Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Pastor's Perspective - Lay Hold of It!
'From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it'. - (Jesus) - Matthew 11:12 (NIV). The King James states it this way - 'the violent take it by force'.
Ever associate being a Christian with the words 'forceful' or 'violent'?
I would assume that you would most likely associate being a modern-day believer with the words 'loving', 'gracious' and 'gentle'. However, here in the very first gospel, Jesus Himself said that His kingdom does just happen passively. Instead, its advancement comes with great resistance; and only those aggressive and passionate about it advance its hope-giving torch. This requires power, vigor, determination and courage in every believer in every congregation.
As I shared with both audiences on Sunday, this gospel is NOT about a mamby pamby Jesus, requiring a mamby pamby allegiance. Its about full unashamed dedication - not for the faint of heart, but the strong of Spirit.
Remember,for Christ and us today, the cross of suffering comes BEFORE the resurrection!