Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus responded, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:16-18 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Even the gates of hell can’t stop us.”
Yesterday we thought about the Great Commission Jesus gave to us and how it is that sometimes that mission can seem like “Mission Impossible”. The fact is that we live in a broken and sometimes crazy world. Satan and his demonic hordes are present and very actively working in opposition to the people of God.
That’s especially true for Christians who are passionate about being on-mission with Jesus. Casual Christians don’t need to worry about encountering too much opposition from the dark side because they’re not doing much that causes Satan any real concern. Therefore, he and the demons don’t need to pay too much attention to those people. But for the ones who are serious and intentional and who are out there making a real impact for the cause of Christ, buckle your seat belts! It’s likely to be a rough ride. The forces of evil will oppose your efforts. That’s what Paul was writing about in Ephesians 6:10-20 when he went to such great lengths to stress the reality of the spiritual warfare believers are engaged in every day.
So, it could seem as if this mission of ours is indeed close to impossible. And that would be true except that we have the Holy Spirit working in us and through us to accomplish the objectives of God. In Matthew 16:16-18 Jesus made it clear that His kingdom will be established, and His goals will be achieved, and that the best efforts of the powers of hell will not be able to prevent that from happening. When Jesus said the words “on this rock I will build my church” He was referring to the strong profession of faith that Peter had just made. It is upon a strong and bold profession of faith like that, and on the actions that flow from such strong faith, that the church of Christ is built. Nothing Satan and the demons do can prevent it. The forces of darkness are powerful, but they are no match for the power of God at work through His people.
So what does that mean for you and me as we live our daily lives on-mission with Jesus in this crazy and difficult and sometimes dangerous world? We will explore that thought further tomorrow. In the meantime, just know that you are on the winning side! The very gates of hell cannot prevent the kingdom from being established and from growing.