You’ve heard that phrase right? Maybe even used it. Someone does a good deed for you and as they walk away, you say the words, “I owe you one.” It’s not so much said from a sense of obligation as it is a sense of gratitude. “Wow, thank you! I owe you one.”
Can you imagine God ever saying those words to you? The words thunder from heaven, “Wow. Thanks Dan. I owe you one.”
I don’t know about you but that’s hard for me to imagine. God has given me so much, blessed me so much. If he never gave me anything other than Jesus, the blessing is so huge that I can’t imagine God ever feeling like he owes me.
A year or so ago, I ran across a verse in Proverbs, chapter 19 verse 17. It caught my attention, because I have always believed — that when it comes to my stuff — that I am a steward, not an owner. I try to operate from the perspective that everything I have belongs to God. It all belongs to God, everything I have is a gift from God.
That’s why Proverbs 19:17 caught my attention. It’s details the only way — to my knowledge — of hearing God say, “I owe you one.” Here is what is written,
If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord and he will repay you!
Help the poor and God sees it as an obligation to repay you. When we feed the poor, give water to those who are thirsty, serve those in need, sponsor a child in Myanmar, Rwanda, or the Dominican Republic, God says, “Wow. Thanks. I owe you one.”
So let’s think about this for a moment.
- Everything I have belongs to God. But when I use what belongs to God, to serve those in need, God so identified with those in need that he views my gift as a kindness to him that He wants to repay. God says, “Wow. Thank you for taking care of me. I owe you one.”
That’s so amazing that I’m not sure I really get it. Sounds too good to be true, but that’s just the Old Testament version. It gets better. In the New Testament, God sweetens the deal. In Luke 6:38 Jesus says,
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
So when we give, we lend to God. He doesn’t just repay us. He overpays us. Perhaps the reason why, we — the American people — have so much debt is because we are trying to hang on to what we have rather than doing something that would cause a generous God to say, “Wow. Thanks for coming through for me. I owe you one.”
Throughout the Christmas season, we (Calvary) are challenging each other to give ONE% of our annual income to serve kids in need around the world. If you haven’t had a chance to read this year’s ONE% booklet, click ONE% and read a few stories of hope. Our primary focus this year is on sponsoring children at a variety of orphanages in Myanmar, Rwanda and the Dominican Republic.
If you would like to sponsor or support a child ($40/month) go to Calvary Global Kids for more info.