Trinity School of Apologetics and Theology
A steward need to be honest in not wasting or otherwise misusing the goods entrusted to his care by the Lord. In the parable of the unjust steward (LK.16.1-13) he misused the things of his master.
The method we adopt in serving our Lord is very important. You are chosen to proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. For this, among other things, we are asked to have our conduct honest among the gentiles (1 Pet.2.9, 12). We are exhorted to do that which is honest.
For us to be honest we should bring all our actions under the searchlight of the Word of God. It is only he who walks uprightly who will dwell in the tabernacle of God.
Reviewing his life and stewardship before the people of Israel, Samuel challenges them to prove if he had taken anybody’s oxen or asses, or received bride from anyone, or defrauded or oppressed anyone. His life before God and before men was honest (1 Sam.12.1-5). Like Paul we should have a conscience void of offense always toward God and men,
The Lord has given us different talents, capacities and responsibilities. He is sovereign and he has distributed these according to his sovereign will. We have our opportunities an at the same time limitations cf. Matt.25.14-30; Lk.19.12-27).
But our Lord expects us to be productive in our lives. Goods are to be traded to be productive. They are of no use unless they are used. At the same time care should be taken to see that they are neither abused nor misused. We would consider our time, our talents and our treasures in this respect.
a. Our time
We have limited time. A time will come when no man will be able to work (Jn.9.4). The Psalmist said;‘ my times are in thy hand (Ps.31.5). The normal life span is 70 or 80 years (Ps.90.10). But sometimes this may be shortened (Ps.102.23-24) or lengthened (Prov.10.27; Isa.38.5). We do not know this before hand. This is also left to the sovereign will of the Lord. We should have the wisdom to live each day (Ps.90.12) and make use of the time (Eph.5.16). “Time and tide wait for no man”.
Someone said: Yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note, but today is the only cash you have. Invest it wisely” Now is the time (2 Cor.6.1-3). The devil’s time is always tomorrow. If the steward thinks that the Master is delaying his coming, He may come at an hour and day when he least expects (Matt.24.48-51).
Proper use of the time is very important (Jas.4.14). He wants us to trust Him at all times (Ps.62.8).
b. Our Talents
It is a sum of money. It could also be varying abilities. Whatever is given to us is for the common good. Our Maker gives even our natural talents to us. It is true of our spiritual gifts too (Rom.12.3-8; 1 Cor.12.1-31; 1 Pet.4.10-11).
c. Our Treasures or Riches
Our riches are a good servant but a very bad master. There will be a temptation to own them. A young lawyer who came to the Lord seeking the path to eternal life went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. Someone commented: His great possessions had him.
If God has made us poor in things of this world, we can rejoice because we are rich in spiritual things. If he has made us rich we can rejoice that he has made us low (Jas.1.9, 10).
Our motive should be to use our possessions for the glory of the Lord. We should give to the Lord as he has prospered us (1 Cor.16.2). Our example in giving is Christ himself (2 Cor.8.9). If we sow sparingly we shall also reap sparingly (2 Cor.9.6).
We should be careful to see that money does not become our enemy through our misuse of it. It may be used as evidence against us (Jas.5.1-3). In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, how sad the rich man was that he did not make proper use of his money (Lk.16.19-26).
David said, he would not offer any sacrifice if it does not cost him anything (2 sam.24.24). When we give does it cost us? We should also remember that giving to the Lord is also part of our worship (Phil.4.18).
F. Your Loyalty
Our Lord is away. He is preparing a mansion for us. He has given us life and possessions. Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor.4.4) and the whole world is under him (1 Jn.5.19). When our Master is away we should remain loyal to him. We should not join or make friendship with the world 1 Jn.2.15-17). Friendship of the world is enmity with God (Jas.4.4).
There are many illustrations of loyalty in the Bible. In the time of battle, Uriah resolved that he would not seek after pleasure (2 Sam.12.1-11). Devil will use his enticement (2 Cor.2.11).
When Absalom rebelled against David and he had to flee, Ittai the Gittite denied himself the comforts of the city. He said that where his King is there he would be also. Later when David became king he was made captain of one third of Israel’s army (2 Sam.15.21f). Our Lord is rejected by the world today. Let us go outside the camp bearing his reproach and remain loyal to him.
Loyalty to our Lord Jesus Christ is the criterion for our future reign with Him.