Ezekiel 46:16-18 – “Thus says the Lord: If the prince give a gift to any of his sons, it is his inheritance, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. But if he give of his inheritance a gift to one of his servants, it shall be his to the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince [..] Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance, to thrust them out of their possession…”
God is a giver of great gifts! But just as important as the gift given, is how we receive the gift that has been given.
This passage shows us that if we receive the gift as a son – then the gift is ours to keep and remains an inheritance for our families. But if we receive the gift as a servant – then the gift is returned to the Lord when our service ends.
The difference between a son and a servant, is that one receives as a right of a member of the household – the other receives as payment of services rendered. The servant must work to retain his gift, but the son does not need to work to retain his.
It all comes down to how we receive from God. We must endeavour to receive His goodness as sons, and not as servants. Then what we have will never be taken from us.
This sheds some new light on what Jesus was referring to in Luke 10:42 – with Mary and Martha. Jesus said of Mary that what she had would ‘not be taken from her’.
It also connects with the temporary nature of some of the spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). If our identity is completely wrapped up in these things, then we are servants and not sons.