By Dr. John Greever
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.”
The history of the church of Jesus is a history of bloodshed, violence, mayhem, and suffering. We read with amazement Paul’s description of what it was like to be an apostle of Christ in the first century: “For I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake…we ae weak…we are without honor…we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless. We toil, working with our hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now (1 Corinthians 4:9-13).” Who, pray tell, would want this job? Who would stay in this job with all one has to endure to remain?
The answer to these and other questions is found in the first two verses: “Servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” Paul could not be bought or bribed, because his heart and his mind were committed to Christ and the gospel. He had met and had been changed by the resurrected Christ. This life and this world held no charm for him. He was a man set apart for God, and his heart passion was invested in Christ and the gospel.
There is nothing greater than this! This world has no adequate reward or riches to compensate for its toil and sorrow. This world’s treasure is but a passing treat that soon melts into oblivion, leaving only the bitter taste of lost dreams and terrible disappointments. How sad that many people give their love, their joy, and their lives to this world that is passing away (1 John 2:17)! And eventually, and inevitably, their lives are lost because they invested poorly.
The Christian is reckoned to be poor and shameful in the eyes of the world, but to God he or she is precious beyond compare. The child of God hopes for no earthly gain or worldly reward. The child of God is bereft of this world’s power and prestige. However, God’s people are rich in heavenly joy and treasure. We seek here in time and space only to be good servants of Christ and faithful stewards of the gospel of the cross. It is enough for us that God is pleased with us; we need nothing else. In His joy, we have joy; in His approval, we are content. Dear faithful Christian, do not grieve over lost earthly wealth or approval. But rest content in God’s will, God’s way, and God’s promise; He is enough for us!
Prayer: Dear Lord, keep me from seeking worldly acclaim, and help me to instead seek Your will and way for my life. Help be to be a faithful follower of Jesus and help to live so as to be a trustworthy proclaimer of the gospel of Christ, my Savior and Lord.
John Greever is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Fenton, MO and is a former professor of Bible at Missouri Baptist University. He is a part of the leadership team for Founders Midwest and is a speaker at this year’s Founders Midwest Conference. If you would like more information about Founders Midwest and the annual conference, be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website for more information. To register for the conference click here.