Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10‬:‭16‬-‭20‬.

“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

Jesus told us it wouldn’t be easy to carry the Good News to the world. His message of love is threatening to those who want to hang on to the control and power they believe they have. However, He tells us not to worry, that “God will give you the right words at the right time” (v. 19).

The apostle Paul spent a good portion of his ministry under arrest and still continued to accomplish the mission Christ gave him. He always trusted God to speak through him, knowing that those in positions of authority needed to hear the Gospel just as much as anyone. His perseverance and faith helped to spread the early church everywhere.

Jesus cautions us to be “as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (v. 16), which sounds contradictory at first. We are to be aware of the conflict we will encounter but to face it in His love, rather than through the harsh words and violence so often used by the world. Jesus calls us to change the world without resorting to worldly means.

Gracious God, we are thankful for the gift of Jesus. May we love the world as He did, bringing all to a new connection with You. Amen.

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