I have a new friend. Her name is Lona. When she came for dinner on Easter, she brought me this kitchen towel as a hostess gift. It reminds me of her, not only because it was a present from her, but because she does open big doors with little keys. I know because I pray with her every week.
In Matthew 6:19, Jesus told Simon, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Simon had just made his confession of faith, telling Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus had replied by calling him Peter, which means rock, and saying, “On this rock I will build my church.”
The church is the living fellowship of all those who believe that Jesus is the The Christ, The Son of God. Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the church. Peter, the Rock, was the first man to understand and believe that Jesus was the The Christ, the Son of God, and as such, he was the first living stone ( see I Peter 2: 4) placed upon the cornerstone of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church is built upon the belief and confession that Jesus is The Christ, The Son of God. That is the door that opens the Kingdom of heaven up to anyone who would believe. All of us who share this faith are living stones built up over the centuries upon the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.
Like Peter, every believer is given the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. The keys are to bind and to loose. To forbid and to allow. To close and to open. What do we bind, forbid, and close? What do we loose, allow and open? We loose, allow and open when we share the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ. We bind, forbid and close when we deny the lies of the evil one. We bind and loose whenever we exercise this authority in prayer. We speak and believe the word of God given us in the Scriptures and apply them to the lives of our families, churches, and communities.
Lona has beautiful brown eyes that sparkle with the life of Jesus. She comes to prayer expectantly. She uses her keys, exercising her authority to bind and loose confidently when she prays. I hear her. I learn from her. Sometimes during our hours of praying with Jesus, He shows her what He is doing, and she giggles with delight. I hear that laughter and I know bad things are being locked up and good doors are opening for those we pray for.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us the keys to the kingdom of heaven. We are humbled and grateful. Open our eyes to see doors that need to be opened and to doors that need to be closed.