Jesus tells many parables – a physical story with a spiritual meaning. In one such parable, a nobleman goes off to a far country, leaving his servants behind to tend to his affairs. Jesus tells of the man’s final instructions, “Occupy till I come,” in Luke 19:13. The connotation here is that when Jesus left He placed us in the role of stewards, someone who does not own but is responsible for all the decisions and work of a business or piece of property.
The best stewards will think just like the owner of the business. The owner can leave for an extended period and upon his return will see that everything is as if he never departed. Being a steward is a job with substantial responsibility. How do you know what the owner would do? What are the qualifications of a steward?
First of all, if you are a Christian, you are one of God’s stewards. There are some things He wants all His stewards to do, and each one of us also has specific jobs to fulfill His will. For instance, God wants all of us to study the scripture (2 Timothy 2:15), pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17), attend church (Hebrews 10:25) and tell others the gospel (Mark 16:15). In my life, some of the specific jobs are husband to my wife, dad to my children, pastor of Countryside, working as a correctional officer – the list continues, but you get the idea. There are certain things God wants me to tend to, and there are things God has specifically for you. God has given all of us talents, gifts, abilities and resources to get done what He desires for us to do. He also gave the first requirement of being a good steward in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
When it comes to faithfulness, Jesus said, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much,” Luke 16:10. The “least” are those little things we all should do every day.
In any organization does it make sense to give any responsibility to someone who only shows up at the two most significant events of the year or comes to the weekly meetings once a month or so? In nearly every workplace there will be those that seem always to do more than expected, their job is top notch; others are good workers, accomplishing all required of them, and there are a few that will not meet deadlines, their work is sub-par, and sometimes they push their work off onto other. A boss will usually give those who are the most faithful the more critical and vital jobs. God is no different; He will require much of those who are faithful in the least.
Christian, ask yourself this question – Have you been a good enough steward of God’s “least” things to be entrusted with “much?”
Do you study the Bible, or just read a few verses from time to time? Does the Good Book sit on a shelf gathering dust? Do you know where a Bible is in your home, or is it something you need to dig through the closet to find?
How often do you pray? Is prayer a regular part of your day or is prayer the last resort – something you do when you have run out of all other options?
When it comes to church attendance think of it this way – when you are not there does everyone believe that something must be wrong or is your attendance so irregular that it is more of a surprise when you arrive than when you are absent?
When was the last time you sat down and told someone the gospel? If you need to think about the answer a few minutes, it probably has been far too long. If you did not have to take time to think of the response because you knew the answer was, “I never have” – well, please consider the definition of the word “faithful.”
The last five paragraphs were packed with questions to get your mind thinking about how good a steward you have been for God. The answers to these questions are between you and God. I will leave you with one more question – Christ said, “Occupy till I come.” How faithful are you doing?
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Indiana. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sermons and archived Preacher’s Points may be found at preacherspoint.wordpress.com.