Have you ever felt that you were invisible? There are times in my life that I have felt that my life doesn’t count or that no one seems to care what’s happening in my life. At those times I have also struggled with whether God was really seeing me and my need. There is a need that we all have for acceptance and feeling that we matter, and that there is a bigger plan for us than what we can see right now. As I was thinking about this need of ours to feel that we matter to God and to others, the Lord reminded me of times in the Bible where “Jesus saw” someone and reached out and changed their circumstances. As I reread the Gospels I began to see many times when Jesus walked by and those who had need called out to him, but the times that were most significant to me were the many times when the Lord was walking by and “saw” the real need of someone. These stories have reassured me that even if no one else sees me, the Lord surely does. So here are a few stories that spoke to me. Continue reading
From Rags…to Riches
Once there was a handsome King and a beautiful Queen who gave birth to a baby girl. She was the love of their lives and was doted on from the day of her birth. The Princess was dressed in the finest clothes, sprayed with the most beautiful perfumes, and entertained by the most educational of toys. Everyone around her took very good care of her knowing that she was the Princess of the land and that she would inherit the King’s kingdom when she was grown.
But all was not well in the kingdom. There was a wicked witch that constantly eluded all efforts of capture. Her desire was to destroy the hearts of the King and the Queen and ultimately take their kingdom away from them. The witch devised a plan in which she would kidnap the Princess. Continue reading
Angels tend to be a beautiful part of the stories of the season. The original Christmas story has an angel appearing to Mary, to Joseph in his dreams, to the shepherds in the fields, and once again to Joseph in another dream warning him to flee Bethlehem with his family before Herod’s army came to kill the baby. When it was safe to return the angel of the Lord appeared once again to Joseph in a dream to tell him to go back to Nazareth.
Angels had very important jobs throughout all of scripture. Some were messengers, some warriors, some involved with worship, but all were sent by the Lord for a specific task. But nowhere in the Bible does it tell stories of a human being dying and going to heaven and being sent back as an angel on a mission to earn their wings. In fact, there is nothing about humans becoming angels in the Bible. Angels are angels and humans remain humans. As much as I love a good story or movie such as a Wonderful Life or others like it, as a Christian I have to remember that this is fiction and not truth.
In fact, as the Bible shares all the awesome exploits of angels there is one verse that should give us all pause. I Peter 1:12 says,
It was revealed to them [prophets] that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Peter is talking about angels looking in awe at humans being given the opportunity to receive salvation and the resulting Holy Spirit living in them. Angels look at us in awe at our being called sons and daughters of God. Angels know that they will always be angels, but they are in awe of the fact that Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us humans the opportunity to inherit sonship. So when you see angels in the various stories you hear in this season, be awed by the graciousness of a God who would love you so much that He would send His son to die for your sins and give you the opportunity to receive salvation, send the Holy Spirit to live within you, and give you the authority to rule and reign with Jesus for all eternity. When we look at all that angels do, remember that angels are looking at us in awe of all that the Lord does in and for us. That is truly awesome.
Growing up in church I don’t remember ever hearing the terms “salvation”or “born again” as relating to an experience I was supposed to have. I remember learning the Bible stories in both the Old and NewTestaments. I remember learning about the way we should live, that seemed to imply if I could live that way I could go to heaven when I died. I also remember an experience at another church where someone asked me if I wanted to be “saved.” That question made me scared as I didn’t know what I was supposed to be saved from. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that a friend of mine casually said, “I don’t understand why church people don’t know if they are going to heaven or not if they die.” I didn’t want to tell her that I didn’t know if I would be allowed in heaven or not. I knew that I had done some things in my past that might keep me out. Continue reading
The Lord brought to mind a conversation I had with an elderly woman several years ago. I was talking about my frustration with everyone’s, including my own, battle with sin. She looked innocently at me and said, “What kind of sin do you think I have? I don’t do anything or go anywhere.” I was horrified and could only be silent at her inability to recognize that she too was sinful.
I remember reading of a pastor who during his time with God said much the same thing to the Lord. The Lord then Continue reading