Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven." Matt. 16:18-19
We have been talking about God’s vision. He has always had a vision of a people who would belong to His Son. Coming to know His Son Jesus is the defining moment of our lives. It sets the direction and tone for everything from then on. We receive a new name, discover who we really are, and find our destiny-all in Christ.
To become part of Christ’s church is to become a part of the force that pushes back the powers of Satanic darkness. The world is currently being “retaken” for Christ and we are the ones who are doing the taking. The church is where locked doors are opened by keys that Jesus himself hands us. People whose lives were held in bondage to sin and Satan find release at the hands of the mighty followers of Jesus who spread His message of hope and love. Doors are opening wide as you and I stand in our identity as overcomers and conquerors setting captives free and spreading hope to the world.
The church is where losers become winners. Those who have not been considered popular or cool “find themselves” in the church. They are no longer repressed by an appearance/performance based culture. They are released to be who God intended for them to be. The can use their unique gifts, personality, and life experiences on a winning team and can make a difference in the world.
This is what I love the most-embracing “losers” and seeing them become winners. That is exactly what happens when we become part of the church. According to Jesus, not even the powers of hell can stop us.
“For they are transplanted into the LORD's own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.” Ps. 92:13
This is the vision that Michelle, I, and the rest of the team see as your pastors. It is a vision of you flourishing and influencing the world for Christ. It is God’s vision for you.
“After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what is our proud reward and crown? It is you! Yes, you will bring us much joy as we stand together before our Lord Jesus when he comes back again. For you are our pride and joy.” I Thes. 2:19-20