February 22

Matthew 11:12-14 12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.

John the Baptist came preaching repentance. Though he was the last to hold the Old Testament office of prophet, his message was not about the Law. It was about the coming kingdom of heaven. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Crowds were drawn to the wilderness to hear John speak and be baptized by him. Their hearts became a level highway for Christ to enter in. Even though the Spirit was forcefully moving people, they had to be willing to buck centuries of tradition and thought patterns to hear and receive the Gospel.

The Prophets and the Law pointed to the coming Messiah. The Jews believed that Elijah would return to prepare the way of the Messiah. Jesus told them that Elijah had come, in John the Baptist. John was the one that prepared the way for the Messiah. All history pointed to the moment in time in which they lived. The revelation of God to man was climaxing in that day. No wonder Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was forcefully advancing since John began his ministry. It had begun, but it continues its advance.

After Jesus ascension the Spirit was poured out upon men and women. The kingdom of heaven continues to forcefully advance. Have you forcefully laid hold of it? It takes an effort to break the traditions and thought patterns of man and let Christ be formed in you. Forcefully lay hold of the kingdom in all your ways. Don't allow the world to hold you back! Lay hold of the kingdom of heaven.

Remember: Let the King reign in your heart today and every day!