ARE WE GOOD STEWARDS?
We often hear that we should be good stewards. Most of the time this subject is brought up people are talking about money. At times of prayer before we give of our means on the Lord’s Day, the man leading the prayer sometimes asks that the leaders of the congregation be good stewards of the funds, and well they should. When monies are placed into the offering plate these monies no longer belong to the ones who gave it, but is the Lord’s. It is not the place of the one who gives to dictate how the funds are to be used. These “offerings” are always to be used in faithful service to the Lord and the work of the church in a manner which is pleasing to God.
But there is more to being a “Good Steward” than properly using the financial blessings God has richly supplied. In other words, we have much more than physical blessings (monetary or health etc.) with which God has blessed us. God has truly blessed us, in fact all people, in giving us His Word. Many fail to realize that the Word of God is indeed a true blessing. We are told in James 1:17 that “Every good and perfect gift is from above. . . “ Can anyone honestly deny that God’s own Word is anything less than “good” or “perfect”?
We also are told in that good and perfect Word of God in 2Peter 1:4 that we have been given “exceeding great and precious promises” and also that through obedience to that Word we “might be partakers of the divine nature” of Christ. What is truly incredible is that some have taken the great blessing of God’s Word and have attempted to change it by creating “new versions” and still smugly claim to be good stewards. When man takes God’s Word and changes it, he has ceased being a good steward. How can one claim to be a good steward when he has altered God’s Word by adding to or taking away from it for any reason or in any way? When these preachers take the so-called “new versions” and preach and teach from them, they do so for reasons such as: “I like this version or the people like this version or this version is easier to read”, or some other such claim.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen where they preach if they were “Good Stewards” of the Word of God and preached the whole counsel of God without “wresting it” in any way. 2Peter 3:16 speaks of this. As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Need we check the “new versions” to see what they say for this verse? I checked several, and while they might use some different words to express this thought; in all I checked destruction is the end result for wresting, twisting, or distorting the scriptures.
We are also warned about those who desire something other than the true Word of God being spoken to them in 2Timothy 4:3-4. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
God commanded His people in the Old Testament regarding being good stewards of His Word in Deuteronomy 4:2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. This still applies today. To do less is to fail to be a good steward. Ask yourself if you are a good steward of God’s Word. Are you teaching and preaching it faithfully? Are you following it faithfully? Be a good steward.
Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ