The story of the prodigal son moves my heart to delve into the depths of God’s limitless grace. I find myself in every facet of Jesus’ words. I identify with both the son’s rebellion and the power of the father’s love. As children of God we are in constant need of reminders about God’s mercy toward us. When the world rejects us, God calls us in. When the world writes us off, God clothes us with righteousness and honor. May this transformative story of the prodigal son guide you to a deeper and more intimate relationship with your loving heavenly Father.
Scripture:“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
One day as I spent time with the Lord I felt him speak to me, “Come follow me and I’ll give you the keys to the kingdom.” I stood still in awe and wonder at a God who would break through the natural and speak straight to my heart. At this point I had yet to read a Scripture that I believe was meant to define the lives of all believers. Once I came across this verse I felt the purpose for my life was changed forever.
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus tells Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” And later in Matthew 18:18 he tells the rest of the disciples, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” You and I are called to live with the authority of our Savior. When we became Christians we were brought into a restoration of authority only available to those transformed by his powerful sacrifice. We have been given dominion over the powers of darkness that we might spread the truth of God’s authority over the works of the enemy. God has chosen to use us as beacons of his holy light that the world would see us and know of the power and love of our heavenly Father.
In the story of the prodigal son, the father immediately restores the authority of his child upon his return. When the father gives his ring to his son, we see a symbol of authority being transferred back to the son. No matter how terrible the sin, no matter how long the rebellion, our Father will always give us authority to do his work when we return to him.
No sin disqualifies us from living a life of eternal impact. No length of time outside of the church, the Bible, prayer, or worship keeps us from being ministers of God’s grace. In his grace, he’s chosen to use us. Each one of us has been appointed, not by our own merit, but by his love and divine wisdom to live a life of eternal significance only we can live.
Jesus is saying to you today, “Come follow me and I’ll give you the keys to my kingdom.” He’s given you authority to bind and loose things on heaven and earth. You have the authority to lead others to freedom from the terrible schemes of the enemy on their lives. You have the ability to love and minister to others by the Spirit of God. You can shine the light of God’s love into the darkest places and claim what was the enemy’s for the one true God.
Take time in guided prayer to meditate on the authority given to you by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh and declare to you the purposes he has for you today. Commit yourself to being a minister of the Lord in every circumstance today and discover the incredible life available to you in the restoration of authority given to you by your heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on the authority given to you by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Allow Scripture to renew your mind to the power and authority you have in the Spirit.
“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
“The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!’ And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’” Luke 10:17-20
2. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh and declare to you the purposes he has for you today. Ask him to give you revelation throughout your day on what he wants you to bind and loose on earth and in heaven.
3. Commit yourself to being a minister of the Lord in every circumstance today. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to live courageously and under his influence. Ask him to fill you with love and grace for others and to help you guide others into the fullness of relationship with their Creator.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7
How abundant is our God’s grace that he would choose to use us to advance his kingdom. How near is he to us that he longs to help us be reflections of his love in every circumstance. There is no greater life than one lived in pursuit of bringing God’s kingdom to earth in all we do. There is no greater purpose than being used by the Holy Spirit to accomplish works of eternal significance. May you live today in light of the authority restored to you by the powerful sacrifice of Jesus.
Extended Reading: Matthew 16
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