Dictionary.com defines ‘steward’ as the following…
“a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others”
And this is exactly what Paul is saying the Apostles are, “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God”. (1 Cor 4:1) Through proper discipleship, so are we. We are ‘servants of Christ’ and His ‘stewards’. This is no small task, no light duty. In fact Paul goes on to point out the desperate position the Apostles were finding themselves.
To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. – (1 Cor 4:11-13)
To be a steward requires a significant humility. As defined above, we are “agent of another”, the agent of Christ Jesus. As His agent, our sole duty is to serve Him, to follow His instructions, on His behalf. So what does that look like?
Christ Himself said that all of the Law (all of His instructions) could be summed up like this, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:30-31) That’s our full marching orders, Love Him and Love others.
So how is that shown? Again, Jesus gave us the answer when talking directly to Peter and He told Peter to ‘feed my sheep‘.
It really is that simple. As we love Him with everything we have, we will by default, love His sheep as well. Truly loving His sheep means we will feed His sheep, care for them, tend to their needs. King David had it right when he said that everything else is simply vanity.
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