Be Encouraged (Guest post by Shawn Ammons)
In Matthew 16:13-24 we see Jesus finishing up a three stop equipping tour. He had been to Tyre/Sidon, the Decapolis, and now Ceasarea Philippi. The following are three encouraging points from this passage.
Jesus makes a promise with an authority like no other... "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH."
When Jesus makes a promise, he keeps it. When he speaks, whatever he says happens. Jesus uses ordinary people like you and me to be disciple-makers. Jesus uses us to build his church.
Nothing can stop Jesus from building his church. No spears, bullets, fighter jets, bombs, terrorists, other religions. Nothing, not even the gates of hell can overcome Jesus building his church. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Be encouraged by this and refuse to believe the lies of our enemy.
Jesus had and still has an unwavering commitment to build the church for all people in all places around the world.
We see this as Jesus completes this training tour. We also see this in Matt. 28 where Jesus shares this command, “Make disciples of ALL nations." Be encouraged to follow Jesus personally and include those on the natural path of your life.
Jesus chose a backwards strategy to win the nations, tribes, and tongues by dying himself and by asking his followers to deny themselves and take up their cross to follow him.
If any one desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. - Matt.16:24
If you desire something bad enough you will deny yourself comforts and pleasures in order to pursue it, even if it requires daily sacrifice over a long period of time.
Be encouraged, as you deny self and daily take up your cross. Disciples will be made around the world. Nothing can stop Jesus from building his church. And, he will use people like you and me do it.
This article was inspired from a missions conference message by John Piper. It has been adapted for leadership training and wanted to share it with you as well.