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The Violent Takes It By Force (2)
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And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matt11:12
In Acts 12 we see the imprisonment of Peter. He was to be beheaded the following day. But god granted him the peace to be able to sleep like a baby. An angel was despatched to release him and as they left the prison the iron gate opened of its own accord. Alleluia! That will be your portion as you rest in the confidence that the Lord is your light and your salvation, God will send his angel to deliver you The iron gates that hold you will open of its own accord.
Peter's Miraculous Escape From Prison
1It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3When he saw that this pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also.
7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.
8Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. 24But the word of God continued to increase and spread.Acts 12 :1-12, 24
In Acts 16 Paul and Silas were ministering and this occasion delivered a woman from an evil spirit. They had ruffled the feathers of them men who used her to make money, .so they stirred up the people to flogged and imprison Paul and Silas.
Paul and Silas in Prison
16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.
19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.
Blind Bartimaeus had heard about the miracle working Jesus, who could heal the sick, make the lame to walk and the blind to see and the dumb to speak. Jesus, he was told, could even raise the dead. He wondered how he could get in touch with this unusual Man of God. ‘O God, send him to me. he prayed’
Then one day, God answered his prayer. Jesus was in town. He heard an unusual commotion were he normally begged for alms. ‘What’s up?’ he asked. He was ignored initially .but he kept asking what is going on? Someone had compassion on him and told him the good news ‘It’s Jesus of Nazareth
‘What? Is this the Jesus that I have heard about? You must be kidding.’ By this time the crowd and the noise were almost tangible, and so he shouted, ‘Jesus, have mercy on me! The disciples were furious with him. ‘Keep quiet. . Shut up. Don’t disturb the Master. He has a busy schedule. But he was not having it He would not be deterred. He would not allow his miracle to pass him by.
He shouted even louder: Jesus!! Son of David, have mercy on me!!
Jesus heard him and asked for him to be brought.
He was overjoyed. Jesus was calling him. This was a dream come true.
Jesus asked him, ‘What can I do for you.
He did not mince words; ‘I want to see.’ he told Jesus.
Jesus told him your faith has made you whole. He received his sight because he would not take no for an answer. He was ‘violent’, driven by desperation to say; ‘enough is enough.’ This is not my portion. God has something better than this for me. I will go all out for it regardless of the obstacles and he was not denied.
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." 50Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51"What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see."
52"Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:46-52
Jacob the deceiver, the schemer, wheeler and dealer extraordinaire, ran away after cheating his brother Esau, stealing his birthright. He ran from pillar to post. He dreaded facing him, yet he was on his way home after a self imposed exile. He though of ways to appease his brother, sending gifts ahead and dividing his party into groups. He was still scheming. Fear and foreboding stared him in the face.
When Jacob was alone in the night he met an angel of the lord and wrestled with him all night. Jacob knew he needed supernatural intervention to be rid of his fears and his natural inclination to scheme. He told the angel,’ I will not let you go until you bless me. change my situation’ Change me I die with you. That was a violent wrestling. God rewarded him and he was a changed man from then and went on to fulfil destiny. Gen32
What shall I say about the Canaanite woman who refuse to take no for an answer.
She had no right to the covenant of healing. She was an outsider. Yet she persisted until she got what she wanted.
21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Jesus tried to discourage her but she was resolute, adamant. Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table‘ she said. Jesus marvelled and she was not denied her request. She was undaunted, dogged, determined and did not go empty handed
In the parable of the unjust judge, Jesus told us of the persistence of this woman, pleading her case before the unjust judge pestering him until he relented and granted her request. How much more we who have a just judge, the compassionate merciful God whose mercies are new every morning. He is the Lord the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth. He sent His word to heal us. He himself took our sins and our infirmities and by His stripes we were healed.
The leper said to Him, if it is your will you can heal me and Jesus said, It is my will be healed.
The Man With Leprosy
1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."
3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.
You too will not go empty handed as you dig your heel and stand to see yo9ur salvation. The Lord your god is a righteous God. He is merciful, compassionate, extraordinarily patient, abundant in goodness and in truth. He is a faithful God able to do exceeding abundantly far beyond your wildest dream. He loves you with an everlasting love. You are the apple of His eyes, His treasured possession. Therefore stand to see your salvation. Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish the courts of our God they will bring forth fruit even at an old age. They will remain fresh and green, proclaiming that the Lord is upright and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Are you hard-pressed on every side? Stand strong, you will not be crushed. Are you perplexed? Look to Jesus and you will not be in despair. Are you persecuted? .Endure hardness as a good soldier. The Lord is near. He said I will never leave you nor forsake you until the end of the age. Are you knocked down? If so get up again and go for the righteous may falls seven times but he rises again. You may have been knocked down but you are not knocked out.
The kingdom of God suffers violence but the violent takes it by force.
According to your faith, be it unto you!
Please let me hear from you if you have been blessed.
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