John The Baptist

John the Baptist was a man of straight lines and hard edges. He made bold statements and gave clear directions. He pointed at Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV).

The violent take it by force: they are not lazy wishes or cold endeavors that will bring men to heaven.

Matthew Poole’s Commentary

In today’s devotional reading of Mathew 11:12 Possessing a gentle and quiet spirit does not mean that we should be passive people. God also requires action and zeal in our lives. Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is taken by force. (Matthew 11:12) All those who want a deeper life with Christ realize that they need to be zealous, as well as humble, in their inner man. Sin cannot be allowed to reign in the heart of a disciple! If we are humble in our inner man, having a desire to do God’s will, then we will do whatever it takes to keep our hearts and minds pure. Paul writes that we are not to be “…lagging in diligence [zeal],” but rather “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

Likewise, while we should always have a quiet and meek spirit before the Lord, there are some situations where God wants us to be bold and speak up before others. Here, we need to forsake our own honor, reputation and natural expectations, as always, and obey the Lord with all reverence. We should not question our own authority or ability to say or do something that God wants to be accomplished through us. Instead, we should allow God to use us exactly as He pleases in every situation.

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