Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stewards of the Word

Today's passage:  I Corinthians 4:1-5
     Someone who has great wealth would have someone, probably several someones, to help manage their household.  Many rich people have a housekeeper/manager, a butler (although may not as much anymore), a personal secretary, a valet, a private chef, a groundskeeper/gardener, a security detail.  All of these positions would require specific responsibilities to the job.  If the security guard decided to take a nap, and burglars infiltrated, the guard would most likely lose his job.  If the secretary failed to check her employer's appointments, and he missed most of them, he more than likely would find a new secretary.  A good steward must be faithful in his position to keep his position.
     "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."  I have heard this verse numerous times.  We use it when we want to express how important faithfulness is.  It is a right application, I think.  It is an important truth.  Just one little problem.  We use it out of context.  I've never realized it before.  That first word, "moreover", means it is connected to something else.  In this case, it is connected to verse one.  Here is what verse one says, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."  Of what are we supposed to be stewards?  God's Word.  In order to learn as much as we can from God's Word, and to be able to pass down what we have learned, we have to be faithful in it.  We should be reading it, studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it every day.  If this is my job, and I am not doing it, I should be fired.  If I were the gardener who let the roses die, or the chef who never cooked a meal, I would be dismissed.  I am supposed to be the keeper of His Word.  That is a crazy responsibility, and I never really realized it before.  I always knew I was supposed to read it.  I always knew I should read it every day, but I never realized I was supposed to be a steward of it.  I am looking at my Sunday school class in a whole new light.  I am being a steward of His Word with those children, passing it down to them.  Maybe this is why oral histories were so important in Jewish culture.  It was how they were a steward of God's Word.  They passed it down from generation to generation.  But being faithful doesn't only mean in how often we read it.  It is also our responsibility to pass it down accurately, not just adding and subtracting stuff as we go along.  I am bowled over by such a responsibility.  Am I as faithful as I should be with His Word?  Should I be fired from this responsibility because I am not careful with it?  I've always believed God's Word to be precious, but never more so than today.
    Lord, help me to be oh-so-careful with Your Word.  Help me to be careful as I teach it to my kids, and others.  Help me to be faithful in it so that I can be the steward You want me to be.  Help me to realize more than ever what a gem You have given us.  And help me to be the most responsible security guard trusted with it.

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