For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.1 Corinthians 13:12
Shrewd as Serpents, Innocent as Doves
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves”- Matthew 10:16
One danger of civilized faith is that we become so domesticated, we begin to live as shrewd as a dove. We are blind to the spiritual nature of life and the unseen reality in which we reside.
Another danger is that we become as innocent as a snake. For far too long, sincere followers of Christ have had to live with the consequences of those who use religion to manipulate others and camouflage hypocrisy.
Jesus made it clear to those who were choosing to be His disciples what kind of leader He was and what kind of followers He required.
It says in John 2:24-25 “But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.”
Jesus both understood the inner parts of man and the spiritual realities which contributed to man’s bondage. He was not fooled by them. He was as shrewd as a serpent! He knew the hearts of man.
Jesus, knowing this, still went to the cross. He still died a sinners death to purify us from our sinful condition. He was in His actions as innocent as a dove.
The expectation Jesus has for His followers is to model His words, actions and behaviour.
Are you using discernment when dealing with people? Do you acknowledge the depravity of man? Are your eyes open to the spiritual realities that are present in your conversations; to the actions of the people around you? Do you recognize what rests in the heart of man? Do you see how utterly vile human nature is without the nature of Christ coming to rest within?
Seeing all you see, knowing all you know, can you turn around and love your neighbour? Is it within your will to love your enemy and to pray for those who persecute you? Can you give sacrificially to those same people who do only what is right in their own eyes?
Do you believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform these broken vessels? Do you trust in the blood shed by Christ to wash away the old nature and leave your brothers and sisters spotless and clean?
Jesus asks us to be like Him. Do not be fooled, be as shrewd as a snake, yet in love, be as innocent as a dove.
“A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.”
The courts of the Lord is where you stand before Jesus. In His presence and in His service.
This is the posture we are told to have in the New Testament.
“Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.”
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”
1 John 2:3-6
This is a picture of what it looks like (while we are in our mortal bodies) to be mindful and aware of always standing in the presence of Jesus Christ.
Do we live with this joy? The joy of being united with Him by His blood and by agency of the Holy Spirit? To be ever present before Him in His courts?
It is a spiritual reality!
Do we live with that feeling, that each day while we live in Christ’s presence is better then a thousand days of our past lives?
The House of God is where you worship Jesus and abandon self.
Have you instituted that in your home? Have you made your house, the house of God?
How have you built your home? Have you based it on your own comforts, security’s and selfish wants? Or have you based it on the comfort given only by the Holy Spirit, the security found in the blood of Christ and the wants and desires of Jesus for your life?
When we fail to build our homes upon the Lord we literally are living a “good life in the homes of the wicked”
That being our OWN HOME!
We have the home which is owned by the wicked, being our selves.
We like to read it, deflecting it on “all the evil people out there.”
It is easy to make it about foreign people with foreign problems. The grass is not all evil on the other side. You have your own weedy lawn!
Your responsible for your own home, no one else’s.
Your good life is the life you made. If your good life is made to please your self and not Christ then your not making Jesus the God of your life.
Your not the hero of the story—— Jesus is!
Let Him into your home by removing all the pleasures of this world, forsaking self and living in worship to King Jesus.
All of Him none of me.
Dead 2 Myself
In The Fullness Of Christ
It is illegal in the Kingdom to be born again and yet carry on with the carnal mind. We will not be able to grow in intimacy with God if we are continually mixing the ‘old man’ with the ‘new man’. The ‘old man’ is suppose to be dead. The ‘old man’ is limited because it is fuelled by human nature. The ‘new man’ has no limitations because he is fuelled by the living Spirit of Jesus Christ.Jasmin Frank
The Bridegroom and His Church: A Teaching On The Song Of Songs
“ Place me like a seal over your heart,Song of Songs 8:6-7
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Love flashes like fire,
the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
with all his wealth,
his offer would be utterly scorned.”
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“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”Matthew 5:11-12
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The Goodness of God
Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”Mark 8:27
Refusing To Enter The Promised Land
Deeper than the deepest sea,Theodore Monod, “None of Self”
Lord Thy love at last has conquered; Grant me now my heart’s petition None of self, and all of Thee.
Dying to self
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20
To live you must die. To be born again you must allow your flesh to die.
To be alive in Christ you must be dead to your self.Byron Frank
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”Romans 5:3-5