January 14, 2022
“Look, I am sending you out like sheep unto the wolves, therefore, be as shrewd as serpents and harmless as doves.”
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“Look, I am sending you out like sheep unto the wolves, therefore, be as shrewd as serpents and harmless as doves. Because people will hand you over to the Sanhedrin and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them. You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations. But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you.” Matthew 10:16-20
Children bear the resemblance of their parents. That can be good or bad. Often negative attitudes or self-destructive behavior are learned from living in a worldly family environment. You never know how much your values are affected by your upbringing until you’re under pressure. People are like teabags: you never know what’s inside until you put them in hot water!
Soon after calling His disciples, Jesus sent them out. He tossed them the keys to the Kingdom, as it were, and said, “Take her for a spin!” He gave simple instructions and faith-building challenges. When they came back, they were bragging about how even the demons submitted. Overconfidence is the crown of adolescence.
However, Jesus told them how serious things would get. Little did they realize that persecution was just around the corner. They weren’t quite so “slap-happy” when they learned that following Jesus often means entering the Kingdom to come through the door of martyrdom.
There is a reason why we study the Bible in community, discussing it and sharing what the Lord is revealing to us. We are sowing the seeds of readiness. We are allowing the Lord to “tattoo,” so to speak, His Word on our hearts and minds.
“Instead, this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days” --the LORD’s declaration. “I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Jeremiah 31:33
Eventually, each of us will be called to “give reason for the hope within us.” For many, it will be a series of simple conversations. Others will face life-or-death faith challenges. Whenever that time comes, the faithful will open their mouths, and the Spirit will speak from the inventory of scripture in their hearts. He will literally draw from the scripture you are storing in your heart daily. God often gives “pop quizzes” at highly inopportune times for His students…so stay alert and be prepared.
Miles Davis once said, “If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.” Be diligent in scripture and prayer. You never know when the Lord will throw you a solo!
Listen to an audio recording of this daily devotional here: