April 17, 2022
Ride or Die for Your Local Church
I grew up in Philly and loved the Rocky movies, but the greatest Rocky story is found in the Bible.
Simon Peter and the disciples were talking about the rumors of who Jesus was when Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 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 16:17-18, NIV)
The church wasn’t to be built on Simon Peter but on the revelation of who Jesus is. Two thousand years later, that revelation of who Jesus is, conveyed through the local church, is still igniting lives!
We all have a story of how we came to Christ and the church. This is mine…
I remember in school they would have you draw your family tree. Mine was a family shrub. I have had three dads in my life.
Dad #1 disappeared from my life when he and my Mom were divorced when I was a preschooler. It wasn’t until nearly two decades later that I reunited with him.
Dad #2 was a helicopter pilot and was killed in action when I was in elementary school.
Dad #3 was an attorney for an oil company. As a high schooler, I looked up to him as a mentor until we found out the truth about his secret life. He had multiple mistresses and affairs.
Mom was devastated and reached out to my Uncle Joe to confront him in front of his weekend family. As we drove through the neighborhood, he was in the driveway and, with a look of panic, directed us to meet him down the road.
When we arrived in a parking lot, he came running towards us. I warned my uncle that he knew karate. That is when my uncle opened up the trunk and grabbed the tire iron.
Mom saw this heading in the wrong direction and pleaded with my uncle to let him go. As he ran away, we were left in that parking lot with anger, betrayal, and loss.
But we were in the parking lot of a church…
My mom went inside, and in that brief conversation, she was encouraged to give it all to Jesus. Her life was changed that day. Six months later, I became a Christian as well.
That is why I believe in your church and starting new ones. It's why I work toward the vision to see 100 new churches planted in five years.
Why? Because the message of the local church is the hope of the world.
As men of God, we need to be "ride or die" for our local church as it fulfills Jesus’ mission to seek and to save the lost. Through our involvement as men, our churches will be stronger and more missional as we serve, give and lead.
Your world needs your local church, and your local church needs you to be committed to it—ride or die.
By: Tom Rees, PennDel Men’s Ministry and Home Missions Director
Today’s Scripture: Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven. 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 16:17-18, NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.