Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 16:19 – 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. (NIV)
I'm forever losing my keys, especially when I'm in a hurry to go anywhere. I can be found scrambling about each morning, going around the house, searching for my keys to get to work. I've usually left them beside my home computer, but that's upstairs, so I look everywhere downstairs first.
I go through the same act when I leave the office to go home. My keys are not where I thought I left them last. I check under books, papers, and magazines. I look in the drawers and next to my office computer. That's when it hits me: my keys are still in the lock of my office door!
I'm glad that Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter and not to someone like me. Peter's dedication and devotion to Christ would not allow him to lose the authority of the church that Christ was establishing there and then. Some people think that the birthday of the church was at Pentecost, but I think the church began when Jesus transferred some of His authority to let Peter and the rest of the apostles "bind" or "loose" things on earth, which really means to permit or prohibit words and deeds that we say or do as human beings. It's not so much that these things are the keys to our salvation, but they are the basic elements in holding the worldwide church together.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to understand that the keys of the kingdom are an important part of our lives. Grant us the gift of discernment to know what is permissible among us and what is prohibited. Where we go wrong and walk outside the bounds of Your kingdom, forgive us and redirect us back onto Your path which leads us to heaven. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.