Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2 (ESV)
A group of kids were asked their thoughts on angels and here’s what they had to say:
“My guardian angel helps me with math, but he’s not much good for science.” (Henry, 8)
“When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there’s a tornado.” (Reagan, 10)
“My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.” (Katelynn, 9)
“What I don’t get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.” (Sarah, 7) (Preaching.com)
This Sunday Pastor Jim began to help us get a better understanding of exactly who angels are and what role they play in God’s plan. Hebrews 13:2 teaches us that we may encounter angels and have no idea that’s who they are. We may not entertain angels in a literal sense (though it is possible) but any stranger could turn out to be God’s messenger for the Greek word “angel” simply means “messenger.” Indeed, most believers have had guests in our home who have turned out to be messengers of unspeakable blessings to our family. We will take the rest of the week to review some of the lessons learned about angels in the sermon.
The Greek word for “hospitality” used in Hebrews 13:2 literally means, “a lover of strangers.” It means taking a genuine interest in others and making them feel welcomed and at ease. It should begin here when the church gathers. How would it change the way you see visitors in church if you thought they might be an angel? How would it change the way you treat strangers if you looked at them as possible angels?
Thank God for His plan to send angels and other messengers into our lives to show and share His love. Thank Him for wanting to use you to be a blessing to strangers.
You are the Lord, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You.
Nehemiah 9:6 (ESV)
ANGELS: WHO ARE THEY?
Legend says that Michelangelo, the great sculptor and painter, was pushing a heavy rock up a small incline to his work area so that he could do some sculpting. A neighbor watched him for over an hour as he worked to get this rock in place. Finally he asked, “Michelangelo, why do you labor so hard over that ugly, heavy piece of rock?” Michelangelo said, “Because there is an angel inside that wants to come out.”
This past Sunday, Pastor Jim began to chip away at our understanding of angels and God’s intended purpose for them. One of the questions we tackled was “Who are they?” In Nehemiah 9:6, we learn that angels are created beings made to worship and serve God. They are spirits created by God that have occasionally taken on a bodily form and appeared to various people. Angels frequently appear as messengers in the Bible, traveling from one place to another but are not everywhere at once, like God is.
In 2 Kings 6:17 it says, “Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” Ultimately, like all creation, angels lead us to a better understanding of who God is and what God is doing. How has God opened your eyes so far through this study?
Thank God for opening your eyes and understanding of who He is, what He is doing, and how much He loves you.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus.”
Luke 1:30-31 (ESV)
ANGELS: WHAT THEY DO
A father came home from a very rugged day at work and said to his wife, “I’ve had a bad day. Please, if you have any bad news tonight, keep it to yourself.” To which she replied, “Okay, no bad news. Now for the good news. Remember our four children? Well, three of them didn’t break an arm today.”
One of the primary roles of angels is to deliver good news. The word “angel” literally means messenger. In Luke 1, God sends the angel Gabriel to explain to Mary that she was going to give birth to Jesus who was the Savior of the world. There has never been a greater message delivered than the message of the Gospel.
The good news of Jesus Christ is only bad news if you don’t believe and accept Him as your personal Savior. Because then you are destined to an eternity in hell separated from God. When did you first hear the message of who Jesus Christ is and what He did for you? What made you want to respond and accept Christ?
Thank God for the angels and people He has used in your life to bring the messages of God to you. Ask God who He wants to use you as His messenger to bring the good news.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
Revelation 12:7-8 (ESV)
ANGELS ARE WARRIORS
John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what happened, Paton asked the chief what kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied, “Who were all those men with you there?” Paton knew no men were present, but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. (Today in the Word)
There are several instances in Scripture where we find God’s angels going to battle with demonic forces. In Revelation 12:7-8, we see the angel Michael and his angels defeat Satan and his demons. We learn here that Satan and his demons don’t have the power to withstand the attack of God’s angels, and they are defeated.
We can take great comfort in God’s almighty power and His protection in our lives. There is no enemy we will ever face that God and His angels can’t defeat. When do you think you’ve faced a spiritual battle that God’s angels were fighting on your behalf?
Praise God as your victorious and conquering King. Thank Him for sending His angels to watch over your life.
For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
WHY ANGELS MATTER
During a nighttime thunderstorm, a little 4-year-old boy was frightened by the crash of thunder. He scurried to his parent’s bedroom. “I’m afraid of the storm,” he cried, “I want you to come lay down by me!” His mother replied, “Son, God is always with us. He’ll be right at your bedside to protect you.” Disappointed, the little boy finally made it back to his own bed. No sooner had he pulled up the covers, than another loud boom of thunder shook the house. The little lad made it back to his parent’s bedroom. “I’m still afraid of the storm!” he cried. His mother said, “Didn’t I tell you that God was at your bedside and He’d protect you?” To this the boy replied, “Yes, but I need someone with skin on!”
Most of us can relate on some level to this boy’s desire to be protected in a storm. Psalm 91 explains the protection that is afforded to those who make God their shield and refuge. Part of that protection is the role of angels in our lives. God has given them clear commands to guard our ways and to hold us up. God has promised to finish what He has started in our journey of faith. He uses angels to help fulfill His promise.
In the sermon, Pastor Jim gave us 3 primary lessons we can learn from angels:
- a) We can be reminded that the unseen world is real.
- b) We can be educated by their example and activity.
- c) We can be confident in God’s care and protection.
Which of these 3 reminders means the most to you today?
Thank God for the reminder that means the most to you. Ask God what attitude or action He wants to change in your life as a result of that reminder.