Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
What is better, offense or defense? It’s hard to say in sports, but in Christian faith, offense is certainly better. In Matthew 16, Jesus proclaims that upon the “rock” of Peter's confession, he will build his Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (the “it” really being the people of the Church, the Body of Christ). By declaring that the enemy shall not prevail against it, that encourages the Church to ever be on the offensive, rather than defensive position. If you know you cannot be defeated, would you really commit your focus to defense? Of course not. So how do we move from a defensive position in faith to an offensive? Look to Hebrews, which after reminding readers of God’s faithfulness to His promises says, “we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” What the writer of Hebrews is saying is that rather that remain solely in a defensive position within the Lord (taking refuge from the world in Him), we should have strong encouragement by the faithfulness of God’s Word to take hold of the hope He sets before us! We are saved by faith and can abide in the Lord as our refuge in life; but we will never know the full power of walking with the Lord until we actually take hold of the hope He gives us and begin walking. We can rest in the hope of the Lord or we can carry it with us. When we carry it with us, we have the opportunity to show it to others, and form godly relationships with them, fulfilling the Great Commission to go and make disciples. In the same breath as giving the Great Commission, Jesus said he will be with us always. Today, consider what you are doing with the hope that God sets before all who believe in Jesus; what are you doing with it?
“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants. “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.” – Hebrews 6:13-18 ESV
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18 NIV
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Matthew 28:19-20 NIV