Scripture:  Jesus’s words to Peter, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19 NASB);  words of the Risen Christ, “I have the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:13 NASB).

In both these scriptures, keys are mentioned.  Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. What were these? As I study the transformation of this ordinary, brash fisherman, I see the very basics of Christianity–unshakable belief, forgiveness, sacrifice, courage, love of God and one another.  These keys changed Peter. They will continue to change our world.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Kingdom values are on display in ways I have never seen. Even though the government has dispatched thousands of military to help flood victims, the number of  everyday, ordinary volunteers far surpasses them.  I drove by our church yesterday and saw the parking lot packed with boats and jet-skis, their owners ready to risk their lives for strangers.  In Dickinson, two of my grandsons are rescuing victims. Because of their unselfishness, lives will be saved and Christ honored. These men are using Kingdom-keys.

However, Jesus kept the keys to hell– judgment,  destruction, the wrath of God.  We hear reports of  impostors who prey on flood victims, stealing in this terrible time of need.  We despise their actions, and hope there is a special hell for these thieves.  But ours is not to curse. Jesus alone will judge.

Ours are the keys of the Kingdom.  Nothing and no one can stop the flood of goodness, once we allow Jesus to take control of our minds and hearts.  These men who snatch lives from death are the hands of Jesus.  The women who donate clothing, food, and time are His hands. The gifts of time and money are for His sake. The powers of hell cannot overcome  the Kingdom of Heaven, once it is unleashed.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me be Your hands today.Let me feel Your grief and reach out some way to the victims of this terrible flood. Amen.

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