I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18 ESV
Arthur Coxe was the son of a well-known minister. Born in New Jersey in 1818, he went on to become an important pastor, church leader, and composer of many hymns.
One of his most memorable compositions describes his insights into the nature of the kingdoms of this world. Written in 1839, “O Where Are Kings and Empires Now?” urged worshipers to realize how limited human power is, how little we really understand, and how quickly the things of this world change. Coxe asked, “O where are kings and empires now of old, that went and came”? In contrast, God never changes. His kingdom always is secure.
Churches may be attacked. Believers may make mistakes. But in spite of opposition, the church lasts throughout every storm and controversy: “Unshaken as eternal hills, immovable she stands, a mountain that shall fill the earth, a house not made by hands.” How easy it can be to focus on the kingdoms of this world and the things that seem important today. Coxe would urge us to remember that all of these people and things are temporary.
As Paul reminds us, we should not look at the “things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.” Make sure that you focus on God’s Kingdom. For all the things we see around us are just temporary. In contrast, “the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). These are the things of God!
PrayerFather, help me to place my hope and trust in Your unshakable Word. I depend upon You. I seek first Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 16