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!

Imparted Power

Imparted Power

Most of us who follow Jesus Christ don’t realize how much power the Lord has imparted to us, His people.  The word imparted means transferred, taught, or revealed. 

When we read the Bible, we need to think deeply about each and every passage that we read.  We should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, teach us, and to give us revelations into the Scriptures.

Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ . . .  (2 Cor 2:10 ESV) 

We have authority to forgive others on behalf of the kingdom of God!  Think about the significance of this, and don’t take it lightly. 

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.  (Joh 20:23 ESV) 

Jesus has given us the example, along with our Heavenly Father, of forgiving mankind of all sin through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  It is our responsibility to follow His good example and His teachings.  Let’s advance the kingdom of God by being just like Him by extending merciful, and generous forgiveness to others.

And I tell you this—whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever you free on earth will be freed in heaven.  (Mt 18:18 TL B) 

We have power to bind on earth: 

  • to truss up or tie up;
  • to hinder or inhibit people, demons, or calamitous events; and
  • to deter or prevent situations—as God directs.  

We have authority to set free on earth:

  • to liberate (unshackle) people from bondage;
  • to emancipate human beings from every shame;
  • to release all those imprisoned by sickness, fear, pain, and the consequences of sin; and
  • to unshackle hurting ones from unhealthy situations and relationships.

The Lord Jesus has said clearly that He has given His followers power and authority.  This is an important truth upon which to meditate, and ask God to give us insight and wisdom into it.

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.  (Lk 10:19) 

Later, in the book of Luke, Jesus talks again about our being given power from heaven.

I am sending to you what my Father promised, so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (Lk 24:49 ISV) Recognize who you are and what you have been given.  Believers are children of the Kingdom, and we have been given the message of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ.    It’s our job to bind or to set free the right things for the right reasons.  It’s time for us to listen to and obey the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Praise God!

No Longer a Slave

No Longer a Slave

A slave is a person who is held in a permanent position of servitude to another; a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.  Imagine being the legal property of another human being?  The idea brings up a tremendous sense of outrage in those of us who have been blessed to live in a nation renowned for freedom, as well as a sense of regret, shame and deep sorrow over our nation’s past history.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set free from all types and forms of bondage or slavery.  Hallelujah!

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (Joh 8:32)  Jesus is the Truth who sets us free.  Jesus tells us that He IS the Truth in John 14:6.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed . . .  (Lk 4:18, emphasis added)  Jesus read these words in the temple in Nazareth.  In Luke 4:21, Jesus went on to say:   And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”  Jesus clearly states that HE is the fulfillment of this passage originally found in Isaiah 61.  Jesus sets at liberty ALL who are oppressed.

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.  (Joh 8:36)  This Scripture could easily read:  “Therefore SINCE the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.” 

Think about this:  Jesus has set us free from all bondage, both external and internal. 
In Jesus we have been set free from:

  • Fear – Fear involves torment. The perfect love that Jesus bestows upon us casts out fear. (1 Joh 4:18) Our Savior and King does not use fear as a tool–ever. 

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (Rom 8:15)  Please see also 2 Timothy 1:7.

  • Sin – We have been set free from sin. (Rom 6:18)  We are not under the rule of law but we are under the rule of GRACE.  (Rom 6:14)  There is only one thing it is permissible for us to serve, and that is righteousness“Sin is a power within that is trying to draw you away to worship idols, to compromise, to go and make yourself God rather than submitting to the living God.” ~ Andrew Wilson
  • Death – In Christ, we have received eternal LIFE.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (Joh 3:16)
    In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.
     (Pro 12:28)

Rejoice in and appreciate the liberty that our Savior has given to each of us.

We Are Witnesses

We Are Witnesses

Those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord are now the Lord’s witnesses. 

A witness is a person who has observed something, perceived something, or experienced something; and who are willing and able to give an account of their experience.

Let’s look at a few Scriptures:

God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.  (Ac 2:32)

. . . and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.  (Ac 3:15)

Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”  (Ac 5:31-32)

What would God like us to share with other people?  Of what should we testify (bear witness)? 

We should simply affirm our own, personal experience of what happened to us in accepting Jesus as our Savior.  We may also reveal how serving Jesus Christ and being in relationship with Him has changed our lives since we turned our hearts over to Him.

In my own life, once I accepted Christ as my Savior, many things became different.  I felt that I had been set free, and I felt an incredible joy.  I wanted to tell everyone about my experience because it was so simple and easy to receive Jesus; and it made such an impact upon my life.  I felt such love for people—which was a new experience—and I wanted everyone else to experience the joy that I had. 

I have now known the Lord as my Savior for more than four and a half decades, and I have experienced miracles, signs, and wonders in my own life.  I’ve also prayed for other people and seen the Lord perform miracles for others in answer to our prayers.  I’ve seen relatives reconciled; diseases healed; finances blessed; and marriages restored all in the Name of Jesus. 

You have your own special, highly valuable and unique testimony.  Your witness will reach people that no one else can reach.  Consider how and with whom you can share your incomparable story today.  God bless you!

Equipped For Good Work

Equipped For Good Work

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man [woman] of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for EVERY good work.  (2 Tim 3:16-17 – bracketed word added by the author)

It’s interesting to understand, from the Scripture shown above, that God uses His Word for:

  • Doctrine [a principle or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief],
  • Reproof [criticism for a fault],
  • Correction [a bringing into conformity with a standard], and
  • Instruction [the action of teaching] in righteousness.

This passage tells us that God uses these methods to thoroughly equip believers for every good work.  Do you feel thoroughly equipped?  If not, then perhaps you haven’t been spending enough time reading, meditating, listening to, and hearing God’s Word preached. 

A key component in being equipped is obeying the Word that you hear and that you read.  Without your obedience to the Word of God, there is no submission to it—nor is there a respect for it.  We also need to respect God, Himself, in order to obey His Word.

Equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  (Heb 13:21 ESV – emphasis added)

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ . . . (Eph 4:11-16 ESV – emphasis added) 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1 – emphasis added)

The Lord has set all believers free, and He is in the process of equipping us at all times.  We are equipped now, but as we continue our walk with the Lord, He will reveal new truths to us.  Our knowledge and understanding of His ways and His standards will grow and mature.  Our expertise with our spiritual “tool set” will increase.  All we need to do is to keep hearing His voice, and to continue in our willingness to learn from Him.  Yield to His Word and to His will for you.

The Lord has set you free, and He has thoroughly equipped you, so let your light shine brightly!

Abide in God’s Word & Be Made Free

Abide in God’s Word & Be Made Free

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:31-32)

The word KNOW in verse 32, above, means to perceive; understand; recognize; or realize.  This is a knowledge that has inception, a progress and an attainment, according to Strong’s concordance (#1097).  It is the recognition of truth by personal experience.

This personal experience suggests a close, personal relationship.  And verse 32 states that we need to abide in [accept, stand in, obey] God’s Word and thereby confirm ourselves to be Christ’s disciples.

In that context, as we personally come to experience the truth of and dependability of God’s Word, it is that same truth that shall set us free from various challenging and destructive experiences in our lives.  It also sets us free from the hurts that other people have inflicted upon us.

God’s steadfast and unfailing love for you can give you such strength and stability in your emotions that you can be made emotionally whole and healthy. 

The best kindness that you can do for yourself is to abide in the Scriptures, and become more and more stable and secure in their truth—because you know that God does not lie.  (Num 23:19) 

Rest in Jesus, who has given you the grace, freedom, and strength to live your life to His glory daily!

You’re Delivered: Celebrate!

You’re Delivered:  Celebrate!

Good day, friends.  Here are thoughts that will encourage you!

For He has delivered me out of all trouble; and my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.  (Psalm 54:7 NKJV – emphasis added)

Through salvation—the perfect atoning work of Jesus Christ—God has already delivered you out of ALL trouble.  The Lord has given victory to the upright (Prov 2:7), and promises that those who seek Him shall not lack any good thing!  (Ps 34:10) 

Be patient and persistent in trusting the Lord and His Word.  Expect good things to happen to you and for you. 

Salvation has delivered you from all of the curse of the law. (Gal. 3:13)  Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. (Acts 10:38)  

The good news is:  Jesus hasn’t changed! (Hebrews 13:8)  You’ve been set free—delivered—and cleansed!  You are loved.  You are victorious!  Celebrate God’s goodness in your life!