Matthew 16:18 (NIV®)
“I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
Empires rise and fall, and the social context changes, but the Church of Jesus Christ continues forward. Think of the empires that have come and gone while the Church has spread throughout the earth. Roman emperors sometimes illuminated their garden parties with Christians dipped in tar and set afire. Hitler’s Third Reich executed Dietrich Bonhoeffer just two years after his book The Cost of Discipleship was published. And house churches meet in secret in many counties even today. There’s something amazing in these stories. Whether on a river bank or in a house, a prison cell, or a beautiful building, the message of redemption through Jesus Christ is shared, and believed, and the Church continues to grow. Every believer in Jesus of Nazareth carries the same assignment, no matter our generation, no matter our context.
Heavenly Father, I am inspired by the stories of Your people living faithfully through the ages, even in the face of great persecution and death. I want to be known as a person who lived for You faithfully during my days in the earth. Show me what that means as I go through the activities of my days. Thank you for Your direction. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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