Summary: We can see thru the life of Peter the faithfulness of God.

INTRO: I want us to think about faithfulness.

-If your car starts once every three tries, is it reliable?

-If your paperboy skips delivery every Monday and Thursday, is he trustworthy?

-If you don’t go to work once or twice a month, are you a loyal employee?

-If your refrigerator stops working for a day or two every now and then, do you say, “oh well, it works most of the time”?

-If your water heater provides an icy-cold shower every now and then, is it dependable?

-If you miss a couple of loan payments every year, does the bank say, “ten out of twelve isn’t bad”?

-The answer to these questions is: of course not. We all know what it means to be faithful.

Today – we’re going to look at a man who learned about the faithfulness of God.

TITLE: The Faithfulness of God

TEXT: Matthew 4:18-20

I. Peter was a man who followed God. Jesus is walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He notices a couple of individuals and he tells them to come follow him.

A. Peter and Andrew were casting their nets into the sea. They were fisherman by trade.

1. The text tells us at once they left what they were doing and went and followed Jesus.

Question: Could you up and leave a family business if Jesus called you to? Jesus said he would make them fishers of men.

-Think about it – to leave a livelihood and to “leave it at once” with no hesitation.

2. Jesus encountered others whom he told to come follow him but they didn’t.

-Luke 9:57-62:

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

B. Peter was a leader. This tough old fisherman had plenty of opportunities in life to take charge.

1. Interesting to note – Peter is first in every list of Jesus’ twelve disciples and is the disciple most often mentioned in the gospels.

-Peter’s prominent role among the disciples is acknowledged by Jesus. (Matthew 16:16-19)

2. Peter was in the group that was closest to Jesus (Peter, James, John).

3. On one occasion the disciples are out in a boat trying to get to the other side of the sea and a huge storm is throwing them around. Jesus approaches them to help.

-Take notice it was Peter who took charge, “Lord if it’s you, tell me to come out to you.” So Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking on the water. We know he started to sink as soon as he saw the waves but he took the lead.

C. The Lord helped him – every time Peter got into a difficult situation, the Lord was there –

1. From pulling him out of the water to putting back the high priest’s servant’s ear that Peter cut off.

-Jesus was always taking care of him.

2. This go-get-um attitude had some disadvantages.

-It can bring about pride and arrogance.

3. You can see this at the Last Supper, when the Lord was telling them that he was going to be betrayed, that he was going to die.

-You can picture the setting, who’s going to betray him, it won’t be me (all the disciples began to argue who would be the greatest).

4. Peter says to the Lord, “I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” (Luke 22:33)

-The Lord replies, “Before the rooster crows today, you will me deny three times.”

Point: In Peter’s mind there was no way this would ever happen. After all he was the Lord’s protector.

II. Peter was a man who failed God. Paul writes (1 Corinthians 10:12), “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

A. Peter did deny the Lord – at the Lord’s hour of need Peter left the Lord. Many say it was because Peter was a coward or because he was not brave.

1. I believe neither was the case. I believe Peter was a very brave committed man who was a leader who stepped out in faith often.

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