Summary: If you and I desire to become Steadfast and Unmovable disciples of the Master, we must build appropriately and effectively upon Him as our foundation.
TITLE: A STEADFAST SERVANT
SCRIPTURE: I CORINTHIANS 15:58
I am honored this afternoon to be at the First Baptist Church of Purcell to help you celebrate your Pastor, A STEADFAST SERVANT. It has been a few years since I have been here and I am glad to be back in the District. I want to honor your Theme as we celebrate this afternoon and work through the Scriptural Text you have selected for examination during this occasion.
Not so long ago, people would be raised in their birth town – GROW UP – GET A JOB – GET MARRIED – HAVE A FAMILY – GROW OLD – DIE WITHOUT LEAVING THEIR OWN TOWN OR GENERAL AREA. They would spend their entire life in their town. It is still that way in much of this world, but no longer in America.
• We are living in a very mobile society
• People will move across the country for jobs, education, or often just a whim!
• Young people want to see the World, no longer want to stay in the small town where they were raised
• That mindset has carried over to other areas of their lives as well
• No longer stay at your job for 35 years – okay to move around
Unfortunately, even when it comes to spiritual matters we take the same approach. Not only do we have folks who hop from church to church, but we also have some who have little concern over the doctrine and practice of the churches they choose! Not only do we want to recognize the steadfastness of the Pastor, but I also want to shed some light on the membership as well. I want to encourage you to be Steadfast as well. Listen again to the charge of the Apostle Paul to the folks in the Church at Corinth –
--I CORINTHIANS 15:58 “THEREFORE, MY BELOVED BRETHREN BE YE STEDFAST, UNMOVABLE, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD, FORASMUCH AS YE KNOW THAT YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD.”
Paul said, be STEADFAST -- UNMOVEABLE – ABOUNDING – These are interesting Words that Paul selects for this verse. I have learned in my many years of Preaching, every Word in the Bible is important. If we are not careful we will have the tendency to simply read passages of Scripture and miss its many Treasures because we don’t take time to understand its significance. Paul offers up three critical words in this passage you have selected for your Theme – STEDFAST – UNMOVEABLE – ABOUNDING. Your Theme -- A STEADFAST SERVANT is wonderful, therefore; to be “Steadfast” Paul is suggesting to us, it must be Partnered with “Unmoveable” and “Abounding.”
In your Theme – “STEADFAST” means “Stay Put” and “Don't Quit!” I like this text because oftentimes we miss the real message. Every Word in the Bible is important. Firstly, the text tells us, God wants us to stay steadfast. The dictionary defines the word “Steadfast” as "FIRM IN BELIEF, DETERMINATION, OR ADHERENCE; LOYAL OR FAITHFUL." What does that mean to us?
• It has to do with our faithful service to God
• Not Service to God, but Faithful Service to God
• Paul specifically tells us here that we are to abound (or go beyond the norm) in the work of the Lord
• The Work of the Lord is what is important
• It means reaching people with the simple message of God's love
• It means teaching others in His ways
• It is the most important function that we have here on this earth
Steadfast - carries the meaning of ‘Support’ and ‘Foundation.’ In other words, you can only be steadfast with a foundation.
• No Foundation - No Steadfastness
• No Foundation - No Stability
• No Foundation - No Longevity
• The same goes for us
• We cannot be steadfast without Jesus the Rock the firm foundation in our lives
• To Remain Steadfast, we must be Spiritually Grounded
Oftentimes we cannot be “Steadfast” because we are grounded in the wrong stuff. We want to be grounded in –
• Aspirations to hold position in National Convention
• Our Baptist Doctrine
• Constitution and By Laws
• Our District or State Convention
• We Have Always Done It Like This
There is a Promise found in this short verse for examination. The promise is extended to those that remain STEDFAST – UNMOVABLE – ABOUNDING.
• The knowledge that our labor is not in vain
• We are not wasting our time when we invest it in the work of the Lord
• We may not see the immediate results of our investment
• But one day we will when we reach out to Christ
• And He says to us, 'Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of the Lord' we will be glad we stayed!