OUR ROOTS IN GIVING
Read: Matthew 16:13-18
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 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. (NIV Matthew 16:13-18)
Study: Jesus, even with a relatively small group of followers and facing deadly hostility from his country’s power structure, thought in terms of triumph. He expressed a big vision when he said his church would be so spiritually powerful that not even “the gates of the underworld” [i.e. Hades—the realm of the dead] would be able to stand against it. He carried out the truth of that vision by dying and then rising from the dead! Scholar N. T. Wright observed, “Jesus isn’t going to build an actual city, or an actual Temple. He is going to build a community, consisting of all those who give allegiance to him as God’s anointed king.” In what ways have you found your place of worship a true community, not just an auditorium where isolated people watch a performance? How can you make it more of a community by connecting with other people you haven’t met yet?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the courage, creativity, focus and faith to live as a member of your family. Amen.