“’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.’” — Matthew 16:19 (ESV)
One day as I spent time with the Lord, I felt Him speak to me, “Come follow Me and I’ll give you the keys to the Kingdom.” I stood still in awe and wonder at a God who would break through the natural and speak straight to my heart. At this point, I had yet to read a scripture that I believe was meant to define the lives of all believers. Once I came across this verse, I felt that the purpose for my life was changed forever.
In Matthew 16:19 (ESV) Jesus tells Peter, “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.” Later in Matthew 18:18 (ESV), He tells the rest of the disciples, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” You and I are called to live with the authority of our Savior. When we became Christians, we were brought into a restoration of authority only available to those transformed by His powerful sacrifice. We have been given dominion over the powers of darkness that we might spread the truth of God’s authority over the works of the enemy. God has chosen to use us as beacons of His holy light that the world would see us and know of the power and love of our Heavenly Father.
In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, the father immediately restores the authority of his child upon his return. When the father gives his ring to his son, we see a symbol of authority being transferred back to the son. No matter how terrible the sin, no matter how long the rebellion, our Father will always give us authority to do His work when we return to Him.
No sin disqualifies us from living a life of eternal impact. No length of time outside of the Church, the Bible, prayer or worship keeps us from being ministers of God’s grace. In His grace, He’s chosen to use us. Each one of us has been appointed, not by our own merit but by His love and divine wisdom, to live a life of eternal significance.
Jesus is saying to you today, “Come follow me and I’ll give you the keys to My Kingdom.” He’s given you authority to bind and loose things on Heaven and earth. You have the authority to lead others to freedom from the terrible schemes of the enemy on their lives. You have the ability to love and minister to others by the Spirit of God. You can shine the light of God’s love into the darkest places and claim what was the enemy’s for the one true God.
Take time in prayer to meditate on the authority given to you by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh and declare to you the purposes He has for you today. Commit yourself to being a minister of the Lord in every circumstance today, and discover the incredible life available to you in the restoration of authority given to you by your Heavenly Father.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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