Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.~Matthew 10:16 KJV
I tossed some corn on the cob over my banisters thinking the doves I see and hear in the yard might enjoy our left-overs. A while later I went back on the deck and scared a whole flock that was feeding on the ground below. The thundering of the wings would have been scary to me had I not known how doves sound.
Later as the sun was setting I heard them cooing as they perched on the powerlines for the night. A still, mournful sound, yet calming. Earlier this summer I heard a dove frantically cooing. I’d never heard that call in their repertoire. My nephew said the dove had lost its mate. They mate for life and when one mate dies the other makes a pitiful sound, true mourning. Doves are harmless. They make a lot of noise when they fly and may startle someone but they will not attack. They are mournful in their call, in death, uncomforted.
May we startle the lost with our harmless, loving testimony and the happiness in our lifelong relationship with Christ. May we be mournful for the lost, pleading for them in love.May we startle the lost with our harmless, loving testimony and the happiness in our lifelong relationship with Christ. May we be mournful for the lost, pleading for them in love. #VineWords #WiseandHarmless #GailCartee Click To Tweet
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.~John 3:14 KJV
Jesus’ analogy to Christians to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves draws another great picture. A serpent, a snake, is a smart creature hidden and camouflaged until the moment it strikes so it gets you before you get it. In our witness, we also need to make people aware of sin. Jesus reminded Nicodemus of the time Moses made a serpent and put it on a pole so that the people bitten because of sin might look and live.
May our witness be unexpected, striking to the hearts of those endangered by a life apart from God.
How will you use the Lord’s creation as a witness to others?
Father God, thank You for Your beautiful creation that teaches us about Your love and mercy. Guide our hearts and minds to wisely show Your love to others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Are you a bird watcher? Do you notice birdcalls when you’re out playing or working in the garden?
Do you have a bird feeder near a window?
My bird feeder and a hummingbird feeder are near my kitchen window.
Hummingbirds are harmless. They sound like a hornet attack but once you know what you’re hearing, they’re fun to watch.
They dart around the feeder, landing on the wire cage near it.
The males fight with each other over the feeder.
They even make a chirping sound.
I’ve had to offer them my broom as a landing spot in my carport and transport them quickly to the outside. They must think my red car is the biggest flower they’ve ever encountered.
Jesus used doves and snakes to make his analogy.
How could you make an analogy with hummingbirds or maybe lizards?
My dog once ate a blue-tail lizard (skink) and almost died.
Are there other animals that impress you?
Copyright 2021: Wise and Harmless: Gail Cartee: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Gail Cartee is a retired preschool teacher with a degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in General Education.
She is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, specializing in the areas of marriage and family.
Gail writes family devotions at her blog, Family Devotions from my Father’s World. She is a regular contributor to Christian Children’s Authors, and Write 2 Ignite Blog.
She is a contributing author to the devotionals Penned from the Heart and The Mighty Pen.
Find Gail’s articles in Guardian Angel Kid’s Magazine and Devo Kids, online magazines for children.
She is a conference breakout facilitator for Write 2 Ignite, a conference for Christian writers of children’s and young adult literature. She also helps in the planning of the conferences.
Gail is under contract with Elk Lake Publishing, for a picture book entitled, Messages, which will debut in the Winter of 2022.
She makes her home in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband, Richard. They have three children and four grandchildren. Her hobbies include gardening, camping, hiking, and watercolor painting.
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