Stewards of Salvation
By Cody T. McCain
I would like to begin this article by telling you a story. Around the middle of last year, our three-year-old son CJ saw a particular type of truck that he wanted at a funeral home where I assist in Asheville. The casket company that we use – which is Batesville Casket Company – makes miniature versions of their trucks used to deliver caskets to funeral homes across the country. CJ saw this toy truck and from that very day, he desired to have his very own. Not a week went by and I didn’t hear CJ ask me, “Daddy, can I have a Batesville truck?” My response was always, “We’ll see” to which CJ would add, “Maybe for Christmas?!” I began the search for a Batesville truck for CJ and found one on E-bay; what I did not expect was the surprising cost for this truck, a staggering $74 plus tax and shipping (bringing the total to around $85). Never would I have imagined that a small toy would cost so much! Nevertheless, I overcame the sticker shock and ordered this Batesville truck to arrive in time for Christmas. On Christmas day, as soon as CJ opened the box containing the truck, his entire face became illuminated and joy filled his heart as he excitedly exclaimed, “A Batesville truck!” It filled my heart with joy to see our child happy with his gift and he immediately began to play with it. CJ, being the energetic and playful child that he is surely gave the Batesville truck a run for my money! After just two weeks of having the truck, it was all but nearly DESTROYED. Most of the wheels from the truck and two trailers had broken off, the small rubber tires were removed, and even the axles were bent or completely came apart! I was so upset and disappointed, what was I thinking? I spent almost $90 on a toy for a three-year-old to destroy in two weeks! I made up my mind after this discovery that I would not spend that much money on a toy for CJ until he is old enough to properly play with it.
It wasn’t until sometime after this that Holy Spirit gave me a profound revelation when looking at this situation. Our Heavenly Father also gave us a costly gift; He gave of His only begotten Son which cost EVERYTHING! He has given us the gift of Jesus Christ which – as CJ did with the Batesville truck – we received with great joy and excitement at the inception of our Christian walk. However, somewhere along the way, we have become less than good stewards of our great salvation! How much does this grieve and hurt the heart of our Father?! Yes, we are convinced that we can never work for nor earn our salvation, as Ephesians 2:8-9 declares, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so no man can boast.” We are called however to work OUT our salvation with holy reverent fear (Philippians 2:12) which implies STEWARDSHIP. When we fail to apply the basic principles of having a personal devotional life with God (prayer, study of and meditation upon scripture, fasting, worship), a connection and fellowship with other members of the Body of Christ – where iron can sharpen iron (Proverbs 27:17) – nor any works that accompany a lifestyle of repentance (Acts 26:20), then we will find ourselves slowly becoming spiritual sluggards when it comes to the precious gift of salvation. Unlike me, God hasn’t decided that out of his disappointment and hurt with how we handle His gift He will not invest any more into helping us! Oh the greatness and infinite nature of the grace of our God! God yet invites us to yield to Him, that He would cause us to “grow up into the head that is Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). He already knew how we would mismanage and mishandle this gift, yet He never regretted paying such a high cost (much different from where I regretted paying for that toy!) to bring us into fellowship with Himself! The grace, kindness, and patience of our God should motivate us to become better stewards of the great gift we’ve been given. Romans 2:4 declares it is the KINDNESS of God that leads us to repentance! Let us not take God’s kindness for granted but rather express our thankfulness to Him through faithful stewardship of this great gift!
Cody T. McCain Sr. is the owner, funeral director, and embalmer of McCain Funeral Home & Cremations, LLC located in Morganton. He, along with his wife Shaunda, have a passion to serve their community with the love, integrity, and excellence of Christ.
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