Summary: A message on stewardship focusing on our carrying the Gospel in words and deeds.
Part 1-There Is No Plan “B”
January 6, 2008
Pastor Brian Matherlee
Who has a key to your house? Who do you trust with access to your stuff while you’re gone?
We don’t trust people easily when it comes to the big things of our lives. God doesn’t either.
In Matthew 16:13-19 we see God trusting people.
Peter makes a grand confession and Jesus tells him, “On this rock I will build my church” and “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus was telling Peter that he would be a steward of the Gospel. When Jesus established a church there was no plan “b”. There still isn’t.
The church is built upon a profession of faith by imperfect people. Peter makes this proclamation and then denies Christ 3 times!
We are stewards of the message and integrity of the risen Christ. People don’t see Jesus by himself…they see Jesus in you and me. Is he clearly seen in you?
What principles will help us become the best stewards of the church that we can be?
We must be:
a. I Peter 1:15-16, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, ‘Be holy because I am holy.’”
b. Half-hearted living is a black eye on Christ. Someone might say, “If Jesus is real then why don’t his people live differently.”
c. Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup said, "We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar in both groups. Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christians, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still could recall five of the Ten Commandments. Only two in ten said they would be willing to suffer for their faith.
(Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p. 76.)
d. Being a part of the Church, the Body of Christ, means that we are different…not that we are only mentally agreeing that Jesus, the Bible and morals are good. It must be practiced.
a. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
b. We can be hungry for anything. We need to be careful that what we fill up on is also what satisfies.
c. We have to develop an appetite for the things of God. You only do that because God draws us and then through exposure to the things of God.
d. “My food’, said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
a. Video from Stewardship Ministries of the Wesleyan Church “Gospel”.
b. Luke 7:16-17, “’God has come to help his people.’ This news about Jesus spread…”
a. Jesus told Peter, “The gates of Hades will not overcome it.”(Mt. 16:18)
b. We must know that Satan cannot prevail over the church. He won’t in eternity and he cannot prevail now. We must live as the Body of Christ and move forward in faith. We cannot be timid, we cannot rely upon what is seen…we must act upon God’s leading.
c. The church is glorious. It is a winning proposition. Let’s live that way.