We have very little say in what kind of neighbours we get, and how they treat their properties. Some are proud of their homes and work hard to keep everything in good repair. Others seem to think it doesn’t matter that their gutters are broken and the fence is falling down. If you own a home you have the right to decide what you do with it, how it looks, and what goes on there. One person may turn their place into a party house with loud music and drinking, while another may have three dogs that tear up the yard. It’s your property and you have the right to decide what character of place it will be. You can keep your vehicles in a nice garage or, as one neighbour of mine does, jam the driveway and lawn with trucks and cars. It’s up to you.

God tells us in the Bible that we are His possession. “He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession…” (Titus 2:14). Christians gladly give their lives to Him because we are grateful Jesus died and rose again to save us from our sins. Along with His ownership, the Lord has the right to expect a certain kind of behaviour in our lives. We are His house, and He directs our ways. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

The Lord gives us tremendous freedom in Christ. We can make our own minds up about our lives. But we don’t have the freedom to live ungodly lives now. “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal.5:13).

Respect God’s ownership. Is your life like the house with the gutters and fence falling apart, or is it becoming a house that is in good repair?

– Tim Johnson