Daily Devotion for April 24, 2017

'Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church'

Matthew 16:13-19 NAS
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

As I was praying for our church body this morning, Christ's words “upon this rock I will build My church” came to mind. But who or what is the “rock?” Is it Peter? Peter's name means “a little piece of rock,” and people don't “build” on one little piece of rock. Moreover, the word “rock” that is used in verse 18 refers to a large rock, stone, or bed rock...

Throughout Scripture, the Messiah, Jesus, is referred to as the “rock,” the “cornerstone,” and the “foundation.” We see this in the Old Testament through verses like Isaiah 28:16, Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 8:14. Also, Jesus refers to Himself as the “rock” or “stone” in Matthew 21:42 and Luke 20:17. Furthermore, Peter refers to Jesus as “the precious corner stone:” “the stone...the very cornerstone” upon which “there is salvation in no one else; there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (1 Peter 2:6, Acts 4:11-12). Other verses such as 1 Corinthians 3:11, Romans 9:33, and Ephesians 2:20 further solidify that Jesus is the “rock.” so it is upon HIMSELF that our Lord builds His “church!” Moreover...

“The gates of Hades” cannot “overpower” Jesus our Rock—He already conquered sin and death...

“The keys of the kingdom of heaven” have been given to us Believers: we have the message (the Good News about Jesus) which unlocks the gates of Heaven!

We let “loose on earth” when we SHARE the Good News about Jesus...

We “bind on earth” when we withhold the Good News about Jesus...

“This is a tremendous revelation! Who is sufficient for these things?” (J. Vernon McGee)

Lord Jesus, help each of us Believers realize that we—Your church—need to tell others about The “Rock” on which we firmly stand! We need to look for the opportunities You bring us to share about You...because “all other ground is sinking sand!” Make us increasingly burdened to let “loose on earth“ by sharing Your Good News, because it is the only thing that can save people, and “that is awesome indeed!” (J. Vernon McGee) We ask this in Your name, Lord Jesus...

AMEN!!!

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