17″But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19″But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20″For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Matthew 10:17-20)
We spoke yesterday about the need to be innocent as the dove in our dependence on God as we move through Jesus’ teaching on how to go out into the world which we started here. This scripture is really a great relief! He tells us that we do not need to worry about what to say when we find ourselves in a critical situation representing our Messiah. The Holy Spirit will step in and speak for us.
Too many times I worry about how I will perform when representing God to His people. Here Jesus shows us that this is not the way. If we simply focus on worshiping God and growing closer to Him, He will be there to speak for us when the important situations arise that call for it. Thus we can live this innocent faith of loving and depending on the Father for everything without any cares, knowing that when the difficult times come, He will be there to speak through us. Of course, this comes through communion with God, and if we haven’t sufficiently handed our lives over to Him, He will not have the access to break through and speak for us in these times of need. But the ultimate joyful life of living completely in harmony with God is actually the simplest (although not the easiest). If you didn’t already, I would encourage you to read the Chinese church interview we posted here Saturday.
21″Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22″You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. 23″But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” (Matthew 10:21-23)
Are you persecuted for your faith? We live in a country where there is no physical torture for us living our faith in Messiah. Sometimes, I feel this is unfortunate because it allows us to grow complacent in our faith.
However, there is still persecution if you are living the life He calls you to. Many of those of this world do not like it when you represent Jesus and persecution will come. It might be as simple as name calling…but nobody likes that. How do you see this in your life? If you don’t experience that, do you think this might be a sign that you are living short of the type of bold faith Jesus calls you to? Why or why not?
I hope you’ll invite others to participate in this study. It will only be great if the Body comes together, each contributing his unique portion.