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Proverbs of a 40 yr old man

Jesus taught His followers to be Christlike in a godless world. We are like sheep among wolves when we share and live out the Gospel of Christ in this sinful world. Jesus told a simile about serpents and doves to help us understand how to do this. If you think about a serpent or snake, it is the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God has made. Very subtle and crafty in its ways, so we must be wise in avoiding the snares set for us by the enemy. We cannot attach the evil actions of Satan (as the serpent) with the serpent itself. Animals are not moral entities. The creature itself cannot perform sin, and shrewdness is an asset, not a defect. This is the quality that Jesus told His disciples to model. The LORD Jesus also calls us to be harmless as doves. To be wise and innocent as we represent Him in this world. We must serve the LORD blamelessly so that after preaching to others we ourselves might not be disqualified. Think about this, wisdom does not equal dishonesty, and innocence does not equal gullibility. Successful Christian living requires that we strike the optimal balance between the dove and the serpent. We should strive to be gentle without being pushovers, and we must be sacrificial without being taken advantage of. We are aware of the unscrupulous tactics used by the enemy, but we take the high road. Peter admonishes us in 1 Peter 2:12, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us”. May we be able to say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. That we have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have to conduct ourselves before the world, wise as serpents and innocent as doves. For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil, the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved! Amen. We have an enemy of our souls that we have to face every day, the serpent of old and evil spirits. They are crafty and subtle and use flesh and blood to bait us into sin and death. But God has us united with Christ Jesus our LORD. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Praise God, we have the mind of Jesus and the integrity of His precious pure blood covering us. In this we go as sheep amongst wolves in this world. It is the LORD's fitting imagery portraying how we obey His call and take the message of salvation to receptive souls scattered amid a crowd of hostile challengers. The LORD is with us. Don't let the humble dove fool you that descended on Jesus at His baptism. The power of Holy Spirit destroys the wisdom of this world and of evil serpents. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and you will be respected by others.

Study Matthew 10:16



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