Today’s Scrip-Bit 3 January 2015 Matthew 10:16

Matthew 10:16.     Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.

Well Friends, it’s a Saturday morning that’s calling for snow and rain and freezing rain! Wow!

Over these next two days like we’re going to run the whole gamut of weather problems. We really can’t complain too much though, because we’ve been fairly snow and rain free for at least a couple of weeks now. And besides that, we’re God’s children and a little bad weather doesn’t deter us from doing Jesus’ work. (smile)

Of course it could get fairly rough, like the ice storm we had last year, but even then, we brave the elements like true soldiers of God’s army. What wonderful designations we embrace my people; a child of God, and a soldier in His army! His army of pioneers and pilgrims, going forth to spread His holy Word all over the universe He’s created.

And in the remarkable words of our Bit, Jesus sends us forth, just like He did the first disciples, to do just that: ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless (innocent) as doves.’

And the scholars tell us, re ‘Wise as serpents (cf. Gen.3:1). In the ancient Near East, the serpent was considered the wisest of beasts. A cautious wisdom was necessary to deal with the fierce opposition that the disciples would face.’

Yes my people, it is a wonderful honour to work for Jesus, winning souls for Him, or rather causing lost souls to come to Him for comfort and succour, salvation and eternal life! But unfortunately it is a job that can also entail severe repercussions. That’s why Jesus warned the disciples, and has the same warning for us.

‘But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against (to) them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought (do not worry about) how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you, in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over (through) the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.’ (Matt.10:17-23)

Oh my fellow believers, working for Jesus can indeed be a dangerous job. All the stuff that Jesus spoke about befell the disciples. They suffered serious persecution on Jesus’ behalf, and so will we, possibly not to the death, as they did, and some are still experiencing in some parts of the world, but serious enough to cause us to consider our options.

But when times do get rough, just remember Jesus’ advice: ‘Don’t worry about what you’ll say, for the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.’ Yes Friends, the Holy Spirit is our guide and director, and He will not leave us helpless and defenceless when we stand up strong for Jesus!

And then we come to the most important part of His message; that those who endured, who withstood the trials and tribulations in His name would be saved. And all God’s children shouted a lusty ‘Glory Hallelujah! Blessed is the Lamb that was slain for us!’

Yeh mih people, we can shout all sorts of niceties now, but when the time of persecution comes, will we still sing that song? For all our sakes, I do hope so. It’s just that in these spoiled, selfish and easy living times, most of us have lost our belly and backbone, and cave in and give up under the smallest of trials.

But remember too, that we’ve promised that this year of 2015 will be one in which we will rise, without fear and anxiety, to each and every occasion to promote Jesus and His lifestyle.

Now let’s take a gander at some explanations of the scholars for those verses. ‘!0:17-22.  Take no thought means “Do not be anxious.” (See Mark 13:9-13; Luke 12:11-12). It shall be given you promises that the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit would tell them what to say in each situation they would face.

For my name’s sake: They would endure great persecution because of their identification with Jesus Christ. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved is a promise of perseverance, not a teaching that salvation may be lost. Rather, it indicates that those who are truly saved will indeed endure to the end.’

And that’s the gospel truth my people! If we persevere to the end, great shall be our rewards in heaven!

And I want to close with a very true and enlightening quote that’s rather appropriate to our situation. It’s attributed to Margaret Mead (1901-1978), the world renowned American anthropologist. And it says: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’

And she doesn’t lie Friends, for look at what a small group of twelve men started. It changed the world! And we are proud and grateful recipients of their commitment. Now let’s go out and do likewise, even though we Christians are in the minority, for with Jesus in the mix, anything and everything is possible. Much LOVE!

…today is all we have…so let’s use it wisely…

 

 

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