Are You Who You Need to Be?
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
In a society where schools have metal detectors and police officers on campus. Where children are no longer safe at home or at school due to school shootings, bullying and internet perverts. It is perhaps the most critical time in the life of the believer as we must be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Yet we must be careful not to injure while at other times we must be visible as a watchman and bold as a roaring lion. "Are You Who You Need to Be?
Matthew writes about the ministry moment when Jesus prepares the disciples for an evangelism outing. After endowing them with power he set expectations on who, where and how they were to minister. Specifically, Jesus calls them sheep who are going in the midst of wolves. Vulnerable, but understanding that the shepherd is near. Exposed, because wolves hunt and desire sheep, but safe, because it is the shepherd that sent them out.
He also gave them the command to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The serpents knows how to be cautious, to be subtle and to appear to a part of its environment. He observes his environment, never participating or actually putting himself in jeopardy, never starting conflict but being prepared to defend itself and its family. Yet, while remaining wise, it is never acceptable for the believer to harm another. Harmless as a dove, suggest humility, kindness, gracefulness and a willingness to flee, not out of fear but because you have the opportunity to avoid conflict. We have a responsibility to be wise yet kind and gentle. "Are You Who You Need to Be?
Pastor Stuart P. Courtney
God wants you to laugh again will you?
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, (3)The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us: whereof we are glad. (Psalm 126:2-3)
There is an opportunity everyday to allow yourself to laugh and to have joy. Looking back at the historical events of September 11th , 2001, there are those who can't help but weep, and mourn when they think about the terroristic catastrophic event that shook our nation. Helpless, horrified we watched buildings burning and knew that people were dying. Throughout life we will face many difficult moments but it is God's desire and his commitment that we will always be restored to joy. "God wants you to laugh again will you?
The Psalmist in the 126th number of Psalms is expressing the experience of restoration that Israel felt as God brought them out of captivity. The depth of their pain and suffering was overshadowed by the Lord filling their mouth with laughter and placing a song in their heart which they uttered with their tongue. Maybe you have not been in a physical captivity but the Lord has delivered you out of, through or from something. The question is when you understand what He has done, or what He can do if you are currently in a storm will you allow yourself to laugh
Difficult moments, tragedies and life's trials have a way to impact our lives. But our God has done great things to deliver us through our trials to walk with us in our storms and to give us a reason to have joy in the midst. Never miss an opportunity to laugh, love and to sing about His glory! "God wants you to laugh again will you?
Pastor Stuart P. Courtney