this world. All of my success is really God’s. It even goes beyond material wealth. My success in ministry is ever really my success. It’s not my church, or my youth group. I’m simply be given the opportunity to take care of things for a little while.

The book ends each day with two simple questions. One is how will I share what I have learned. This I have already done by sharing with all of you. The other is how will I live more Second today? I’m going to set aside ownership whether it is with my money, ministry, time, or even thoughts. I’m going to stop acting as though I am being generous with these things, and start living as one who is returning something he was really only borrowing from the beginning.

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