December 3, 2014

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My wife and I recently came to the end of a long journey and were able to purchase a small home in South Africa.

After renting for 23 years, I see a stark contrast between ownership and renting.

As an owner, when I walked into the house, I saw every minor defect and area which needed attention. Initially, I felt overwhelmed with this responsibility.

When I returned to our rental home, I saw far more defects in the rental than the place we owned. I had learned to overlook them and live with the issues since the place was not my own.

As we began minor renovations, I saw my sense of ownership increase with every passing day and task completed. We enhanced the place in ways we could never even dream of in a rental.

Ownership brings a deeper commitment, relationship and perspective.

In John 10:11-13, Jesus compares a shepherd (owner) to a hireling (short-term).

  • A short-term mindset doesn’t care about the sheep, will run from predators, and will not risk.

  • Owner-type shepherds are ones who care, consider the long-term, and defend the sheep.

Ownership brings a perspective which thinks long-term.


I was recently teaching on identity in Christ, and came across an interesting parallel on ownership.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

Paul is encouraging the Ephesian believers about who owns them.

The image of being sealed relates to a king dipping his signet ring in wax to mark a proclamation as authentic.

Paul declares God has sealed believers with His ring as a possession of the King. We are marked with the seal of God.

The other mark in the Bible also denotes ownership, the mark of the beast. (Not the ownership we want!)

As believer, we have confidence we are God’s possession.

This ownership is a down-payment which has been assured by the Holy Spirit’s presence in our hearts. This serves as a guarantee of our future inheritance in heaven!

Ownership of a home on Earth is nice.

Being marked as a possession of God, resulting in eternity with Him, makes even the biggest of mansions look like a shack!

God has a long-term mindset with us. The renovation projects He undertakes in our lives are ones which bring slow, steady growth, bringing greater value in years to come.

Photo credit: Diana Parkhouse via photopin cc

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God