By Johnie Edwards
From time to time God has entrusted men with various responsibilities known as trusts. Most banks have a trust department which takes care of the property of others and is held responsible for the use of such. Let’s take a look at some sacred trusts.
The Gospel of Christ
God expects men to teach men. So Paul told the Thessalonians, “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts” (1 Thess. 2:4). No doubt this is the reason, soon after Paul was converted, that 49 straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20). Often we sing, “Into our hands the gospel is given” and as we sing this song we need to be impressed with the responsibility of “adorning the doctrine of God” (Tit. 2: 10) in our own lives. We are “stewards of the mysteries of God” and we must remember that “it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor. 4:1-2). We betray the trust when we fail to teach others the pure gospel of our Lord.
We all have talents and God expects us to use what we have to their fullest extent! It has been suggested that most folks use less than three percent of their abilities. Suppose we doubled that and used six percent! Look what we could accomplish. The parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14-30 indicates that our talents become sacred trusts for which we are responsible.
Elders Watching For Souls
Most elders spend too much time being concerned about physical things to the neglect of the spiritual. God placed elders in the position of “oversight” (1 Pet. 5:2) with the responsibility of “watching for souls” (Heb. 13:17) and that’s a sacred trust. One reason a lot of churches get in such bad shape is a failure on the part of the elders to realize the gravity of their work. Like it or not, elders “must give account” of their rule (Heb. 13:17). The story of the lost sheep of Luke 15 demonstrates the care and concern a shepherd must exercise in regard to this sacred trust. A lot of elders are not even aware that some sheep, for which they are responsible, are lost. A real conviction concerning this sacred trust will cause elders to “go after that which is lost, until he find it” (Lk. 15:4).
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord. (Psa. 127:3). Have you, as a parent, realized that your children are a sacred trust? Your children are valuable and you are responsible for their upbringing. Paul said, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Our children are like putty in our hands to mold as God would have them, “but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). By realizing that our children are a sacred trust, we will “Train up a child in the way that he should go” (Prov. 22:6) which includes teaching him, showing him what and how to do it and see that he does it!
Marriage is a sacred trust. When you say, “I take thee this day to be my husband or wife, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live” you need to know that’s the way it must be! To illustrate that a person cannot be under two laws at the same time, like the law of Moses and the law of Christ, Paul said, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Rom. 7:2-3). A failure on the part of either marriage partner to “render due benevolence” (1 Cor. 7:2) is a major cause of marriages not holding together and the result, many times, is the betraying of that sacred trust.
Time is a sacred trust. A failure to use time properly is a problem of many. Time is of essence. The Psalmist said, in light of the brevity of life, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psa. 90:12). The time we have on this earth has been given to us of God and we are responsible for how we use it. “Redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16) is required of all and there is no telling what we could accomplish if we would but use our time wisely. Have you ever considered how much time you really waste?
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:20). God ” formeth the spirit of man within him” (Zech. 12:1). Our spirit is a sacred trust and God will hold us responsible for how we take care of it. You do know that “the dust shall return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). Our most valuable possession is our spirit and it is no wonder that Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul: or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26)
Guardian of Truth XXX: 20, p. 616
October 16, 1986