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Part 14 - Matthew 10:18-19 - GRASSHOPPER, EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
A friend of mine works as a boilermaker in Bowen, Queensland Australia. He is a big man with muscles like an Olympic weight lifter, a voice that booms and a laugh that is full and infectious.
PATRICK PATTERSON loves the Lord and if I asked him to preach today he would be ready with a Word from the Lord, because he is always reading and studying his Bible and listening to Christian radio preachers. When he preaches it is always powerful and well worth hearing.
He is always preparing. He would come to me sometimes and say "I have a message I would love to preach" and I would know that it was time to let him preach because you can't hold a message like that inside. It has to be shared! He is open to the Holy Spirit to use him and witnesses to his friends at work, although his message is not always well received.
PICTURE PETER, the disciple, for a moment. He has been a fisherman. Now he's standing amongst the highest governing officials of the Jewish society. That's like Patrick the boiler maker being invited to speak in Parliament about Jesus. And they don't call him out of order. In fact they ask him to preach, and not only that but it's going to be broadcast all over Australia. Can you imagine that!
Mind you, there's no guarantee that he will be well received.
Matthew 10:19 says "When you are arrested, don't worry about how to respond or what to say..."
For some Christians in the world today the "WHEN you are arrested..." is still a reality. If Patrick travelled to certain countries today and preached in his same forthright manner, he would probably be arrested. He does not believe in compromise when it comes to proclaiming God's truth. It has been estimated that it is Christians who are the MOST PERSECUTED people on earth today.
Matthew 10:19 goes on to say "GOD WILL GIVE YOU THE RIGHT WORDS at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking-it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."
Is this saying I don't have to ever prepare anything before I preach? Unfortunately, this verse has been used in this way by countless and I would say careless Christians.
This verse isn't advocating that I don't need to prepare! Think about it! The disciples had received leadership training instruction and preparation on the mountain with Jesus. They were THOROUGHLY PREPARED! We call it the SERMON ON THE MOUNT. Jesus taught them and demonstrated how it was done. But in a moment when I need to apply what I have learned to a specific situation and I don't have the opportunity to go away and look up the answer, I can rely on God the Holy Spirit for the right word. WHEN I AM LOST FOR WORDS, GOD ISN'T. My trouble is not being lost for words but in listening to what God is wanting to say through me.
I remember as a kid watching the TV series called "KUNG FU" staring David Caradine. The blind Master Po (Keye Luke) calls his young student "GRASSHOPPER" to "EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED". We are not grasshoppers but we often see ourselves as such (Numbers 13:33) and we don't need a Shaolin monk to tell us to expect the unexpected. We are not created to think small and expecting the unexpected is already a given in the Christian life.
What's the point of facing all this opposition?
In Matthew 10:17-18 Jesus says "BEWARE!...You will stand trial before
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