The Lord your God will give you rest by giving you this land. (Josh. 1:13)

If your main goal is to own things, your things will own you. After being dispossessed of land in Egypt and wandering in the desert for years, the Israelites craved to have a place to call their own. This was part of God’s desire in giving his people a land to inhabit—for them to have an inheritance from God’s hand (not any human plan) that would provide a backdrop for a new way of life among the people of God.

For God’s people, accumulation is only useful insofar as possessions are a blessing for the community. Before God led his people into a new place, he made two things clear: First, that the land was a gift from him; and second, that God was giving this land to his people so they could attain rest.

Some Christians are wealthy, and many are in poverty. All have a responsibility to use their belongings as gifts from God to the community around them. This way of living is part of our responsibility as gospel-shaped people, to use our resources—our money, connections, time, belongings, and even our votes—to speak for those around us who cannot speak for themselves. The greatest gift God gives is the community with which we can (in the words of Joshua) find rest.

Ask God what resources you have that you might use for others.

Ethan Linder is the college, young adult, and connections pastor at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, where he resides with his wife and son. Ethan enjoys running, reading, and roasting coffee.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.