The Dove

 In Daily Devotional

Matthew 3:16

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.”

It is impossible in this world to ever fully define God, but we can try to communicate His attributes by saying He is “like” something with which we are more familiar. John the Baptist expressed His recognition of the Holy Spirit coming to Jesus after His baptism “like” a dove. The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

“Doves have long been a symbol for eternal peace. God chose the white dove to portray the Holy Spirit. … The dove is commonly seen in Christian art with Mary as a symbol or care, devotion, purity and peace.”1

“If the affable and meek nature of the dove personality evokes some derision from more aggressive birds, it gets respect because of its association with peace, and as the symbol of coming together in harmony, doves are released on many occasions to symbolize cooperation and non-aggression.”2

In the secular-based descriptions above, key words and phrases stand out: eternal peace, white dove, care, devotion, purity, peace, affable, meek, respect, harmony, cooperation, and non-aggression. Did you know these are all characteristics of a dove?

Another fact I have observed is that doves are disrupted or disturbed easily. Carefully cultivate and host the Spirit’s Presence.


Tell the Father you want to learn more about the characteristics and attributes of His Holy Spirit. Ask Him to help you cultivate an appreciation of His purity, calmness, peace and sensitivity.

Dive Deeper: Study Matthew 3.

1 Dove Symbolism – Pure Spirit,, 1/11/19.

2 Doves – Browse the Animals,, 1/11/19.