Bible Reading – Matthew 16
Matthew 16:18,23 KJV
 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
After recently writing of the building pieces of the tabernacle in Exodus, it is timely to reference one of the first mentions of the church in the New Testament in Matthew 16. In fewer than ten verses of dialogue, Christ calls Peter by several names. In verse 17, Jesus calls Peter by his given name, Simon, quickly followed in verse 18 by the name Peter. Simon, a reference to who Peter was when he met Christ would be replaced by Peter, who he was after Christ called him. Peter, in the Greek language, is the word Petros, with the literal meaning of a small stone or a building block. This is not to be confused with “petra” the solid Rock and Cornerstone of the church on which Christ says He will build His church. Christ is the foundation of the church, and Peter (as we are all meant to be) is a building block.
As we continue through the Scripture, Peter does something extremely characteristic of his personality by adamantly opposing the idea that Christ would die in verse 23. And in verse 24, we see Christ calling Peter another name, Satan. It is the word “offense” after that, however, on which I would like to focus. The word “offense” is a reference to another type of stone or rock that would be protruding from the ground on a walking path. It would easily cause a traveler to trip and stumble, and it is quite literally a stumbling stone. Just a few verses after Peter was called by Christ to be a building block of the church, he made himself a stumbling block by attempting to prevent the will of God, unknowingly or otherwise. Fortunately, we understand that God was far from being through with Peter, and Peter would be a mighty servant through which God would do incredible things!
As Christians, it is a sober thing to realize that God wants to use us for His work, and it is equally sobering to contemplate the results of disobedience. As a husband and father, I want to do everything within my capability to ensure I am putting my family in the place to serve God wholly and to not a be a reason for my family to stumble at the truths of God. I have friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and those I may interact with on a daily or random basis who all need to see the Gospel of Christ in my life. May we all strive daily to be the Christian that God wants us to be, for others are dependent on it. May we be building blocks and not stumbling blocks. And if ever we find ourselves being the latter, understand that God is not through using our lives! He is a God of love, mercy, and forgiveness, making me want to serve Him to an even greater extent!
— Eli Faulds