Belt of Truth
Knowing and Applying God's Truth to Real Life
Matthew 10:16-23 (NKJV) "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
What truth is revealed? Jesus never used the word “naiveté” when speaking to His disciples; but, He talked about the concept. Despite Christ’s warning concerning the nature of the world in which we live, many Christians are caught off guard when they are slammed by the evil that exists in our world. Jesus said that we are, “Sheep in the midst of wolves.” Welcome to the real world as defined by Jesus.
What can we learn from this teaching? We need to shake off all naiveté so that we are prepared and ready to respond to the challenges of life. Jesus has called us to, “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” What does this mean? It means that we need to be fully cognizant of the dangers associated with living on planet earth. It also means that we do not contribute and participate in the evil. We are to be wise, and fulfill our calling to be salt and light.
How can I apply this teaching to my life? There is a real possibility that I will experience persecution in the near future. Many secularist have set their sights on marginalizing and destroying anyone and all who stand against their ideas. There is an effort in some political circles to pass legislation that will define portions of the Bible as “hate speech.” Imagine that; jailed for preaching the Gospel. It has happened before, and it will happen again.
Questions to Consider:
Jesus – His Commands, Wisdom and Promises
Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV)
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
What truth is revealed? That people who are persecuted for doing the “right” thing, will ultimately be blessed.
What is the command, wisdom or promise? This is a promise, that the reward in heaven for those that endure persecution for the “right” reasons will be great.
What does this mean to/for me? Perhaps it means that if I’m not experiencing any persecution or “push back” against my faith; it is because, I have failed to speak out and reach out with enough force. I know that Jesus was a perfectly righteous man and yet, He suffered persecution; so, perhaps persecution is a way for me to share in the sufferings of Christ.
What action can/should I take? I have no desire to offend people or act in a way that is obnoxious; however, I do want to share my faith, even with people who might not like it. It means that when it comes to the subject of Jesus, I cannot and should not be a silent witness.
As revealed by God through the Life and Message of Christ; through the wisdom of Solomon; through the letters of the Apostles; through the inspiration of God.