Jesus Christ colored much of His teachings with references to this peculiar slave status—that of the one elevated to an uncommon position of responsibility, whose sole intent was to aggrandize the estate of the master. In Luke 12:42-43, He asks:
“Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom the master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.”
Four chapters later (Luke 16:13), He relates the parable of the dishonest steward and begins to instruct His disciples about Christian servanthood:
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Jesus used the parable of the talents (Matt. 25) to construct a framework for correct attitudes toward giving. Here we have an example set for the use of possessions and abilities, and a structure which underlines a basic approach to ministry.
Because Jesus drew comparisons from common life, the disciples gained a lucid concept of their servant relationship to Him. They were thrilled, when, at the end of His life, their Master bestowed upon them an even greater dignity. “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends” (Jn. 15:15). They accepted His pronouncement, but they did not presume upon it. The awful events of the following hours emblazoned upon their souls the fact they had been bought with a price—the blood of Christ. They had been ransomed by a near kinsman.
Thus we hear them all declare, “I, Paul; I, Peter; I, Timothy, James, and John—servants of Jesus Christ!” Nothing was given by them outside of this framework; neither money, nor time, nor talent truly belonged to them. Every thing was from the Master. Their motivating purpose was to serve and to be found worthy.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.