Sunday, 9 September

Matthew 16:18 – “And I say also to you, That you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Congratulations on finishing the first week of the Daniel Fast 2018. As we set our eyes on the second week of the DF 2018, I want to draw your attention to the work that Jesus began to build roughly 2000 years ago, which He is trying to finish today. I am speaking about His Church.

Jesus loves His church. He gave Himself up on the cross for her. He is working hard, day and night, to bring her into the fulness of His glory. And He is going to return soon for her to present her to His Father. And she will be without stain or blemish. She will be glorious, a perfect reflection of her Saviour and Lord.

Being a father has taught me so much about the love and perseverance of God. When my girls were small they cried a lot, made messes in their diapers, woke up in the middle of the night, got fussy and at times, made my life very difficult. But my love for them was not based on what they could do for me. I brought them into the world because of love.

When I look at the Church of God today I wonder at times: “God, how can you love that?” God doesn’t love the Church because of what she can do for Him. He loves the Church regardless of what she does. Nevertheless, His vision for the Church has not changed an iota since the day Jesus spoke those words over the apostle Peter: “I will build something against which not even hell itself can prevail!”

You are a living stone in that Church. The Church itself can never be more glorious than the individual stones that constitute her. How do you build a glorious Church? By shaping one glorious stone after another.

There are two places where you are called to demonstrate the grace of God. As a citizen of His kingdom, you are called to live out your salvation in the world. You are called to be a light on a hill and the salt of the earth. People should see you as a living epistle. The second place you are called to demonstrate the grace of God is within the local expression of His Church. This is your spiritual family: the good and the bad. By living out your sonship in the local church you grow spiritually, discover your spiritual gifts, learn how to love as God loves, and discover God in ways you could never imagine.

Jesus is building His Church. Become a part of what He is doing. When another stone hurts you in some way, don’t just withdraw yourself from the edifice. Simply add more of God’s mortar of love between you and that other stone.

Pray today for the local church:

– Pray for those who hurt others.

– Pray for yourself to be a part of their healing process.

Robert BAXTER

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