Summary: This is the final lesson in our Leaving a Legacy Series. In and through the church we have an opportunity to make an eternally lasting legacy as living stones in the "temple" of God.
1. I have a three page list of activities of our congregation – are you surprised? We can leave a legacy as a congregation!
a. Legacy happens when each does his part [“Tom” Benevolent Ministry at Twickenham CoC
b. Discover your purpose and live it out – for Kingdom of God (not personal glory)
c. Are you willing to lay aside personal agendas and take up God’s agenda in what he is building? Remember, It’s not about You or Me – it’s all about GOD!
2. 1 Peter 2.4-10
a. Temples built of stone (off-site)
b. God is shaping each of us for the right fit in his spiritual temple [Pics of Temple wall foundation stones/Western Wall
c. Jesus is the foundation/Cornerstone
d. We are the living stones/priesthood/chosen/Holy/God’s Own People
3. [Clinker Bricks
Clinker bricks are bricks that didn’t make it. For some reason or another, they come out of the kiln misshapen or deformed. There is a church building in New York State that is intentionally built of clinker bricks. Apparently, the congregation wanted to send a message, so they build the building of imperfect, rejected bricks. The message is that we are all clinker bricks, we are sinners, we are imperfect people, but through Christ we are living stones in his church. “Misfits Class”; “Square Pegs Class”
4. Challenges to Intentional Lives of Acceptable Sacrifice to God (Romans 12.1-2)
a. Possible to give unacceptable sacrifices – Nadab and Abihu
b. Intentional Sacrifice Costs us – US – all in for Jesus
I. Challenge #1 – Do What We Should Do
A. Start Doing what God Wants You to Do
1. “Do the right things; and do things right.”
2. General – Matthew 28.18-20
3. Specific – “As you go” = your area of influence.
B. The Law of Multiplication Follows (Matthew 13.23, etc.)
1. How We Start Determines What We Can Do
2. Why should God give us more if we don’t use what we have?
3. More than Participants
It started in California in the 1980s with an initiative to increase the self-esteem of inner-city kids: awarding participation trophies just for showing up. In addition to awarding trophies to winners, every participant was given a trophy for participating in the activity.
The Bible doesn’t say anything about participation rewards—rewards just for being a Christian. Rather, heavenly rewards will be based on motivation. Did we serve Christ on earth for our own glory or for His? Were we motivated by the praise of men or for the praise of God in heaven? The apostle Paul used the metaphor of a building to compare the two motivations. A house built of “gold, silver, [and] precious stones” will be rewarded; a house built of “wood, hay, [and] straw” will be consumed by the fire of Christ’s judgment (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). There is no reward mentioned just for participating as a Christian in God’s kingdom
Every day is another day of building our spiritual house, a day that cannot be undone. Choose today to serve Christ for His glory.
4. Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25.14-30) – no award for showing up
II. Challenge #2 – Do What We Could Do
A. The Law of Addition –
1. Do what we SHOULD
2. Add More than is Expected (Matthew 5.41 – second mile)
3. [Judaism – women not required to do what men did (Torah study; the prayers; tefillin; attend pilgrim feasts; reason men were glad they were not women b/c they GOT TO serve God – women’s emphasis on home and children; HOWEVER they COULD do as the men if they had time and inclination
B. Give What is Expected and Beyond – 2 Corinthians 8.1-5
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
III. Challenge #3 – Do What We Would Do
A. The Law of Exponential Growth
1. The Level Reserved for Dreamers – Ephesians 3.20-21
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
2. “If God entrusted me/us with _______, I/We would do ______.”