Wise and Harmless

Description

Be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove (Matthew 10:16).

Acts 23

Because of attempts to kill Paul, he is taken to Caesarea to await trial.

INSIGHT

Jesus says, "I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). This certainly describes Paul. As he stands before the Jewish Council, Paul knows that his life is in peril. He also knows that the Council is divided between Pharisees, who believe in the resurrection of the dead, and the Sadducees, who do not. When Paul deliberately brings up that issue, the ensuing dissension is so great that the soldiers take him away, thwarting the immediate plot against him.

PRAYER

It is by grace through faith that we can repent, turn to God, and give Him our praise:

You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

Pause for praise and thanksgiving, and pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:

The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
And according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:

I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart. (Psalm 40:8)

As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:

  •     Spiritual victory over temptation
  •     Opportunities to serve the Lord
  •     Whatever else is on your heart

Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:

Thus says the Lord:
"Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising loving-
kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

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