CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 88

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 23:6.  ” But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.”

In Matthew 10:16 the Lord JESUS told His disciples the following “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”. The dove and the serpent have extreme characteristics that the Lord commands his disciples to possess the two. A dove is amazingly harmless, but are not so wise.

Serpents are exceptionally wise but can be very harmful. The wisdom of serpents can make them survive very adverse conditions. They can change themselves by shedding off the old skin. Even lions as ferocious as they are can be easily killed by some pythons. In the attack and trial of Apostle Paul, he exhibited the wisdom of the serpent. From our key scripture when he noticed the Jews were made up of two sects, that is Pharisee and the Sadducees. (The Pharisee believe in angels, resurrection and life after death. The Sadducees were more liberals who did not believe in the supernatural). Paul said I am a Pharisee who believe in the future resurrection of the saints. This brought a sharp rift between these two sects. Every child of God must understand we live in the midst of wolves. We must be very wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The Holy Spirit imparts wisdom if we will ask Him for it. Secondly, wisdom is a function of proper knowledge and understanding. Don’t be ignorant about what goes on in the world.

On the following night the Lord appeared to Paul and said the following to him Acts 23:11 “And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome” Dear child of God serving the Lord in various capacities, must be fully assured of the Lord’s presence. This is one fact you must never lose sight about. The Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. This fact should be one of the strongest motivations for serving the master and doing it with all your heart. You can also practice the presence of the Lord. This is done by taking some moments to imagine the presence of the Lord with you. You follow up with a moment by moment acknowledgement of His presence. As you do this you would instinctively have that consciousness of his presence

CONFESSION

I am harmless as a dove and as wise as a serpent, I live in the midst of wolves yet I always live above all the schemes of the devil, by my awareness of the Lord’s presence with me.

FURTHER STUDIES

Matthew 28:20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Psalms 23:4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

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