Today as we look at the daily lectionary, (which can be found here: http://gamc.pcusa.org/devotion/daily/2010/10/8/ ) I want to sort of continue the conversation from yesterday.
Yesterday's New Testament reading was from Acts 24 and today's is as well - a continuation of the story. The focus yesterday was how the Jews were making every effort to use the Roman authorities to silence Paul - and putting all of their faith in those earthly authorities. That was clearly contrasted by Paul and his reliance on God, which allowed him to boldly proclaim all that God has done and the truth of the gospel - even at great personal risk.
Today we see that while Paul is reliant on God - he is not some sort of 'whipping boy' easily rolling over and allowing himself to be pushed around. He never wavers from representing Jesus Christ, but at the same time he ably uses all of the opportunities he is presented with. Paul, as a Roman citizen knew the law and used that knowledge to assert his right to be heard before the emperor - as opposed to being handed over to the Jewish authorities, which would have certainly have lead to his death.
So what's the point. Simply (and scripturally) the point is to be as innocent as doves, but as wise as serpents. God has given us knowledge, gifts and abilities to be used to best of our abilities. We are supposed to use what we have, what we know and what we can do - to glorify God, to help others and to put ourselves in the best possible position to to do both of those things.
What has God given you? Are you really using it?
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