TODAY, it will be good for us to read these two Bible passages Matt. 25:20-31 and Titus 1:7-9, as they will assist our understanding about God’s Stewards. The Concise Oxford Dictionary, tenth edition says of a steward: ‘a person responsible for supplies of food to a college, club.’ In the colonial times, the words ‘steward’ and ‘cook’ reminded us of one of those two black boys that served their master while living with him. But it may be closer to what the Bible had in mind for a steward.
Steward in Bible terms means a servant, a manager, or a person entrusted with a responsibility, one who assists in attending to the needs of other. We need to read these Bible passages for further illumination, (Matt. 24:45, Lk 16:1-2, Rom. 16:23, I Pet. 4:10). However, anytime the word steward is mentioned, it presupposes that there is a master. Our master is God Himself and all of us who are His children are His stewards. Therefore, it is expected that we serve Him with the best of our ability, for a day comes when every steward shall render an account as illustrated in Matt. 25:20-31.
Remember, as a child of God, we need not be careless with whatever we are entrusted (talents, gifts, resources). If we serve well, definitely we would hear God saying to us at the close of time: ‘well done, good and faithful servant,’ Matt. 25:23. It is good we remind ourselves that certain qualifications are needed from us, if we must receive this commendation. To reassure ourselves, we need to go through these Bible passages, (Deut. 17:17, Philip. 2:3, I Thess. 5:6, I Tim. 3:2-7, 6:2, Titus 3:2, Heb. 10:36). On the other hand, our Master God can also say: ‘depart from me,’ Matt. 7:23. This is a great danger; for the scripture says: ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,’ Heb. 10:31.
What happened to one of the servants entrusted with the resources of their master should be fresh in our minds; he was cast out into utter darkness, (Matt. 25:24-30). He was slothful and careless with his job and that earned him damnation from his master. Are there not some claiming to be servants of the Most High and yet, they are not conscious of the Rapture? We need to think again of what Jesus is saying to the Church: ‘Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be,’ Rev. 22:12. If we do not join those who make mockery of the Christian religion to say: ‘it has been long, we have been hearing about this more than two thousand years ago, will He surely come?’ Our quick reaction should be: ‘He will come again and how soon would only be determined by God. What the believer need do is to be in good standing with the Master.
I pray that the Holy Spirit would stir our hearts to be the steward God had in mind for the edification of His Church and to the glory of His name. When we serve without reservation, we will not be ashamed on the last day.
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.