Day 4

The Faithful Manager

from the 1 & 2 Corinthians reading plan

1 Corinthians 4:1-21, Zephaniah 2:3, 1 Peter 5:5

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-21, Zephaniah 2:3, 1 Peter 5:5

You don’t have to have a Bible college diploma hanging on your wall. You don’t need a passport stamped from developing countries. Your name need not appear on the official list of staff members for your church. Plant your feet firmly in this truth: If you are a follower of Jesus, you are already a minister for the gospel. Because the stakes are high, this reality can paralyze us. We throw around words like “calling” and “ministry” so often, but we secretly suspect we’re somehow doing it wrong.

While confirming our assignment to be followers and leaders, Paul invites us to rest in this call. He offers us a two-word job description for ministry here in 1 Corinthians 4, inviting us to throw giftedness, opportunity, and needs into a pot, and boil ministry down to its very essence. What is ultimately required of us as ministers? To be “servants of Christ and managers of the mysteries of God” (v.1).

We are “managers of the mysteries of God.” Gulp! That sounds weighty, but in the same passage, Paul warns us “not to go beyond what is written” (v. 6). In other words, stick with Scripture. The mysteries of God we’re responsible to carry are the good news of the gospel and the Word of God.

Every believer—from the youngest to the oldest among us, both Bible scholars and Bible newbies—is a carrier of the good news with a shared responsibility to know and proclaim the Word. Paul is urging us, as disciples in ministry, to think of the Bible like a treasure. And it is! Like finding a cache of jewels buried in the backyard, we didn’t create this treasure, yet we get to claim it as our own as we carry it and deliver it to both the fellow believers and non-believers we rub elbows with each day.

God’s Word is a treasure because it reveals who God is. He is supreme, sufficient, spectacular, and in the full-time business of saving us from our sin. This cannot help but bend our knees and turn our hearts. As we steward God’s Word, we step into the other shoe that comes with ministry; we become servants.

We are willing to serve Christ’s Church because of all He has done for us. We are willing to serve those who don’t know Him by sharing who He is. We are willing to serve each other because we know now, deep in our guts, that none of us deserves a seat at this table. The chord we are bound to is grace, and it makes us want to share it in abundance with one another.

Regardless of your day job, no matter what titles you hold, and in spite of your sin and failures—you are a minister of the gospel if you are in Christ Jesus. His grace is your qualification. So serve faithfully and joyfully the God “who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God” (v.5). Amen.


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (102)

102 thoughts on "The Faithful Manager"

  1. Deb Thompson says:

    My heart’s desire is vocational ministry. It’s all I’ve known- up until 2 years ago when my family moved cross country for my husband’s work and where I have become part of the 8-5 workforce M-F. I found out last night I didn’t get a ministry position I was praying for, longed for, felt like God completely opened the door for. To say I am devastated, upset, angry, hurting, confused…I’m sitting here at my cubicle in tears once again because I just don’t understand. My hearts YEARNS to serve the Lord in this way. I feel as though I were created for it and yet it’s just not to be. I’ve got some serious emotions to work through- but this…regardless of where my pay check comes from, I am still a servant of Christ. I am still God’s child and I can at least steward His Word and ministry well. I could certainly use prayer right now- this is a very mixed up situation- I just need to know what God says, I’m longing to hear from Him.

    1. Terri ThomasFranz says:

      I’m praying for you. I hear and understand your heartache. Trust what you know about God’s character. Terri

    2. NYMom4(5) says:

      I am in a similar circumstance right now. This morning I asked the Lord to show me His will in my circumstance. I opened Oswald Chambers book, My Upmost For His Highest, to today’s date. It is speaking about how Peter stepped out on the water to Jesus to Jesus. When Peter looked around at his circumstances he began to sink. Oswald says, “If you are recognizing your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you did not recognize Jesus, and then the rebuke comes: “Oh you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him.” I need not worry about where the Lord has placed me, even if it doesn’t seem to make any sense, I just need to keep my eyes fixed on Him and all will be well with my soul. May your soul be well as you fix your eyes on the race that Jesus Christ has laid out before you. For He is the One who guides your path and light your way. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Be of good courage, and take heart, it is HIS PLAN! His plan is always better than our plan!

      1. Deborah says:

        Thank you so much for referencing “My Utmost…” what a rebuke and encouragement. I was completely overwhelmed by the immediate outcome and all of the future plans that would be changed due to this. I was also overwhelmed by my response of mourning- while pleading for Him to help me keep believing. Thank you again. What a privilege to know that I am encouraged and lifted up in prayer by sisters in Christ whom I will never meet this side of heaven. Thanks guys!

      2. Launi Rogers says:

        Thank you for this! I needed this reminder as I tend to let actual circumstances get in my way of what God wants. I am struggling to know what God wants from me at 72. But He is enough. So I will stay in Him. Thank you again.

    3. Jessica Diaz says:

      I’ll be praying for you. I know that it’s hard to understand God’s plan for us but don’t forget that his plan is always greater than anything we could have imagined for ourselves. I’m going through a similar situation but my faith is very strong and I’m excited to see what God has planned for me. Be strong! You are God’s child and he never forsakes!

  2. Virginia says:

    I too am an introvert and lack confidence in my knowledge of the Bible to feel like I can spread the Gospel. I always felt like I needed a degree in something to be able or speak. This word today has hit me where I live. I love the comments too. They show me that I do and have made a difference in someone’s life for God. And that He equips us as needed without a degree! Praise God!

  3. Courtney says:

    Best role description for anything I’ve desired to be apart of :
    1.To be a servant
    2.Manager of God’s good news & Word of God

    Qualifications: His Grace

    Everyone is offered this position. There is no previous experience needed, no pressure from other candidates, and the interview is eliminated. The benefits are free & last eternity EVERYONE IS ACCEPTED! Choose to experience the power of God and be given the Kingdom of Heaven.

    1. Karen says:

      Love this description!

  4. Cori S. says:

    “His grace is your qualification.” Amen. How our lives would change if we lived this belief every minute.

  5. Sara Harper says:

    “Who will bring to light things now hidden in darkness” underlined and circled!!!

  6. Maria Cash says:

    Wow! I absolutely needed to hear this truth today. Sometimes I feel like I’m struggling so hard to figure out what “my ministry” is, but this just laid it out so perfectly…To know Christ and to make Him known. We all have different gifts that can be used within the Body, but we share in this same ministry. Amen!

  7. Ally Gould says:

    My husband and I run the youth program with an inner city ministry. A young lady that had been involved in our ministry since she was a little girl passed away due to circumstances many people in our city find themselves in. I watch my parents (who started the ministry 16 years ago) have their hearts broken because they loved her, invested greatly in her, and never stopped praying for her. Watching this happen, I had begun to doubt myself and my husbands position in this ministry. I am pretty introverted and have a hard time connecting on a personal level with the kids we work with. I started wondering whether this was truly where we have been “called.” Am I able to make a difference? Am I good enough to be the light of Christ to those around us? … This devotional today reminded me that I was not called to this place because my gifts and talents qualified me for the job. Rather, I have been qualified because of his grace. I pray that God will begin to instill a confidence in me that allows relationships to deepen and that his love would be the foundation. I pray that despite my fears and doubts, he would continually remind me that he is working through me and I am not required to carry this mission on my own.

    1. Christina Dodd says:

      Ally- wow! This is hard stuff! You pointed out a truth that I needed to hear too “I have been qualified because of his grace.” I love that as I struggle with feelings of insecurity in my daily callings. Thank you for sharing! I will say a prayer for you right now!

    2. Vanessa says:

      It’s not always about the results. All God is asking for you is to obey Him! It’s saddening because we expect that everything we’re called to will yield miraculous results. Not always. I don’t know why. I’m not saying to stop hoping for the miraculous, but to rely on Him more than the miracles. Remember: “God is greater than the highs AND lows.” I’m so sorry you had to experience that with the young lady though.

      On the note of you being introverted, I am too! Ally, I hope you see this. You are not TOO introverted to be in ministry. You don’t have to be loud and outgoing to connect with people. There are a few articles on being an introvert in the church. I’ll have to find them. But there were so many introverts in the Bible that worked behind the scenes but were a HUGE part of God’s plan. You may feel like you have small, quiet personality (you don’t), but you’re still a part of a BIG picture. Please feel valid in God’s Kingdom. So many introverts allow ourselves to see our introversion in ministry as a hurdle. It’s actually the opposite!

      1 Peter 3: 4 says, “Your inner self, [your] unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…is of great worth in God’s sight.”

      Try to make a list of your strengths as a person, not your shortcomings as a “introvert”. Mine are: good listener, relatable, down to earth, I see people in the church who are often unseen, I make people feel at peace and comfortable, I show people I don’t have to be a loud Christian to follow Jesus.

      People will be drawn to you simply because you *aren’t* loud. Why? Because they will sense the Spirit of God inside of you, not surface-level personality quirks. It’s HIS spirit that draws people to God, not extroversion.

      Your prayer that God is working in you is heard! Be at peace.

  8. Vicki Kitchens says:

    Love this! Needed to read this today!

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