Matthew 10:16-23 & When His Promises Are Precious

When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

If you are not zealous for the glory of Christ, but only concerned for your own skin, this promise does not relieve anxiety, it causes it. Only someone burning with the prayer, “hallowed be Thy name,” derives any peace from this promise.

This is not an exhortation to preach extemporaneously as some have made it. There is nothing wrong with extemporaneous preaching per se, as long as it is expository preaching, but that is not what this text is about. Nor is this a promise that we will be given clever words to weasel our way out of pain, but rather that we will be given bold words despite threat of pain. This is a promise for anointed preaching when persecuted.

Preaching in the power of the Spirit is always the goal of all Christians when they herald Christ, and of course Christ promises to be with His church as they go forward faithful to the great commission (Matthew 28:20), but to those who go zealous for His glory to the hard places of the earth He gives this special promise of anointed preaching. Do you want the Spirit to anoint your preaching? Go to the hard places of the earth in zeal for His name and compassion for souls and you are promised it! We see several instance of this in the book of Acts, here are just a couple:

Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.  -Acts 6:9-10

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’  – Acts 4:5-12

This promise relieves anxiety only if you treasure Jesus more than life. It gives peace only if your greatest fear is belittling, disowning, or maligning the name of Jesus. This promise is precious to you if Jesus is precious to you.

If worship is not our goal, we will not be martyr-minded Christians faithful to the great commission, and if we are not martyr-minded Christians, we are not worshippers of God, but of our own lives.

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