Words of Life ~ ANGELS

We add the word angels to our list of Words of Life, not because it is a word used often in the Christian vocabulary but to know how to answer someone who may ask us about angels. We found enough to start another book but would rather you, the reader, find these gems for yourself and rejoice that although we cannot see them, angels are real to us as God’s children. I can relate times in my life when I knew the outcome of a situation had to be by the Almighty power of our Lord who uses His angels to minister to us. Faith believes and rejoices in the truth we find in His Word.

Old Testament H4397
Strong’s Concordance defines mal’ak mal·äk’, messenger, representative

When the same word is used for messenger, it refers to a human messenger sent by another person. When the word is used for ANGEL, it speaks of the angel of the Lord, or of God. A messenger was a representative of man; an angel was a representative of the Lord God.

The word angel or angels is used 108 times in the Old Testament. The first is found in Genesis 16:7 when the angel of the Lord found Hagar in the wilderness when she fled from Sarah. From the angel, she receives instructions to return in obedience to Sarah. The second time the angel appears to Hagar is when she and Ishmael are sent away; the angel assures her that the Lord is with her and Ishmael (Genesis 21:20).

Angels appear in Sodom to bring out Lot and his family (Genesis 19:15).

An angel appears to Abraham to instruct him not to harm Isaac after proving his fear and obedience to God (Genesis 22:11-12).

Many references in Exodus speak of the Lord sending His angel before the Israelites
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.” Exodus 23;20

 “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” Psalm 8:4-5

 “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7

“For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:11

“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Psalm 104:4
This is quoted in Hebrews 2.

 Isaiah 63:9 speaks of the affliction of God’s people. The angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them.

King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges God who sent his angel and delivered his three servants that trusted in him (Daniel 3:28).

Daniel’s praise is to God who sent his angel and hath shut the lions’ mouths, (Daniel 6:22).

There are many references to Zechariah’s conversations with the angel of the Lord.

It is amazing to find so many references. Instead of listing all these, the link is here for the whole list.

New Testament G32
Strong’s Concordance aggelos ä’n-ge-los, messenger from God.
“In the Scriptures, both of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, one of that host of heavenly spirits that, according alike to Jewish and Christian opinion, wait upon the monarch of the universe, and are sent by him to earth,”

The first reference in the New Testament is Matthew 1:20 where the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream instructing him “fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Two other times the angel instructed him: first, to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod; afterward, to bring them back to Israel.

Before Jesus’ birth, we have the reference to the appearance of Gabriel to Zacharias.

“And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. Luke 1:11

“And in the sixth month (of Elizabeth’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,” Luke 1:26

From one angel to a multitude of the heavenly hosts came the announcement of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:13).

Fast-forward to Jesus’ ministry and the promise of His second coming.

After Jesus’ temptation of the devil in the wilderness, angels came and ministered unto him (Matthew 4:11).

“Two angels in white were sitting where the body of Jesus had lain (John 20:12).

He shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).

Where do angels fit in relation to believers?

Luke 15:10 speaks of the joy of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Luke 20:36 gives the promise that believers are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

The writer of Hebrews speaks of the angels’ ministry to us as believers.

“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Hebrews 1:7,14

 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;” Luke 16:22

1 Peter 1:12 speaks of the gospel being preached here on earth by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Hebrews 12:22 speaks of mount Sion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

“Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3

 The Book of Acts has many references to angels ministering to the apostles.

The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors for the apostles (Acts 5:19).

 The Lord sent his angel and delivered Peter out of the hand of Herod (Acts 12:11).

Paul speaks of the angel of God that stood by him on the ship that was about to be capsized (Acts 27:23).

How do angels relate to unbelievers?

 The angel of the Lord smote Herod in his royal apparel, because he gave not God the glory (Acts 12:23).

 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6 speak of the angels that sinned, were cast down to hell; reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment.

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Matthew 25:41

 Of the 175 references of the New Testament, 72 are found in the Book of Revelation.

 The first is relative to the angel sent to John by Jesus Christ to testify to the churches.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” Revelation 1:1

In Daniel 10:13, Michael is spoken of by Daniel as one of the chief princes who came to help him.

 Jude 1:9 identifies Michael as the archangel who contended with the devil.
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” Revelation 12:7

Have you experienced an incident where you knew God had physically intervened?

Gracious Father, thank you for all the times we can look back and know that your mighty hand was upon us. We praise you for the promises of your presence always with us, even as in times past, we cannot miss the reality of your angels ministering to us. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
(This word comes right after a sermon I heard yesterday including  Zacharias’ encounter with Gabriel. Here is the link.)
 

 

Where Is God?

Unbelievers sometimes ask this question contemptuously, while believers may ask it when overwhelmed by tragedy, trial, and sorrow.

WHERE IS GOD?
Let the Bible tell you.

God is above us.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust.” Psalm 91:1, 4

God is beneath us.

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

God is before us.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night. Exodus 13:21;

God is behind us.

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

God is around us.

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

God is with us.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10 (Scripture Tune)

Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20

God is within us.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:13

Take time to meditate on these references and be assured that whatever your circumstances, if you are His child by the birth of His Holy Spirit, the Lord your God is above, beneath, before, behind, around, with, and within you.

Gracious Father, we thank you for your promise to never leave us, nor forsake you; that your presence with us will bring us through whatever we must endure in this life. We praise you that in Christ, we are filled with your grace and wrapped in your glory, now and forever. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
(If you have read this somewhere else, please let me know. I found this in one of my older journal/notebooks, so I am not positive if it is mine or a copy: I usually note the source of someone else’s work.)

Image:Google

The Unshakable Hope of the Man Who Sees with His Heart and Writes with His Eyes

If you already know Bill Sweeney, you understand this title. All who know him are blessed. He is a member of the WordPress Christian Community of which I have been a member for eight years. I put these words together because we are a community of believers who support and encourage each other as we write of a common faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

This post is not for me to tell you Bill’s story but to share his blog site so you can read for yourself his witness of the Lord’s grace in his life during many years with ALS. You will be encouraged and your faith will be strengthened as you read how he lives in hope and ministry to the Lord.
Unshakeable Hope

Words of Life ~ ANCHOR

We ended 2018 with AMEN. How gracious our Lord is to give us ANCHOR as our first of Words of Life for 2019.

Although ships are mentioned in the Old Testament, the word anchor is only used in the New Testament. The first three references are found in Acts and as an anchor used in the ship in which Paul was a passenger.

“Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.” Acts 27:29

ANCHOR G45
Strong’s Concordance defines agkyra ä’n-kü-rä, A metaphor. Any stay or safeguard

The fourth reference is used figuratively. Because of Paul’s own shipwrecks, he could very well be the author who used the metaphor in the book of Hebrews.

 “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:

 His covenant blessings with Abraham were confirmed by the oath given through Christ for eternal salvation. The promise and oath are the two prongs of the anchor.

“That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” Hebrews 6:17-19

An anchor cast into the bottom of the sea cannot be seen. Neither can Christ be seen, but our faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

The soul in this life is either anchored to the world, its promises, and pleasures, or to Christ who is God’s fulfilled promise and our hope to the end. He has entered heaven as our high priest and holds us to Himself. God has made us sit in heavenly places in Christ. And Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). This is why we set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1-3).

Dear heavenly Father, you promised eternal life and fulfilled that promise in Christ, your Son, who is our hope of eternal life. Your sure and steadfast anchor keeps us through even the violent storms of this life. No one can move this anchor; no one can snatch us out of your hand ~ this to your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Related Articles: Staying in the Ship         Laying Hold of Eternal Life

What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of GOD

Second in the series What the Holy Bible Says is available on Amazon.

What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of GOD follows What the Holy Bible Says about LIGHT, published two years ago

Both are devotional studies using references from Strong’s Concordance with questions and suggestions for discovering what God has to say about these topics. The first study on LIGHT is a ten-week study.

The second study on The Word of GOD is a twenty-six-week study. It not only involves a longer time than the first book but will produce a greater understanding of who God is, what He spoke and reveals about Himself.  Going through this study twice, I have experienced a deep humility and relationship with God which I did not have before. This devotional study starts slow but quickens its pace and brings the reader to a greater knowledge of the Word of God. It ends with fullness and joy, giving the student a bountiful love for God and His Word.

(The third study, not published, is What the Holy Bible Says about LIFE.)

The first two books are in paperback and Ebook with others on Amazon.
We began publishing two years ago as a means to archive our work in proclaiming the legacy of God’s kingdom to future generations. Profits from sales are designated for missions and charity. Free copies of any book are available to those who cannot afford to buy.

Dear Father in heaven, we praise you for another opportunity to share the truth of your Word. We pray for your Holy Spirit to lead readers to know you through this study. In Jesus’ name, we pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.

All Things New

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things
are become new
.
2 Corinthians 5:17

In awe for the last decade, I have been given another new year to express the all-glorious presence and blessings of our Almighty God. Ten years ago, I was thinking how close I might be to leaving this planet to be with our Lord. Now in my eighth decade, I sense more and more my weakness and dependence on my Creator and Redeemer as He continues to prepare me for eternity with Him. It is a second childhood I heard about in my first childhood, but, oh so much more than I had imagined. And, I am loving it!

Learning to leave behind those things I thought were so precious years ago, I have been blessed for the Lord to reveal His kingdom of grace in me enabling me to experience a taste of that which is to come.

Trust in the One Who Gives Life
Did I say that these years have been comfortable and pleasant? Not by any stretch of the imagination; they are being spent in trust and leaning upon the One who gave me life twice ~ as Creator and Redeemer ~ a new life that will never end.

Giving me the responsibility as a full-time caregiver for Jerry has been the Father’s way of grooming me as His servant. And there is no greater joy than this. Having served in many roles (too many to list) the role of a servant tops the list for joy and fulfillment in His kingdom.

With one of my favorite verses of His Word, I end my first prayer each day before getting out of bed.

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Psalm 90:17

There is always new work to do. With this expectation, we know this new year of our Lord, 2019 will be filled with newness of life. With every day and every trial in the last several years, we have experienced a greater sense of His presence and His goodness.

Lovecraft ~ A New Look
After eight years of blogging, we are using a new format. In searching, I chose a fitting theme Lovecraft~ not knowing the name of the theme until afterward. We will be tweaking it until we decide on the final look. One difference in this theme is the overlay of the area for the text. Images are good, but we want to focus on the truths of God’s Word and His kingdom. A physical image cannot aptly portray the spiritual truths of His love and grace.

We have also just published a new book which we will review the end of this week; What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of GOD, second in the series What the Holy Bible Says.

Our God is the Living God, the God of wonders, the God who never leaves us. He desired us before the world began and sired us in His timing ~ to bring us to Himself through His Son’s redemptive work and the power of His Holy Spirit. He continues to show us great and mighty things we have not known (Jeremiah 33:3) ~ to us, in us and through us. All this; all that He does is for His glory and our joy.

Dear Father in heaven, you have called us unto your eternal glory through Jesus Christ, your Son. We thank you for your mercy and grace, by your Holy Spirit, to accomplish all that you have planned for us in this new year. Whether to keep us here to proclaim the legacy of your kingdom or to bring us home with you, we praise you now. Continue to fill us all with the outpouring of your Spirit to speak and write the truth of your Word that others may know you and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image is from Christian Poetry by Deborah Ann. 
You would be blessed to visit her blog.

Words of Life ~ AMEN

AMEN  may well be the most used word in the Christian vocabulary; one of simple exclamation for what we believe is true; in answer to, or addition to, things with which we agree.

It seems fitting to end the year in our series Words of Life with the word AMEN.

It is also interesting that I did not plan it. We began in July sharing this list once a week, from word to word, without knowing where each one would fit. So, in His providence, let us look at what the Lord has for us in this word now and in the coming year.

Old Testament H543
Strong’s Concordance defines AMEN ‘amen ä·mān’ verily, truly, so be it.
It is the same word used for truth.

The word AMEN is found in 24 verses of the Old Testament, 12 of these are found in Deuteronomy after each of the curses.
We want to concentrate on the following verses which use the word AMEN twice. These verses begin with the word “Blessed” referring to the Lord God and His name, ending with a double AMEN.

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.” Psalm 41:13

“And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.” Psalm 72:19

New Testament G281
“The word “amen” is a most remarkable word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into the Greek of the New Testament, then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is directly related — in fact, almost identical — to the Hebrew word for “believe” (amam), or faithful. Thus, it came to mean “sure” or “truly”, an expression of absolute trust and confidence. — HMM”

It came to be used as an adverb by which something is asserted or confirmed: at the beginning of a discourse, surely, of a truth, truly; so frequent in the discourses of Christ in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” Blueletter Bible

The Greek word is the same for verily. Until this research, I did not realize that Jesus prefaced all His teachings with the word, verily, verily. Verily is used at the beginning of a sentence; Amen at the end to verify the truth of a statement.

The first use of AMEN is quoted by Jesus after His prayer given to His disciples; appropriate, as His prayer was to our Father in heaven.

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matthew 6:13).

The second time is “And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. AmenMatthew 28:20  

The last of the gospels to record the word AMEN is John’s statement summing up Jesus’ ministry.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:22

In the remainder of the New Testament, more AMENs (29) are attributed to the apostle Paul than to any other author, most of these in his letter to the Romans (not surprising, since more of the New Testament is attributed to him than any other author.) Below are a few of these.

 “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:36

 “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

 “To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:5

 “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3:21

 “Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20

 “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

 “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” 1 Timothy 6:16

Peter uses the word 4 times.

“That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:11

 “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:11

 “Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:14

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

John ends his first two letters with AMEN (1 John 5:21;  2 John 13).

The writer of Hebrews ends the letter with a prayer and an AMEN.

“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”Hebrews 13:21

It is fitting that the last book of God’s Word would use the word 9 times. The last two verses of the Bible end with AMEN.

“Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 7:12

“And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.” Revelation 19:4

“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:21

As we end another year of our Lord, 2018, let us sound a strong “AMEN” to His sovereign grace and rule over all things. Let us be grateful for His presence and His blessings this year. Let us echo the AMENs of the writers of His precious Word.

As we enter a new year, let us be in anticipation, with a verily, verily to what He has planned. Let us practice our AMENs, begin praising Him for whatever may be ahead and focus on Him and His Word; not ourselves and our circumstances.

Gracious Father, thank you for giving us what seems to be a simple word, yet packed with power. Fill us with your Spirit to know, accept, and submit to your Word. Enable us to not only say “Amen” to all that you speak to us but to live in agreement with all that we read in your Word. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran
Jude 24-25 Music