By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Harmless as doves is the term Jesus used in sending His disciples out to minister (Matthew 10:16). The dove is a symbol of peace and of God's Spirit. Scripture reveals that at the Baptism of Jesus, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and resting upon him (Matthew 3:16).
This was not only a glorious moment; but a scene of peace and tranquility that is needed in the hour in which we live. Such peace can only be obtained through the Peace-Giver; and His name is Jesus. He said:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
Harmless as doves is a term that advocates peace, rather than war or conflict. Jesus said: Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children (or sons) of God (Matthew 5:9). Such are at peace with God and desire to live in peace with all men (Romans 5:1).
Those whom are identified as "Peacemakers" have a peace in Christ that enables them to be ambassadors of God's message to a troubled world. There is a vast difference between the peacemaker and those who nurture hatred. Harmless certainly does not apply to such individuals.
In the eye of a storm one finds peace but outside its perimeter lies the fierceness of the storm. Those who are peacemakers are seeking such a peace but troublemakers seek to add to the storm's effect.
We are seeing such in the commotions created in demonstrations that have turned into violence; along with the destruction of property. There is much hatred in those who are interviewed as to the nature of their complaint. Their hope is that through such atrocious behavior they will force acceptance of their demands. This far surpasses the harmless as doves concept mentioned in God's Word!
Jesus in speaking to His disciples said: I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). In the ancient times the serpent was commonly regarded as the wisest of beasts. Wisdom would be necessary to deal with the fierce opposition Jesus' disciples would face.
Such is no less important in our present day setting. When one stands for God's Word there will be opposition. The term harmless infers innocence; lacking capacity or intent to injure. Scripture reveals that the believer is an ambassador for Christ on his behalf (2 Corinthians 5:20); as such one is to not exercise inappropriate behavior as that of the ungodly.
Jesus said: You shall be hatred of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22). He that endures to the end is a promise of perseverance.
Scripture reveals: The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty through God to the tearing down of strongholds. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The believer in Christ does not war according to human standards but through God's Spirit.
There are many who would like to "clip the wings" of those who are soaring like an eagle for the cause of Christ. They would like to "silence" any voice of opposition towards their ungodly lifestyle. They would like to live a "sin-filled" life without reproach.
Scripture reveals that they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you (1 Peter 4:4). God's Word tells us that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world (Titus 2:12).
Scripture reveals that God works in you to His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling and disputing: that you may be blameless in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world; holding fast to the Word of God (Philippians 2:15-16).
Jesus said: You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). In fulfilling the Great Commission to go into all the world; established by our Lord (Matthew 28:19-20), let us remember the words of Jesus: I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).
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