Scripture: Matthew 16:13-19
These Lenten devotionals are to encourage us to prepare ourselves for the most exciting celebration of the greatest event the world has ever seen . . . the resurrection of JESUS CHRIST. It isn’t merely about a man who was killed coming back to life. It’s about the culmination of GOD’s redemptive plan which was preordained from the foundations of the world. The work has been done. It is finished. There is nothing left for us to do, even if there were something else we could do, except to believe (John 6:28-29). And therein lies the problem . . . we don’t believe . . . though we think we do.
We do not truly believe the GOSPEL OF JESUS is “the power of GOD unto salvation to all who believe” (Romans 1:16). We do not truly believe JESUS is “The Christ, the Son of the living GOD” (Matthew 16:16). We do not truly believe that this confession is the “ROCK upon which JESUS is building His Church and the very gates of hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).
Why do I think so much of the Church does not truly believe? Because so much of the Church substitutes the GOSPEL OF JESUS with the following weak ineffective cheap imitations: fighting cultural wars–using human logic and reasoning– practicing religious activities–using man-made tools to attract people and manipulate people to come to church–continuously speaking judgment and condemnation–developing long “to do” lists–an incredible library of “how to” books—lack of discipleship, mentoring, investing in the lives of broken people—a rising objection to JESUS’ call to love GOD and to love our neighbor—an unwillingness to develop authentic relationships with the unchurched and with the outcasts of our religious environments. And I could go on and on.
It seems to me, if we truly believed the GOSPEL OF JESUS . . . if we truly believed in the significance of the absolutely astounding, glorious, unbelievable, amazing, overwhelming resurrection of JESUS CHIRST the world would not be as it is and the church would not be as irrelevant and out of touch as it has become.
I believe this because I believe all people of the earth have been created by GOD and have been created in the image of GOD and are primarily spiritual beings. And for this reason the very things they are searching for, longing, and yearning for are fulfilled ultimately and completely in and through the GOSPEL OF JESUS! All other arguments are ineffective and irrelevant because the ultimate meaning of life is spiritually discerned and therefore JESUS is the answer!
JESUS is Risen . . . !