Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GOD PROVIDES IN THE FACE OF WOLVES

Read MATTHEW 10:16–20

For seven years, it seemed like justice would never come for two young sisters in Bolivia who were sexually assaulted by a neighbor. The perpetrator was assured that if he ran away, the case would be forgotten. But a Christian legal team from International Justice Mission (IJM) would not give up. They provided care and counseling for the two girls and finally tracked down the assailant. In June of this year, he was convicted and sentenced to prison.

God provided care and justice for these two girls, just one example of His provision even in the face of “wolves.” “Wolves” are enemies of the gospel and of God’s people. Perhaps surprisingly, the Good Shepherd Himself sends us out among them (v. 16; John 10:11–12).

When confronted by wolves, we must be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” as well as watchful or “on your guard” (vv. 16–17). That is to say, we are to act with a combination of practical wisdom (shrewdness) and guilelessness (innocence) or simple straightforwardness. We should not practice evil, nor should we be surprised at what evil tries to do to us. Self-protection is not to be our top priority. If we’re obeying Christ’s call to spread the gospel, persecution is inevitable (vv. 17–18).

One form of God’s provision in the face of “wolves” is words. The Spirit will give us the right words to say when we’re persecuted for the sake of the gospel (vv. 19–20). There’s no need to worry about what to say or how to defend ourselves. Going out as “sheep among wolves” is not a comforting picture. We’d rather think about green pastures and quiet waters! But when we go, we can do so in the confidence that God provides and protects. The God of David and the disciples is our God, too!

APPLY THE WORD

Church leaders have a special responsibility to defend their congregations against “savage wolves,” false teachers and false doctrines (Acts 20:28–31). Pastors and other leaders are under- shepherds, charged with protecting the flock. If you’re a leader, take this responsibility seriously, and if you’re not, support your leaders in prayer!

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

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