Romans 16:19 Wise And Innocent

 

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Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Romans 16:19

Paul is rejoicing over the what he has heard about the Romans. They were being obedient to God’s word. They were striving to live Godly lives as Jesus did.

Even though they were being obedient, Paul added something to that. He wanted them to be wise about what is good and innocent of anything that is evil.

Being wise is having the correct information and knowing what to do with it. Many people can know a lot of information, but do not correctly use it. There have been people in the church who know the laws of God, but use those laws to condemn or cut down people, instead of pointing them to Jesus to save them.

Over the years there has been believers who were violent against non-believers and would kill them because of sin. This was not using any wisdom in how to reach the lost for Jesus.

Along with using good wisdom, Paul said that they must be innocent of evil. This can be innocent of doing evil and knowing what is evil.

The world thrives on seeing and doing evil. They cannot get enough of it. That is their nature, but Christians should be different.

There are some believers that tend to purposely live in some sin or they are constantly watching sin and enjoying it. Knowing the commands God has given is all that a person needs to know about sin. The less a person knows about sin, the less chances there are for him to be tempted to sin.

Filling oneself with evil things, only pushes God out of the picture and one’s life.

As a believer strive to keep yourself pure of any evil. This is pure in action, thought, word, and sight. And do not use your knowledge of good and evil to condemn or cut a person down. Show God’s love and mercy. Use good to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus and flee from all evil.

God can and will give you the wisdom you need to keep you pure and from all evil, if you allow Him to.

Living in this way will be true obedience to God’s word. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn the world.

 

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Luke 22:50-51 No More Violence

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And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. Luke 22:50-51

Jesus and the disciples had been in the garden praying. Judas had left and got the high priest to arrest Jesus. As the high priest and some soldiers came to arrest Jesus, one of the disciples draws his sword and cuts off the ear of a servant. Jesus stops him heals the servant’s ear.

When a person is getting arrested, it is very common to see him fight back and resist the arrest. People do not want to get arrested. In the process of resisting the arrest, often it can get very violent. Often innocent bystanders are the ones who get hurt the most.

People will fight arrest even more when they are innocent of doing anything wrong.

They will even fight for someone else who is innocent and getting arrested. Jesus had been completely innocent and one of the disciples decided to fight for Him. However, that was not the way Jesus wanted things to go. He was willing to be arrested.

In fact, He needed to be arrested. Getting arrested was a part of God’s plan to have Jesus crucified, which was a part of God’s plan to bring salvation to the world.

There are times when believers today are falsely dealt with. In many countries they are arrested, while in some countries, they are not arrested but are dealt with in a bad manner.

Each time something occurs, a believer must choose what to do. He must be in tune with what God is doing and what God wants him to do. Jesus knew that He had to be arrested, so there was no reason to fight back. He did not show violence, but love and care.

When someone falsely accuses you or treats you wrong because of your belief in Jesus, what will you do?

If you are like the world, you will fight back with violence and a vengeance.

Acting like Jesus, you will go forward and love the enemy and do good to them. You will not show violence to defend yourself. Be willing to accept what God has placed in your path, instead of fighting back. Fight with love and care, not violence, it does no good.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all enemies; that you will know God’s plan for your life; that you will accept all God puts in your path; and that you will be a witness for Jesus in every situation.

Acts 25:7 Is There Proof

“When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them.” Acts 25:7

While being held in Caesarea, Paul was brought in before Festus for trial. Those that were accusing him were there and trying to show why they wanted Paul sentenced. They gave out many different serious charges, but none of them could be proven.

The court systems are filled to overflowing with people being accused of many things. Lawyers get paid a lot of money to prove or disprove the accusations. While many are proven guilty, there are some who are let off because there was no real proof of their guilt.

Paul had been preaching the gospel message to the people. Some were very angry with him and attempted to get him in trouble. They made up accusations hoping it would work. Yet, it did not.

If you are being serious about telling others about Jesus, the world will take a stand against you. They will attempt to show you are doing something wrong.

Currently in America, a common way to get someone is to call the action a “hate crime”. Speaking out against certain lifestyles can now at times be classified as a hate crime. If the speaking is done in anger or just to cut the person down, that accusation would be correct. If it is done in the love of Jesus, to point people to Jesus, it would be wrong.

As you go through this life, may no one ever be able to prove you guilty of any wrong doing. Let them accuse you of things because you follow Jesus. God sees it and knows the truth. Many who hear the accusations also know the truth of them.

Live your life the way Jesus did. Do not fear their accusations. Do not given reason for the accusations.

Is there proof to any accusation against you? If it is wrong doing, change. The only proof to be found should be that you love, follow, and serve Jesus and that you strive to tell everyone about Jesus.

I pray today that you will live your life as Jesus did; that no one will be able to prove you of doing wrong; that you will be a witness of who Jesus is and what He did; that you will not fear any accusations; and that many will know Jesus because of your words and actions.

Luke 10:3 Go Like a Lamb

“Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:3

Jesus chooses seventy-two followers and sends them out to all the towns that He is getting ready to go to. They are to go out and prepare the way for Him. He tells them that He is sending them out like a lamb among the wolves.

Lambs are baby sheep. They have not grown up yet. They have not learned any way to defend themselves or hurt others. Watch a lamb and you will see an innocent animal that likes to play around. They are still very gentle.

Wolves, which they are to go among, are vicious, and very violent. They are territorial and will protect their location. They are meat-eating predators. And they love to eat lambs, an easy lunch for them.

The world is no different from the wolves. Those in the world love to step on those below them. They are willing to eat up those who don’t serve them. They are willing to do anything and everything, and are not innocent about anything.

Believers must be innocent of all sin. They should not be going out looking to kill or harm anyone. The goal is to reach the world and draw them to Jesus.

Often, there are believers who go out with a vengeance and a sword. They speak words to cut down and destroy non-believers, rather than draw them to Jesus. Yes, sin must be exposed, but not with a sword of death. Everything is to be done in God’s love.

How do you appear to the world? Is it like a wolf, devouring and killing? Or is it like a lamb, (like Jesus, the Lamb of God), loving and caring and innocent?

How do you speak? Barking and howling like a wolf? Or with gentleness and care of a lamb?

Yes, it is dangerous out there. The world wants to devour you and destroy you. You must remain innocent and gentle. You must maintain the witness of Jesus. God is with you and will protect you.

Be the witness Jesus has called you to be. Be like the Lamb of God–Jesus.

I pray today that God will show you how to be His witness; that God’s gentleness and love will be shown through you; that God will protect you among the wolves; and that God will draw the wolves of this world to Him through you.

Matthew 10:16 Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Jesus is giving a few instructions to the disciples as He is sending them out to be a witness. He talks about going just among those in Israel, not to take extra money or food, and only go to those who will listen. Now He tells them to be like sheep among wolves.

Sheep are a very calm type of animal. They do not go around harming anything. Wolves love to eat sheep and will seek them out for easy food.

Then Jesus tells them to be as shrewd as snakes. This is very interesting in the fact that the snake is usually representative of the devil.

Jesus is not saying take on the actions of the snake or the devil, but to be shrewd like the snake. Shrewd is another term for being wise or prudent.

Snakes are very shrewd in that they can sneak quietly up on its prey without being noticed. Some snakes even have a way of mesmerizing its prey till they strike.

As a believer you must be shrewd or wise in the same way. You are sent out into the world where the devil wants to destroy you. The world will fight against you and try to tear you down. You must use wisdom in getting into the enemy’s camp to release some prisoners for Jesus.

Just as a snake does not purposefully place itself in danger, do not do so yourself. Do not give the enemy a reason to strike you other than your stand for Jesus.

This comes to Jesus’ second part: be innocent as a dove. Doves are creatures known as a symbol of peace and innocence.

Live your life in such a way that nothing can be honestly brought against you. The enemy loves to use negative things in your life, do not let him have any. Let the only evidence against you be evidence of your following Jesus. Bring the news of God wanting to make peace with every person.

As you witness be both these things. Do not be harsh and condemning, but full of God’s love and mercy. Go out into the world and be God’s witness today. Go out as a sheep among wolves.

I pray today that God will give you the strength to be His witness; that God will give you the wisdom you need; that you will live a life of innocence; that God will make a way for you into the enemy’s camp; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you and build His kingdom.