A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
"The Church Triumphant"
Message summary: Wherever you live and whatever the conditions, rejoice today in this wonderful promise, "The gates of hell shall not prevail". And then rejoice when you see the lamp shining in a dark place, "until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. The church is triumphant, alive and well"!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19).
Our daughter Ester came downstairs the other day excited about a brand new song she had just heard. She liked it because it strikes a chord of victory and because several singers she likes participate such as Michael Tait. We listened and immediately realized it wasn't a new song but was introduced in the early seventies while we were seniors in high school!
Ester has been troubled, like most of us, at the news and the heightened state of uncertainty and turmoil in our nation and world. It's hard for her to understand. Well, actually it's hard for most of us to understand but it is helpful when we have a knowledge of man's fallen condition and rebellion against God.
The song was premiered live when she got a notification so she understandably assumed it was new. The song was "The Church Triumphant" by the Gaithers and many of our old-timers will recognize the title. But this was a Zoom version so it seemed new and includes a variety of singers new and old. We'll link to it below.
Today's first text will be familiar to many. It is our Lord's Word to Peter following his great confession of faith when he proclaimed, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God".
Jesus responded to this confession with a great promise: "Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). Nearly two thousand years have passed since Jesus initially made the promise to Peter and the early disciples and God's truth still marches on. Today the true church continues to make this proclamation, which is at the heart of the Gospel. In fact it is the very foundation on which Christ built His church.
Many years later Peter wrote to the church, "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19).
Jesus promised that the gates of hell will not prevail against His church, though at times it seems otherwise. And that's been the case all through church history. We are reminded in our very day of the forces of hell seeking to destroy the church. The hateful, venomous threats and violent actions of the enemies of Christ are quite evident.
Again today we especially consider our oppressed and persecuted brethren in many parts of the world, as well as those within our own country. Please God, strengthen and remind them of Your promise: "The gates of hell will not prevail".
We especially pray concerning the many ways the church, here in the US and around the world, has been impacted these last nine months. Encourage our leaders and our fellow believers today and bring unity to your church.
Wherever you live and whatever the conditions, rejoice today in this wonderful promise, "The gates of hell shall not prevail" and recognize the Church triumphant. And then rejoice when you see the lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
Be encouraged today!
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, today we pray for Your people all over the world; some who are enduring great persecution for the cause of Christ. Grant to them a mighty infusion of strength and assurance. Remind them of the prayers being offered on their behalf from Your people and from the One who is ever interceding. We pray Your blessings on those who serve in hard places and who may be discouraged as well as those going through tough times in their own personal life. Remind us all of Your promise that "the gates of hell shall not prevail". In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"The Church Triumphant" Video This is the song Ester was excited about we mentioned in the message above! Zoom song with Ben Backus, Francesca Battistelli, Harper Bovi, Laurie Crouch, Jim Cymbala, Christine D'Clario, Gloria Gaither, Bill Gaither, Gaither Vocal Band, Kathie Lee Gifford, Jack Graham, Natalie Grant, Mark Lowry, Toby Mac, Mandisa, Martins, Jody McBrayer, Pastor Mike, Jr., Nicole C. Mullen, Sandi Patty, David Phelps, Wintley Phipps, Mac Powell, Joel Smallbone, Michael W. Smith, and Michael Tait
I always liked the narration in this song and it especially touched me as I listened this time Video cued to narration
"The Church Triumphant" Video Bill Gaither Trio (1977) Here's how it sounded when we first got married!
"Great Is Thy Faithfulness" Video Austin Stone Worship
This version adds two verses to the great hymn unfamiliar to most written by John Piper:
I could not love Thee, so blind and unfeeling;
Covenant promises fell not to me.
Then without warning, desire, or deserving,
I found my Treasure, my pleasure, in Thee.
I have no merit to woo or delight Thee,
I have no wisdom or pow’rs to employ;
Yet in Thy mercy, how pleasing Thou find’st me,
This is Thy pleasure: that Thou art my joy.
Mark Lowry (one of the musicians seen in the Church Triumphant Zoom song) along with Brooksyne and our friend Fran Book at a concert about 7 years ago at the American Music theater.
Finally today: During the last 9 months many churches have held services using Zoom. For those who enjoy satire this Babylon Bee article is pretty funny. "Theologians Find Going To Church Via Zoom Will Only Get You Access To Heaven Via Zoom"
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