Posted: March 16, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”

– Matthew 11:12 NIV

In a conversation shared with my brother last night, I expressed my growing conviction that progression and growth internally is a greater priority to God than external signs of achievement, success and fulfillment. Along those lines, I also have discovered the value of a broadened view of God’s favor being granted in times of adversity, calamity and misfortune and not just His favor usually associated with material blessing and wealth. Jesus declared that God causes His light to shine on the just and unjust. God is good to everyone and blesses everyone, but everyone cannot encounter the internal fulfillment He promises that comes solely by faith and grace. In fact, in the parable of the sower Jesus describes the seed that fell among thorns as an analogy of the heart condition of the believer who has become distracted by the cares of the world, pleasures and the ambition for riches that chokes out the seed (faith in His word) and prevents maturity. God expects me to grow and mature in my faith with the same ambition and zeal for success as I have for the success I desire on the job, in love and with my dreams and aspirations for the future.

The illustration of the kingdom of God advancing forcefully speaks to me about the person, presence and power of God and the work of His mission, drive, determination and unceasing resolve to move forward, upward, through and beyond the heart’s of men to make the impossible possible. The forceful hands are a depiction of the believer whose mission and ambition it has become to take hold of the person, presence and power of God to allow Him to advance His kingdom in and through them.

What is the kingdom of God? To me, the kingdom of God is the person of God inhabiting me in the form of the Spirit of His Son Jesus Christ, by faith. The kingdom of God also includes the internal work of His word transforming me as I allow it to reside in my heart, and meditate on it, with the intent to apply it. So forceful advancement of the kingdom of God, to me, means the progressive work of God, by His word and His Spirit, in and through the life of a believer who forcefully (deliberately) allows God to work in and through them to influence others to allow the same spiritual reformation to occur. This is also referred to as revival. True fulfillment as a Christian begins with allowing the person, power and presence of God to accomplish the work of Christ in me, so that through me, others may see Christ and be inspired to allow Him to do the same for them.

May God help you and bless you to allow the full work of Jesus Christ to be accomplished in you and through you so you may be a blessing to others and affect positive change in the world around you.


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