Summary: Peter gives us list of 8 simple characteristics that are so basic we tend to overlook them... but we do so at our own risk. Learn the value of the "simple" qualities of your faith.
OPEN: Cecil B. DeMille was making one of his great epic movies. He had 6 cameras at various points to pick up the overall action and 5 other cameras set up to film plot developments involving major characters. The large cast had begun rehearsing the scene at 6am and they went through it 4 times.
Now it was late afternoon. The sun was setting & there was just enough light to get the shot done. DeMille looked over the panorama, saw that all was right, & gave the command for action.
One hundred extras charged up the hill; another hundred came storming down the same to hill to do mock battle. In another location Roman centurions lashed and shouted at 200 slaves who labored to move a huge stone monument toward its resting place.
Meanwhile the principal characters acted out their reactions on the hill. Their words were drowned out by the noise around them, but the dialogue was to be dubbed in later.
It took 15 minutes to complete the scene. When it was over, DeMille yelled, "Cut!" and turned to his assistant, all smiles. "That was great!" he said.
"It was, C.B.," the assistant yelled back. "It was fantastic! Everything went off perfectly!"
Enormously pleased, DeMille turned to face the head of the camera crew to find out if all the cameras had picked up what they had been assigned to film. He waved to the camera crew supervisor.
From the top of the hill, the camera supervisor waved back, raised his megaphone, and called out, "Ready when you are C.B!"
APPLY: It was a great scene.
It was a perfect day
The lighting ideal
All of the actors & actresses performed their parts flawlessly
Everything worked just as it should… except there was something missing. Something had been overlooked. And because something had been overlooked, all their efforts were in vain.
Can you imagine how discouraging that must have been?
Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to invest your life into a project of that magnitude only to find that it has been for nothing.
I. Paul told us that that could happen to us as well:
“… no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.” I Corinthians 3:11-15
It is possible for us to end up empty-handed on the day of judgment. To stand before God on that last day and have nothing to show for all the time I’ve been in church. Or Sunday School or Bible study.
Paul was telling us that if we build with wrong materials - we can still be saved – but our Christianity will be shown to be ineffective and unproductive
ILLUS: Howard Hendricks said, “I’ve never met a Christian who planned to have a mediocre life…."
He’d never known anyone who planned to build with wood, hay & stubble