Friday, June 5, 2009

Faithful Steward

One little word from the writings of Paul to the church at Corinth stuck with me today. He said, "Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God." (1 Corinthians 4:1) Stewards. I wanted to know more so I went to The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Red Letter Edition. Yes, that is really the title. And no, I do not know how you can expand something that is exhaustive. But if you want to dig deeper--or just feel like a really smart Bible scholar--this is the thick book that can help.

The word steward means "house-distributor or overseer; these were usually slaves or freedmen (prior slaves)." So Paul calls us stewards. This means that God has entrusted to us--once slaves to sin--the task of overseeing His great mysteries in this rebellious world. So how are you and I accomplishing that role? Are we being faithful?

To be a "good" steward one would have to know their Master's desires. How could a slave manage their master's house without knowing their master's heart? In the same way, for you and I to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God, we have to know our Father's heart.

I have this image in my mind of a servant, home alone while the master was away. He has two choices. One, he could sit on the couch, sipping hot tea, indulging in his master's riches, completely unaware of his master's desires. Then when he heard the garage door opening, he would jump up and start folding that pile of laundry--just to appear as if he had been a faithful steward. Or two, he could know and love his master. And while his master is away, submit to his master's will--which is righteous and fulfilling--with joyful anticipation of his master's return. Likewise we as stewards of God have a similar choice. How are we "being" in the waiting?

God is not interested in our "doing." He is interested in our "being." From the devotions of our heart, our actions will follow. If we spend time seeking the face of God and knowing His heart, then He will empower us to both understand and live in submission to His will--as faithful stewards of His mysteries. This is freedom. This is where lasting joy can be found.

I want to be a faithful steward of the great mysteries of our amazing God. He is worthy. His plans are good.

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