Thursday, March 24, 2016

ITCZ 101 - Harmless As A Dove

Let's continue our review in Matthew where Jesus was sending out the 12 disciples to deliver the message that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. He gave them a detailed plan and summarized with the following scripture.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. - Matthew 10:16 KJV

Let's take the second half of this scripture and go at this in a similar way as before. We'll take a quick look at the word "harmless."

Harmless - The same word is innocent, meaning unmixed, pure as in wines or metals. Of the mind, without a mixture of evil, free from guile. Figuratively, innocent: harmless, simple.

I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

So pretty easy stuff here. It is true that we should be harmless but let's think of that as the ability to help others engage in friendly conversation and keep them engaged for as long as possible i.e. a friendly conversation about the Gospel.


The word "harmless" actually is more specifically, "innocent." Jesus is revealing to us that we need to think like He thinks. Our mind is to be unmixed, pure, without evil and free from deceit. The NASB translation brings this to light.

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. - Matthew 10:16 NASB

Summary

We want to be wise in the message we deliver to those who do not know the Lord. The scriptures are indicating that there is a process of developing our expertise in delivering the gospel. So not just wise and understanding what the Gospel is, but also preparing ourselves to deliver it.

Can we, on day one, with the enthusiasm of our new found life, share the Gospel with everyone we see? You bet we can. Yet, let's not stop there. Let's take that enthusiasm and begin to grow in being wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.

We see that Jesus gave instructions on what to do in Matthew 10 but he also articulated the manner in which we are to do it.

  • Thoughtful about our approach.
  • Use our mind by thinking like Jesus thinks.
  • Develop our discernment.
  • Learn to use these abilities in a practical way.
  • Be discreet in an effort to keep those we encounter engaged and helping them to remain thoughtful as well.
  • Develop the vision the Lord has given you. 
  • Develop a strong mind that is unmixed, pure, without evil and free from deceit.

Take Action!

How are you developing your expertise in delivering the Gospel?
A great place to start is to understand what the Gospel is.
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NLT 

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept >>> “Harmless As A Dove”
Next >>> "Required: Daily Prayer List"


In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks. Deliver the Gospel. Teach what you have learned.

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