Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us

The Scriptures tell us in many different ways and in various passage that angels walk among us.  It’s a fact that we need to know and to acknowledge.

And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.  (Ac 7:30)  An angel appeared Moses in a burning bush. 

Acts 7:35 states that God sent back the same man his people had previously rejected when they demanded, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ Through the angel who appeared to him in the burning bush, God sent Moses to be their ruler and savior.  Angels can be sent to us by God to give us instructions or information from God.

They passed the first and second guards and came to the Iron Gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself. After leaving the prison, they proceeded the length of one street, when abruptly the angel was gone. (Ac 12:10 CEB)  This angel was sent to Peter to lead him out of prison and to keep Peter safe until he reached freedom.  When the angel completed the mission, he disappeared.  Angels can be sent to us to set us free.

But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out . . .  (Ac 5:19)  The angel led the apostles out of prison, and then gave them a message from the Lord (v. 20):  “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”

And the apostles obeyed the angel and shared the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.  (Lk 1:11)  An angel appeared to Zacharias while he was serving in the temple.  The angel informed Zacharias that his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son.  The angel told Zacharias to name the boy John.  Zacharias heeded the angel.

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  (Mt 1:20)  An angel told Joseph to fulfill his plan to take Mary as his wife because the baby whom she carried was a holy child.  And Joseph obeyed God’s directions–which came through the angel.

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.  (Heb 13:2) This verse in Hebrews reminds us to be hospitable to strangers, because they may be angels in human disguise!  We may not always know that an angel has spoken to us, but something about the encounter will impress us, remain in our hearts and in our memories, and influence us with heavenly wisdom.  Remember to welcome strangers!  Glory to God!

Extreme Mercy & Forgiveness

Extreme Mercy & Forgiveness

And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.  (Ac 7:59-60)

Focus on the extreme mercy and forgiveness that Stephen displayed!  Here are people in the process of killing him, and he forgives them and asks the Lord to forgive them.  Then he dies. What mercy!  What forgiveness!  Stephen went to heaven as a martyr for the gospel.

According to Daniel 9:9, mercy and forgiveness belong to God.  The Bible says (see below) that mercy and unlimited forgiveness belong to God.

O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, because with the Lord there is mercy and with Him there is unlimited forgiveness.  (Ps 130:7 GW)

In the church of Jerusalem, Stephen was chosen along with six other men to serve as deacons.  As deacons, they would take charge of the gifts of the people, and give assistance to those who were in need, including widows.  The criteria for choosing these men was that they had to have the Spirit of God and to have wisdom. 

Stephen not only cared for the poor, but he began to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone—Jews and Gentiles both.  This conduct enraged some of Jews, who plotted against him.

Clearly, as Stephen shared the Good News, the Holy Spirit used Stephen as an instrument for the Kingdom of God.  History records that Stephen, as he ministered to the people, performed signs, wonders, and miracles among them.  Glory to God!

Stephen clearly loved and obeyed Jesus Christ, his Savior and example in all things.  Stephen emulated the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, work, and even in death. 

This is a good moment to reflect upon our own lives; and to determine whether we are allowing mercy and forgiveness to operate in our lives, our responses, and our actions.