Daily Reading: 6-29-16
Matthew 10:16-25 New Living Translation (NLT)
The other day I was studying an official scientific research chart of the top twenty-one causes of death in the USA in 2016 (six months). Abortion is the number one cause of death at 501,325. Murder by gun was the twenty-first entry at 5,276. I noticed most of the categories in between these two were actually deaths caused by some type of disease: addictions and physical afflictions that overtake our human bodies. As I looked at the list of words and numbers and prayed because my heart was so grieved with the facts, the Holy Spirit reminded me that everything on the list was a result of the spiritual disease and death that is connected to the world that chose to experience the knowledge of good and evil.
In our passage today, Jesus sends his disciples out into the world, but tells them they will be protected by the Holy Spirit against the spiritual disease of evil. The disciples are to be wise of the world’s infectious environment, yet innocent and untainted from the spiritual disease of evil that invades human nature and causes humans to choose to act in opposition to God (Love). Christ’s disciples will always experience hardship because we live in the world, but we are to remain devoted to Love at all cost.
16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. 17 But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. 18 You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. 19 When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. 20 For it is not you who will be speaking-it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22 And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.
24 “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. 25 Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
The evidence of spiritual disease is when humans can actually call something God says is evil (e.g. murder) good or acceptable. Now, let’s look back at the category and numbers I listed above: 501,325 babies murdered by legislation and choice and 5,276 people murdered by gun and choice. What has captured the country’s attention and our government’s biggest point of concern? Have we managed to call something God calls evil (murder) acceptable? What’s the bigger cause of death? The real problem in our world is the spiritual disease that woos humans to choose to act upon evil (in opposition to God). We need to be filled with the Love of Jesus! May God forgive us.
Prayer: Father, thank You that when I recognize my sin against Love and repent, You faithfully forgive me because of the work of Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, thank You for Your loving devotion to protect me from the spiritual disease of evil. Please stop me from opening the door through the freedom of choice to anything that is in opposition to the Father’s Love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.