April 29, 2019
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And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)
The tax gatherers and heathen, whom the scribes and Pharisees think have no right to the kingdom of the Messiah, filled with holy zeal and earnestness, seize at once on the proffered mercy of the gospel, and so take the kingdom as by force from those learned doctors who claimed for themselves the chiefest places in that kingdom. He that will take, get possession of, the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and spiritual joy must be in earnest. All hell will oppose him in every step he takes; and if a man be not absolutely determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and have his soul saved at all hazards, and at every expense, he will surely perish everlastingly. This requires a violent earnestness.
-Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible
December 28, 2012
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We had our family Christmas gathering on Boxing Day. There was grandpa, grandma, daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons and two granddaughters. In the afternoon the table was laden with various snacks and we were all working away at reducing the quantities.
Evan, our youngest grandson, two years and one month old, picked up a big handful of yogurt covered raisins and sat down beside his dad. Then he picked one out, walked over to grandpa and gave it to him. Grandpa said “thank you” and popped it into his mouth. Evan smiled a big happy smile and went back to sit beside dad. As soon as grandpa had finished eating the raisin, Evan was back to give him another. Thus process was repeated until all the raisins were gone (Evan did eat a few himself, too).
Nobody prompted him, applauded him, or paid him much attention at all. Except for grandpa who said “thank you” each time, and that seemed to be enough. It was a purely spontaneous act of giving from the heart of a child. And grandpa’s heart was warmed by this more than by any other gift he received that day. (The other gifts were much appreciated also, but this was truly special.)
It got me to wondering – why can’t I be more like Evan? I want to be, but far too often the busyness of life seems to get in the way. But would that really interfere if I had a childlike heart?
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:4).