“…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus spoke more often about His Kingdom (advancing here and now on earth) but did not often combine church and kingdom in one thought, except here in Matthew 16. His mandate to us is to establish His Kingdom and to “make disciples”. He said “I will build my church”. In this verse He gives us the keys for Kingdom advancement and it seems to me that the effective result of Kingdom expansion is the establishing of healthy church.

We must be careful not to get our roles confused.

One of our joys at Mergon is to travel to encounter many expressions of Kingdom advancement. There are incredible things happening across the earth and we see God on the move. Why is it then that the church is so often struggling? I don’t mean under persecution (that seems to make the church more healthy) but rather struggling within itself. I suspect that it is because we are trying to build His church and leaving Kingdom advancement and discipleship up to Him.

We should stop asking questions like: “what should the church look like in this context” and start asking “what would the kingdom look like here”. My prayer is that you are empowered by the Spirit of God with the grace to do what He is calling you to do.

God give us eyes to see what your Kingdom looks like and what keys we carry to unlock its progress. Help us to make healthy, maturing disciples. Give us patience to follow you as you establish your church and as we walk in obedience to you.

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