Written by: Minister Omar Williams
1 Corinthians 4:1–2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God…. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
The term steward as used in the particular text above speaks to one called to be an administrator:
a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family or business such as a treasurer or an
overseer. Often times this word is linked to finances. Even though it is much broader than
finances the connection is valid because the Greek etymology (Oikonomos) is closely related to
the term economy! From a theological perspective, economy is not restricted to finances but is
the method or system of the divine government of the ages.
All human beings are created and called to be stewards in God’s economy! The first two chapters
of Genesis present the creation as God’s kingdom; God is the great King, and humans – his
image bearers are co-regents in his kingdom (Genesis 1:26 – 28 and 2:8 – 20). Our task was/is to
manage its resources while in relationship with God and fellow humans. We would do well to
remember that God as creator, own absolutely everything and Humans are always and only
Stewards of his possessions (Psalm 24, 89:11, Matthew 25:14 and 1 Corinthians 10:26).
Genesis chapters 1 and 2 speak explicitly to natural resources created in the kingdom but it is
strongly implied that God also imbued human stewards with internal resources to manage natural
resources within an all encompassing resource called time (Genesis 1:14 – 19; 2:19). The internal
resources cover the range of rational knowledge, practical wisdom and skills; and also the
irrational emotions and personalities – in short, our whole lives!
God is very interested in our management of the resources he has made available to us to the
same degree he was interested to see how Adam would manage his first stewardship assignment
(Genesis 2:19). So manage we must! Some day we will see God’s grading sheet for our lives and
his grading rubric is impartial in that our outcome will be commensurate to our input according
to his grace (Galatians 6:7 – 9).
Most of us are already aware that money is a God- given resource and we are required to be good
stewards of our money. We are very conscious of this because the effects of poor financial
stewardship have fairly immediate consequence in our human economy. The consequence in
God’s eternal economy is still being decided while we live. At the basis of all the biblical
teachings concerning money, the guiding principle is that we should utilize money as our
Heavenly master allows us but not to become mastered by money (Matthew 6)!
Many of us are also aware that God has magnanimously endowed us with natural abilities at our
natural conception (Psalm 139:16) which He catalyzed into Spiritual giftedness through the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit at our new birth into Christ (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and
Ephesians 4). We have the responsibility to partner with God to develop these talents and gifts in
his kingdom and utilize them to edify his kingdom.
Even fewer Christians realize that we are expected to give account of the stewardship of the time
the Lord has entrusted to us. Clearly time is the all encompassing resource within which we must
procure and manage the treasure resources available to us in the earth; discover our talents and
gifts, develop and discharge them in our duties in the local context within which God has
deployed us. In Luke 16:25 the phrase that began the judgment of the deceased rich man in his
torments was, “Remember that thou in thy lifetime…” which is an indication of the critical
nature of our stewardship of time in the eyes of God. All things transpire in time! All that we will
have and more importantly, all that we will become and all that we will do transpire in time!
Realizing that time is such a crucial resource of resources, the challenge is: how can we use our
talents and gifts from God in the time we have received from God in order to fulfill our purpose
in God? Firstly, we must see the urgency of time as Job saw it when he exclaimed, “My days are
swifter than a weaver’s shuttle…” (Job 7:6a). Secondly, we must appreciate the limitation of
time. We will not labor indefinitely in this temporal phase of life! Hence the Psalmist requires of
God, lessons on the brevity of our lives (Psalm 90:12). Job also asserts that our lives are brief
and tumultuous (Job 14:1 – 6). Thirdly, we must acknowledge our lack of control over time. We
have no idea what will happen tomorrow or as even the next minute but we are sure of this
moment in which we stand. For this reason we are encouraged to say “If the Lord wills”
whenever we reference future endeavors (James 4:14 – 15). With that said, we are responsible
for our stewardship, of time, and in the time we are allowed! So what will you do with today?
This weekend we may not be able to converge upon our local tabernacle for customary corporate
worship services to utilize our time, talent and treasure to edify the body and encourage each
other’s faith. Nevertheless, I exhort you under God as his stewards, to utilize this time to give
him worship in our homes with family members, friends, and neighbors or even in solitude! This
is that season in which true worshippers – those truly in relationship with God, will worship him
in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). I encourage us to utilize all resources well today as always!
Remembering that God is the source and we are stewards of his resources! Even as we are home,
consider the words of the great apostle Paul to the Ephesians and indeed to all saints of all times:
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,…Redeeming the time, because
the days are evil. …Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord
is. …And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; …
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody
in your heart to the Lord; …Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; …Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God
(Ephesians 5:15 – 21).
So I exhort you today: sing your songs with joy unto the Lord and as an expression of your
giftedness in Him! Pray your prayers as unto God with fervency of spirit as he has enabled you!
Share words of exhortation in your family or friendship gatherings with the passion He has
ignited in you! Conduct your worship like you would have worshipped in the sanctuary with
pomp and gusto! Pray a soul through to the Holy Spirit with the conviction that His Word has
inculcated in you! Lay aside the offering you would have given in the house of the Lord
according as He has blessed you! As good stewards we will make sensible use of our talent and
treasure in this time, to the glory of God, because we live in evil days!
Our times are passed under the watchful eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4:13)
as His stewards (Hebrews 4:13). When we arrive at the great day when eternal fate is being
decided, we would love to hear his final verdict toward us being thusly thundered: Well done,
thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler
over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:21).