THAT’S THE SPIRIT
Lord, you are more than the blessings you have provided. Thank you for being such a generous God.
Read Matthew 10:16–23
16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectInvite the Holy Spirit to be more real to you than ever before. Ask him for insights that will unlock divine opportunities in the lives of those around you.
Jesus moves on from briefing the twelve for their short-term mission trip through Jewish Galilee, to prophetically outline the kind of boldness we associate with the early church in the face of opposition (Acts 4:1–22). What situations have you faced where you needed God to give you the right words (v 20)? It may not have been before the authorities, more likely at work, over the garden fence or on Facebook. How did it work out?
For most of us, the worst reaction to us sharing our faith might be awkwardness or a misplaced accusation of prejudice. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit to give us the right word at the right time, to have maximum impact. He will help us to engage with non-Christians carefully, so as not to get waylaid by those who aren’t people of peace (vs 13,14). He will help us to be ‘as innocent as doves’ (v 16), keeping us gentle and hopeful about the people we meet. No matter how broken by sin they may be, they are still made in God’s image.
There are many nations where changing your faith is illegal, punishable, and tears families apart (vs 17,21). The Holy Spirit is nonetheless at work there. Where are there persecuted believers you can pray for?
Powerful One, grant me wisdom and courage to share the gospel today. Remove my timidness and fill me with the power of the Holy Spirit.
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