“Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove. Matthew 10:16 MSG*
Take away #5 – Remember, power corrupts. We need to be on guard to strive to be humble; strive to focus on others instead of ourselves. If not, we will be dragged into the fray – office gossip, pot-stirring, planning another’s fall, and conniving to get ahead or to remain at the top.
“Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.
“When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.
“A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect?
“Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.
“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands. Matthew 10:17-28 MSG*
Take away #6 – We need not be concerned when others speak ill of us. Although it hurts, especially if family or close friends are involved, choose to give those experiences to God and ask for Him to forgive them, and draw them to Him so that you can see them again in paradise. Remember, we are participants in planting, cultivating and harvesting. That is tough work and we can’t expect to be treated better than Jesus. God uses the people in our lives to help us and uses us to help them. Remember also . . . He will never leave us or forsake us – so when there seems like no options are left – don’t give up. A closed door means a window is being opened. Hold on; be still and wait for His miracle.
“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
“Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?
“Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.
“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
“We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
When Jesus finished placing this charge before his twelve disciples, he went on to teach and preach in their villages. Matthew 10:29–11:1 MSG*
Take away #7 – God loves us. We need to love Him more than anyone else. When we put Him first, we will have His strength to persevere through storms.
He has a job for us to do in the moment we are in. He provides all we need for this day. Don’t worry about family and friends who don’t get it. When you leave them behind to go do His Work, Jesus will come teach and preach to them in ways you could not have imagined.
Be gentle, kind, humble, and honest. Trust that God can work through you and in you to help in the planting, cultivating and harvesting of souls.
Remember to accept the help provided to you by God – sometimes we are so focused on giving that we fail to see what is being provided to us. Be aware. Be thankful.
In this day, mesh your faith, drenched in love, in the place you have been placed with the people you have been placed here with.