February 17, 2019

The Keys of the Kingdom

Matthew 16:13-20

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

—  Matthew 16:19

Jesus tells his disciples they will be given the keys of the kingdom. Amazing! When you are given the keys to someone’s house, it means you have access to all the resources that are locked within—and you are responsible to take care of them.

It’s interesting that, just before this, Jesus tells his disciples that the gates of hell will not be able to stand against the building up of Christ’s church. What does that mean?

Jesus wants us to know that his kingdom resources of love, generosity, forgiveness, peace, kindness, and more are available for us to use as he builds his church in this world. As we use these good things on earth, no evil force can withstand their power. Jesus also wants us to know that as we freely use his resources on earth, the powers of good will be loosed in heaven and poured out on earth. But if we restrict their use on earth and do not freely share them, they will also be held back in heaven.

May the kingdom of heaven be on earth as it is in heaven.

We have been given the keys to the resources of heaven. How thrilling! And what great responsibility! How will you use them today?

Lord, thank you for the keys of the kingdom. May we be generous stewards of your resources so that the barriers of evil will literally fall before our ongoing acts of kindness, love, forgiveness, patience, and goodness—by the power of your name. Amen.

About the author — Dale Melenberg

Dale Melenberg is a second-career pastor. He received a theology degree through Calvin Theological Seminary and a doctorate of ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is married to Gloria, and together they have raised three sons and are enjoying their four grandchildren. Growing up in an immigrant community shaped Dale’s view of family, church, and community in a profound way that continues to inform his life-view toward kingdom living with God, neighbors, and the creation.

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