I Will Build My Church
"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:18)
One of the first verses that Mike learned as a new Christian was this one. And after more than 25 years as a church pastor, he is certainly glad that God burned it into his heart at such an early stage; for, let’s face it, life in a local church isn’t always easy, and there are often lots of challenges and discouragements. But today’s promise assures us that, no matter what, Jesus will build his church – and nothing will be able to stop him!
But on what is our confidence for the success and growth of the church based? Not on what may or may not have happened in our own church this past year (whether good or bad); but rather, on this sure promise of Jesus. Your own church may indeed have struggled to grow, or perhaps your church has even shrunk, this year; but while this has happened, the church in China, for example, has grown by millions. The church of Jesus is growing! So let us not get discouraged. He has promised to build his church, and this is a promise he will keep. Our part is not to worry about the growth; our part is simply to "seek first the kingdom" (Matthew 6:33). "You seek the kingdom." Jesus says, "Let Me build the church!"
But our assurance is not just based on Jesus’ promise; it is also based on Jesus’ action. For it was his death on the cross that made it possible for sinful people like us to be cleansed and be drawn into God’s new and ever-growing family. The cross settled the issue! And if it cost Jesus such a price to bring his church into being, do we really think that he will give up with the job only half-done?
If you have felt discouraged recently about the life of your own local church, take hold of this promise of Jesus again – and ask him how you can play your part in seeing it come to pass.
… the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. (Acts 20:28)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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