S SCRIPTURE: MATTHEW 16:18

On this rock I will build my church, and death itself will not have any power over it.

The Roman Empire at one time was the greatest empire in the world in terms of size and influence, with borders that encompassed most of the known world. Their elaborate governing system was in full operation and tax money was coming in at a higher rate than ever. Truly the Roman Empire was glorying in its finest hour.

If the leader of this vast empire, Tiberius Caesar, had looked from his palace in Rome all the way to a distant remote mountain in Galilee, he would have seen twelve men gathered around their humble leader. And had he heard what this leader was saying to these twelve men, he would have laughed out loud. “On this rock I will build my church, and death itself will not have any power over it,” declared Jesus to His small band of followers.

Furthermore, if Caesar had looked 350 years into the future, he would have been aghast to see his successor, Constantine, naming Christianity as the official state religion. It took less than 400 years for Christianity and the church of Jesus Christ to conquer the great Roman Empire. It is significant to note how a church of only twelve impacted the entire known world in such a short time.

Jesus embraced His church in a very personal way. He said, “I will build My church.” As we embrace the cause of the local church and personalize it the way Jesus did, we have the ability to impact the world the same way the disciples did 2,000 years ago. Because the power of Christ dwells in us today, we can confidently build His church with Him.

As we look “beyond” to building His church with Him, what role do you see yourself playing?

T THINK record your observations from the verse(s) above

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E ENGAGE personalize how you will apply the verse(s) to your life

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P PRAYER

Father, I want to passionately embrace the cause of Christ so I can make a difference in the world around me. As we embark on the Beyond journey, help me begin to understand in a greater way the role I’m to play in my church. Amen!