by Dr. Ken Matto
(1 Cor 4:2 KJV) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
This verse is a small verse yet it gives a very powerful, under girding message for every believer. Every single Christian is a steward and not an owner.
(John 3:27 KJV) John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
(1 Cor 4:7 KJV) For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
A person can be a possessor of something, but not necessarily an owner. Basically, all that we have on this earth has been given to us by God and since we are only stewards of what He has given us, then we need to consider what the essence of stewardship is. We may say that it could be the care of what is in our possession or the proper usage of whatever has been entrusted to us. Both of these are part and parcel of stewardship but is not the actual essence of stewardship. In our verse above we find the substance of stewardship and that is faithfulness. No matter what we have been entrusted with here on earth, we must be faithful in the execution of that trust.
One of the most valued possessions that God has given His children is His Word. As Christians, we are to be faithful to that Word. When we get down to it, how many of us are really faithful to Gods Word? Oh we may pay lip service to it but when Gods Word gets down and cuts us as the two-edged sword, then we may not be so faithful to that particular part of scripture. However, the Bible tells us that we are to be faithful and that means there are no breaches or personal pick and choose obedience.
Can you imagine if we go to work and obey the bosses instructions only to the extent we feel like? Never mind being fired, what shape do you think the company would be in with eclectic employees? Just as a steward watches over the house of his master, we are to faithfully engage the spiritual duties which we are given by God, in the house of God, which is His redeemed body.
Some principles of faithfulness:
Constancy - We are to be faithful in a perpetual mode. Constancy is the mode of not changing even though the outward circumstances may change.
Endurance - We need to be faithful for our entire life, even though that faithfulness may be returned with tribulations. One of the great principles of the Christian life is endurance unto the end. It is the evidence of our salvation. (Mat 10:22 KJV) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Sacrificial - Even though we may not be possessors of what we are in charge of, we must make sacrifices to be faithful. A faithful parent may have to stay up all night with a sick child. A faithful employee may have to put in extra hours. A faithful Christian eventually will be called on to go the extra mile or two.
I think we get the message that when God saves us and gives us responsibilities, they are to be approached with the understanding that we are to be wise and faithful stewards in the execution of whatever duties God gives us. Faithfulness in our society is a dwindling characteristic, even among the Christian community. (5/16/03)