How Can I Fight ISIS If I’m Not Military, Police or Katy Perry?

The world is a horribly dark place as evidenced by the Islamic terrorist blowing himself up along with 22 kids and parents in Manchester.

And what can I do about horrific darkness like Islamic terrorism?unnamed
If you are in the military, you have a specific role in fighting the darkness.
Do it well. We’re for you.
Praise God for you!

If you’re in law enforcement, you also have a very specific role in fighting the darkness.
Do it well. I’m for you.
Praise God for you!

But if you are not in the military or law enforcement, and following Christ, what can you do? I mean really – what can we do beyond virtue signaling on social media – “I stand with Manchester! At home! I changed my profile pic on Facebook!” Beyond declaring group hugs and no borders and no walls like Katy Perry (who coincidentally lives in a bullet proof bubble with armed security and a wall around her house).

If I’m serious about following Jesus, and I sincerely want to make a difference, isn’t there something I can do?

God actually has a word for you.

In the very beginning, it was dark. In fact, there was nothing. And out of nothing, God created everything. And He said, “Let there be light.” And instantly, there was light.

The darkness was driven back by God’s light.

Fast forward many years, Jesus walked the earth, and He famously said,”I AM the light.” John 8:12IMG_0850

You could accurately proclaim, “That Jesus is lit!”

And about 60 years after Jesus was born there was a very dark city called Ephesus. Half a million people and none of them knew God. Instead, they worshiped the Roman god Diana or the Greek god Artemis. The worship included a lot of dark stuff including temple prostitution and horrific rituals.

Jesus (The Light) showed up in this town, in the form of a little church full of His followers.

And God told says to them in Ephesians 5:8, “For once YOU were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!
And they, “Lit it up.”

So with that all in mind, His word for you?unnamed (1)

Be the light.

Not everyone can get in a jet and drop a MOAB on a hornets’ nest of dark hearts plotting murder and mayhem. Not everyone can go undercover and find people plotting the death of young girls leaving a concert.

But everyone who has Christ can be His light.

So do it. Be the light of Christ to change hearts and minds wherever God has called you to live and work. Ask God every day to use you to shine a light into the souls of people all around you.

Can that really make a difference?

Christ’s light is so powerful that when it shined into the soul of a seething murderous monster named Saul, it changed him into the greatest Christian to ever live – a man named Paul who God used to write half the New Testament.

And here’s the payoff:

The light you shine today might just fight back the darkness in a heart that could do tremendous evil tomorrow.

 

So in this dark and evil world, get lit! And light it up everywhere and every way you possibly can. unnamed (3)

“You are the light of the world—let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14, 16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Amen amen.

 

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The Shack is Messed Up

 

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  Last line of this tweet kind of says it all. 

I hate to be a frumpy, grumpy old man, but if the new movie, The Shack, is true to the book of the same name, it is really whacked.

 

If you’re not familiar with it – the runaway bestseller was released in 2007 and was simultaneously praised AND criticized across the theological spectrum.

And it is royally messed up. Which is hard to say from watching the previews! Because the previews are heart-wrenching, heart-warming, with good actors, and it looks like it would be a good Christian movie.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Interesting that the star of The Shack is the same guy from Avatar. I like him! And both movies have a religious aspect, neither of which is Christian. Obviously, Avatar has an otherworldly, science fiction religion that the author “made up” for the story.

In the book The Shack ( the movie isn’t out yet), the author also, “made up” the religion for the story. 

How can you say that David?!? It’s a Christian book! It’s been endorsed by some famous Christians! The author says it’s Christian! The MARKETING CAMPAIGN SAYS IT’S CHRISTIAN. NOBODY WOULD LIE IN A MARKETING CAMPAIGN.

Really? I get so weary of folks accepting that everything called Christian just must be. Jesus Himself said people would come in His name – not to save you but to deceive you! Jesus the Son of God said don’t just accept something because someone stamps His name it! You can read it yourself here: Matthew 24:5.

Here’s the bottom line on The Shack: If anyone truly believes God’s Word to be, well…God speaking, then “anyone” should realize that the author of The Shack doesn’t believe what God Himself has already said and he (the author) has made up his own version of a god.

I lost count after about six heresies (beliefs contrary to Christian doctrine) in the book, so I’ll bullet point four major ones.

Here’s a little bit of what I mean:

1. In the book, God the Father presents Himself as Goddess the Mother.  Apparently, the god of the Shack was suffering from the same gender confusion our culture is experiencing!

Think I’m overstating?

God the father/mother speaking, “For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”

Woman? Papa? Which is it??? The author made God transgendered way back in 2007! Way before Target let men in the women’s bathroom!

This in spite of the fact that God has chosen to verbally and specifically call Himself, “God the Father” from the time of Adam and Eve all the way through His Word to Revelation.

For at least 5000 years God has deliberately chosen to represent Himself as God the Father.

That alone should be enough to trash the book. According to the Shack – Jesus blew it when He prayed “Our Father in heaven.” Jesus should’ve prayed, “Our Mother in the Shack.” 

When we start making God in whatever form WE choose, we might as well make Him into anything – a piece of wood, Chewbacca, Kanye “Yeezus” West, whatever. It doesn’t matter – because we’re making it up as we go along and that’s ALL idol worship.

And personally? I don’t ever want to stand before God and explain why I decided His description of Himself was SOOOO inadequate that I, in my finite ignorance, chose to change it. That’s the definition of arrogance and foolishness.

Note: Later in the book the god the mother turns into a ponytailed old man hippy. I’m really not sure which is more annoying…

2. The Jesus of the Shack is a counterfeit Jesus (kind of a karmic/universalist Jesus).

Referring to Buddhists, Mormons, and Muslims, Jesus of the Shack declares “I have no desire to make them Christian,” (wait, wut?) and paints Christians as religious fanatics and part of a sinful world system. That may be a lot of things, but that’s not the Jesus of history OR the Bible.

Jesus also tells Mack that he is “the best way any human can relate to Papa (god the father/mother) or Sarayu (The Shack holy spirit).”

Best way?

Best way of what? Many ways? Lots of ways? “Best” implies there are options for relating to God.

No way.

Jesus said He is the only way:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

One way. Not “best” way. Only way.

3. The goddess of The Shack doesn’t punish sin. “She,” says, “I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”

The author is making it up as he goes along….

The real God does take joy in saving people. That’s what John 3:16 is all about. But:

God NEEDS to punish sin because He is a just and good God. 

Crooked evil judges let the guilty go free. Crooked judges must themselves be brought to justice.

God is NOT a crooked judge. He’s a good judge. He’s love and justice. So He must punish sin.

She (the goddess of the Shack) says, “In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.” If all humans are forgiven, then all go to heaven, even Hitler. Lest you think I’m making too much of this, the author of The Shack has refused to affirm that only the sins of those who repent are forgiven (read more by clicking here-last paragraph).

God has not forgiven all sins. In Acts 3:19 Peter says, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” 

God’s punishment: “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46 (NLT)

God really punishes sin. Every. Single. Bit.

But Jesus willingly took my place, so that if I repent of my sin, and follow Him, His sacrifice will wipe all my sins away.

4. It’s irreverent. I’m not quite sure how to communicate this in a way that sounds “right” when I write it, but the Jesus of the Shack is just a little bit of a ridiculous goof. He’s dropping stuff on the floor and chasing fish that He can’t catch and talks like a child at times (according to the author).

66 books in the Bible, lots and lots of words – so wordy! But God never presents Jesus like that. Ever.

 


So those are my top four reasons The Shack is wrong, whacked, wretched and the worst. 

Now you might say:

a. “But David, it’s fiction!”

So if it’s fiction, anything goes? Like I could write a book about how Jesus didn’t die, didn’t rise from the grave but married and had little Jesuses, and the church covered it up for 2,000 years? That would be ok?

Then how come Christians got all worked up about the DaVinci Code? It was just fiction.

b. “But David come on! It has caused some people to hunger for God!”

Ok! All aboard the money train! I’m publishing a picture book that presents Jesus as Ariana Grande! I’m sure lots of the 12 to 30 male crowd will have an increased hunger for my Jesus, and I’ll get rich!

Is that what we’ve come to? As long as the “Jesus” you present makes people hungry, it’s good? I’m hungry for the bacon god!

Here’s the issue that’s critical for our souls:

Run from anyone that tries to sell you a different God than THE One revealed in His Word. Worship God the Father, creator of heaven and earth. God the Son, who died for our sins and rose to give us eternal life, and God the Holy Spirit, our counselor, and comforter.

At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 (NLT)

Amen and amen.

 

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#BestChristmasEver

best-christmas-ever_title

Q: How do you get the best Christmas? 

A: With an excellent Christmas list.

“Like this David?

  • A list of food to be bought.
  • A list of parties to go to.
  • A list of presents you want.
  • A list of presents your kids want.
  • A list of Hallmark Channel movies to watch.
  • A list of Christmas shows to watch.

Is that the kind of list required for the #BestChristmasEver?”

No. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. go-to-jail

Those things are fine and fun and nothing wrong with any of them. But not one of them is essential for the Best Christmas Ever. In fact, for most of the last 2000 years, Christians all over the world have worshiped without any of those things!

I think there’s a better Christmas list. It’s found at the beginning of Matthew. It’s the genealogy of Jesus. “Yawn,” right? The word “genealogy” does not excite me at all.

What if I told you that:

  1. It’s the “family of Jesus list,” and
  2. It has the grandpa and great grandpa and great great grandpa of Jesus, and
  3. A bunch of the folks in His family are reprobates?

Would that make it more interesting? Because that’s the real deal. In the list of Jesus’ family (Jesus who is perfect, sinless, wholly God and wholly man), there is:

  • Ruth – a descendent of incest – the Moabites are descendants of Lot and HIS DAUGHTER- (all caps because I am yelling in horror) “having relations” (Gen. 19:33).
  • Tamar – who dressed up as a prostitute so that her father-in-law would GET HER PREGNANT (all caps-yelling again) because her husband died before they could have children.
  • Judah – who unknowingly had sex with his daughter-in-law because HE WAS HAVING SEX WITH A PROSTITUTE (all caps again-so much to yell about)!
  • Rahab – who WAS a prostitute.
  • Jechoniah – was so horrible that God actually cursed him.

Not exactly what you’d expect if you’re thinking, “family of Jesus.”

Imagine Tamar’s kid – first day of first grade:

Kid sitting next to Tamar’s son: Who’s your mom?
Tamar’s son: Tamar.
Kid sitting next to Tamar’s son: Tamar??? REALLY?? The one who had sex WITH YOUR GRANDPA??????

Horrifying.

But there they are. Right in the family of Jesus. Complete moral disasters. He’s got major league outcasts in His earthly family.

Matthew is the writer. Also an outcast. And rightly so. He was a Jew and a crooked tax collector who took money from his fellow Jews, for their enemy the Romans. Matthew was a traitor before he started following Jesus. Everybody hated the tax collector.

And I have to wonder, (pure speculation on my part) maybe Matthew’s thinking about being an outcast as he’s carried along by the Holy Spirit writing this…

Matthew: “I’m going to air some of my people’s dirty laundry right here at the beginning – to set the stage for the rest of the story.

Because when folks hear about the woman caught in adultery being saved and Zacchaeus the crooked being saved, and the thief on the cross being saved, that’s going to cause some self-righteous heads to spin.

So let’s be clear dear reader – Jesus has outcasts in His earthly family and they are right here in this geneology!”

Praise God He has outcasts in His family. Because we are all outcasts. All Every one of us.

Jesus died to wash the outcast clean, and bring her or him into His family.

Maybe you’ve felt like an outcast before. Left out. Left over. Awkward. Uncomfortable. Maybe you have some secrets in your past, or in your family history and you think, “If people only knew the real story – they wouldn’t want anything to do with me!”

No no no. Jesus is Lord of the outcast.

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 (NLT)

In Christ, you’re no longer on the outside. In Christ, you’re on the inside.

Christmas means no matter what your situation, background, secrets, or history – Christmas means through Jesus, you are included in God’s great family. Not as a black sheep, not as an unwanted child. But as a man or woman deeply loved by Jesus.

You. Are. Included.

Amen and amen. And Merry Christmas!

 

 

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A Powerful Secret for Radical Change

Everyone has a secret to change your life. You’ve seen some of them. Here are some great ones:

  • Dollar Shave Club.
  • Hair Club for Men.
  • Viagra – from the commercials on my TV, this strange blue magic pill called Viagra turns you into a strong cowboy who knows how to pull a truck out of the mud with horses or fisherman on the wild and angry sea. Call me a cynic, but I question that.
  • Sea Monkeys!

Of the above, I think Sea Monkeys have the highest probability of life change.sea-monkeys

Best Life-Change Story I’ve Heard

Frank Laubach was a missionary in the Philippines in the 1930’s.Today missionaries all over the world send emails, Skype, even have websites.

An American missionary stationdfgfgded in the Philippines in the 1930’s would be completely removed from the world he knew. Contact with home could only be made via boat or plane. So he was:

  • Isolated.
  • Alone.
  • On his own.
  • With only Jesus to trust to fulfill his (and His) mission.

How did he do it? He tried an experiment. He determined to take ONE second of every minute to turn his mind to Christ. A moment here, a moment there, connecting with His Creator.

How did it go? It changed the trajectory of his life.

In his own words:

“I feel simply carried along each hour, doing my part in a plan which is far beyond myself. This sense of cooperation with God in little things is what so astonishes me, for I never have felt it this way before. I need something and turn round to find it waiting for me. I must work, to be sure, but there is God working along with me.

God raised Frank Laubach from being a lonely missionary in the Philippines to a Christian world statesman, the founder of World Literacy Crusade, and a great influence on the United States foreign policy in the post-WWII years. And he attributed all of his brilliant ideas and incredible energy and effectiveness from this practice: practicing the presence of God.

You can have moment by moment guidance from the One who makes the universe safe, for your marriage, your work, your ministry, your life.

The Bible refers to this. It says right there in, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray all the time.

How in the world do you do that?

It’s easier than you think.

It’s called, “breath prayers.” “LORD – PLEASE GIVE ME GOOD BREATH WHILE I GO TALK TO THIS CUTE GIRL,” says I, as I walk across the business school to ask my future wife out.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Stupid me.

Christians have practiced breath prayers for a long time. It’s picking a simple phrase or Scripture that you can say in one breath and praying it all day long, over and over, Frank Laubauch style, keeping the conversation going with the Father. Like  this:

  • I love you, Lord.
  • For me to live is Christ.
  • Use me today Lord.
  • I am Yours.
  • Make me pure.
  • Make me holy.
  • You are my God.

Pray it all day long to honor God and keep in constant contact with Him. My experience is that it keeps my mind sent on Him, and my heart (affections) directed toward Him.

hike

HINT: Set a reminder on your phone for 5 minutes from now with the breath prayer you want to pray. When it pops up on your screen, pray it, snooze it for 5 minutes, or just leave it and look at it every few minutes. Mine has said, “For me to live is Christ!” all day today.

Here’s what I can promise you: If you begin to constantly practice the presence of God while standing, sitting, waking, sleeping, working and playing, you’ll never lack the Father’s presence – pouring out His peace, direction, purpose, kindness, goodness, making Christ known,  and divinely leading you through the morass of life on this earth.

His promise to you:

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
Isaiah 26:3

Now get on with it. He is waiting for you.

Amen, amen.
Transformation

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Best Bible Story Ever-When God Comes to Dinner

Hyperbole alert – I may have overstated that title – all the Bible stories are excellent! But for at least two reasons this one is great. I love Genesis 18, which Ray Stedman called “When God Comes to Dinner.” I just love the picture of God coming to dinner as a man.

First Reason this is a Great Story: Angels show up. And so does God. 

Abraham is hanging out one day, and three men walk up and have dinner with him. They start talking, and as the conversation unfolds, it becomes apparent that one of the men is actually God in disguise (some would argue the pre-incarnate Christ, but that’s a subject for another time). The language changes from “they said” to “the Lord said.”

Boggles the mind.

 
This story is not in Genesis 18. But I am Laughing Out Loud at it right now.

Now Hebrews 13:2 says we should show kindness to strangers because you never know – you could be in the presence of an angel. Whoooaaa. You could be buying a Big Mac or a Venti coffee from a guy and he’s actually an angel. A real life angel who FLIES through space and time and has actually been in the presence of God in a way I haven’t (Although he probably covered his eyes and feet (Isa. 6:2)). But that thought is a big hairy audacious deal.

Now to be clear, the other two men who come to see Abraham are, in fact, angels. So Abraham encounters not one, but two angels. And you gotta admit, any Bible story with angels is a great story.

But wait! It’s a lot more than that. The third person is God Himself! How amazing to be talking to someone and realize all of a sudden, “hey, this is not just some regular guy, this is like, THEE guy, the ONE, that like, MADE me!”  Remarkable.

Abraham had an awesome day that day (except for the fact that God told him He’s going to destroy cousin Lot’s town of Sodom).

Second Reason this is a Great Story: God says –
Nothing is too hard for Him.

God tells Abraham that next year Abraham and Sarah will have a boy. Sarah overhears from inside the tent and laughs to herself (she’s 90). Silently. And God hears the silent laugh (that is sooo like God…hearing even silent things).

And the Lord asks Abraham (and somehow Sarah gets in on the conversation) why Sarah laughed. And here’s where I laugh:

Genesis 18:15  But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He (the Lord) said, “No, but you did laugh.”

Hilarious. “No, but you did laugh.” So matter of fact. So straight up. And I read it as said completely emotionless and deadpan.

 
Actually, average person would have to wear flame retardant pants 11 times a week.

Sarah lies because she’s afraid. 
Before we think too poorly of Sarah, according to one Notre Dame study, the average person lies 11 times a week, even though it’s not God calling them out. But God hears it every time, just like He heard Sarah’s silent laughter.

In the face of Sarah’s disbelief, God asks a rhetorical question. In verse 14 He asks “Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Great question. Yay God!

If God spoke our entire world into existence, then making a barren woman pregnant is pretty much a cakewalk*.

And apparently, Sarah considered this, because somewhere between her lying and cynical disbelief and childbirth, Sarah believes. But you only know this by reading ahead.  How far ahead? Like 58 whole books ahead to Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:11 says: By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age since she considered Him faithful who had promised.

Somewhere between Genesis 18:15 and Hebrews 11:11 Sarah must have considered that question “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” And she came to a most excellent conclusion: no. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. And He keeps His promises. Even the seemingly impossible ones.

Nothing is too hard for the Lord.  So you believe.

Believe and ask the question: What in your life is too hard for the Lord?

  • Your marriage?
  • Your attitude?
  • Your heart?
  • Your friend who is far, far from God?
  • Your kids?
  • A sin that you cannot overcome?
  • Your circumstances?
  • Your grief?
  • Your pain?
  • Your home?
  • Your job?
  • Your country?

What if? What if when God said, “is anything too hard for the Lord?” He was speaking a truth that applies not just to Sarah, not just to Abraham, but a universal truth that applies to you too? What if you woke up tomorrow, or next week or even next year, to discover that nothing is too hard AND He keeps His promises?

 For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (Jesus). That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20

God shows up. And nothing in your life, nothing, is too hard for Him.

Amen.

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I Like Big Buts and I Cannot Lie

13692630_sHey! If you read that and thought I was writing about something else and some song is stuck in your head, that’s on you and your poor music choices! And, I’m sure I have no idea what song that might be…just saying.

First of all – small buts (our “buts” will remain lower case through this post to designate their smallness). We all have what I’d call small buts. And it has nothing to do with your diet.

Here are a few examples of small buts:

  • but what if God doesn’t come through?
  • but I worry all the time!
  • but I’m afraid if I give to God, I won’t have enough!
  • but I don’t have time to serve God!
  • but my life is just going crazy; I can’t get to church.
  • but I don’t know if God will do what I ask.
  • but they won’t like me if I talk about Jesus.
  • but Sunday School ethics don’t work in the real world.
  • but I’m scared about the future.
  • but I’m not motivated.
  • but I don’t have all the answers.
  • but I don’t know where to start.
  • but I can’t.
  • but I’ll fail.
  • but I’ve lost hope.

You get the idea. And honestly, it’s implied in all of those buts, “I don’t trust/believe God” and/or “I’m not sure He’ll come through in the end.”

I’d summarize the above mindset this way: God is small. And I am all. Meaning, “I’m all I have, and God can’t take care of business.”

But David! One of those on your list is my but, and my but is HUGE! Big as a double-wide! And I don’t like my big but!”

No no no no no. No matter what your but is, it’s a small, tiny but. You just think it’s big because you lack perspective.

Check this out: I feel really small on an NBA basketball court, and I feel REALLY big in a preschool room full of toddlers.

That’s all about perspective.

If you’re comparing your but to yourself, your friends or the world around you, your but may seem big. But it’s not.

What’s bigger than your but (no giggling)?

God’s BUT (all caps to indicate it is large).

God wrote a book. It’s FULL of big BUTS (over 50). Life-saving, wonderful BUTS!

BUTS like:

BUT God remembered Noah and dried up the earth. Gen. 8:1
BUT God saved David from Saul. 1 Samuel 23:14
BUT God wakes me up, fills my lungs with air, puts a beat in my heart and keeps me alive day after day after day after day. Psalm. 54:4
BUT God is the strength of my heart. Psalm 73:26
BUT God brought me up from the pit. Jonah 2:6
BUT God raised Jesus from stone-cold dead to alive forever. Acts 13:30

Those are all live-or-die BUTS.  “BUT God” is a powerful phrase!

It turns reality upside down.
It saves the day.
It makes the bad good.
It makes the tired strong.
It makes the old new.
It makes the dead alive.
It makes the future bright.

“BUT God” changes everything.

Where have you lost hope? Where have you given into worry? Where have you given up trying? Where has fear kept you from doing what God has called you to do?

For every small “but” you and I have, God has a bigger “counter-BUT”.

You say, “But I’m worried.” BUT God controls the future.
You say, “But I’m too tired.” BUT God gives power to the weak.
You say, “But I will fail.” BUT God always wins.
You say, “But what if God doesn’t come through?” BUT God always comes through.
You say, “But I’m afraid.” BUT God says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

No matter what small but is bringing you down, holding you down, keeping you from doing what God has called you do, God is bigger and badder and stronger, and is willing to act for His kids.

Remember I said it’s about “perspective?”

It’s NOT “God is small. And I am all.” That is the very definition of “stinking thinking” (thank you for a great phrase Zig Ziglar).

It is:  I am small. And God is all. 

God is all and proved His great love and willingness to act for you in this…BUT God showed His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 

So every time a but enters your mind, or is spoken to you by some naysayer or weak faith person, that contradicts what God has already said, you answer back, “BUT God”…and you fill in the blank with God has said. 

And there is no bigger but than what God has said. He always gets the last word. And it’s always a good word.

Got it? Now go try something great for Him today.

Amen.

 

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12 Important Things About Angels

I’m starting a message series on Revelation, and there are a few angel references in there. And for many folks, it’s easy to pass over the angels. We read like this, “blah blah blah blah angel blah blah blah.”

But if we were living what we were reading, like Daniel being visited by Gabriel in Daniel 8, we might react this way, “OH MY GOODNESS!!! IT’S AN ANGEL! I THINK HE MAY CRUSH ME WITH HIS STARE! HE’S FANTASTICALLY INCREDIBLY MASSIVELY POWERFUL AND AMAZING!!!!” Then we might faint.

David, come on. Really? Are you kidding? Angels are NOT that big a deal. I googled the word “angel” and here’s what I now know:

  • Angels are always women or squishy chubby babies.
  • Angels are people who died (Clarence from It’s A Wonderful Life).
  • You can attract angels with “angel treats” like candles and fragrances.
  • With the right internet guru, you can get “messages from your personal angel.” And if that doesn’t work for you the same website will help you with past life regressions, numerology and tin foil hats.
  • Angels always wear long robes and look like they’re ready for the spa.
  • You can put a pin shaped like an angel on your lapel, and it will magically be your guardian angel.
  • You should pray to your angel. His name will be revealed through hypnosis or LSD or the purchase of a sea monkey farm.
  • Your dog has a personal angel unless of course he IS an angel.
  •  If you dream you are falling and hit bottom, you actually die in real life.
  • JOKING! I made that last one up – just like some yahoo made up the other eight! Crazy stuff.

Angels are awe-inspiring and astounding, and if you ever saw one in its natural form, you’d probably fall to the ground in shock. 

baby
This is not an angel. It’s a baby. A really really cute baby.  

So that you don’t go around spreading crazy angel myths, here are some things you have to know about angels:

1. Only three angels are named in the Bible – two are Gabriel and Michael. Both are excellent and uber impressive (not car ride Uber, excellent uber). The third is Lucifer – and he’s also impressive but for all the wrong reasons. Satan was an angel before he rebelled against God.

2. Angels are never presented in the Bible as squishy infants or women, but always tough men or warriors. Like “bad-to-the-bone” warriors. More on this when we get to number five below.

3. Angels are created beings. Angels were never people. People will never be angels. Angels are God’s servants and only carry out His will. People are created by God and if in Christ will live with God forever as…people. With glorified bodies that don’t have any defects and never get hurt or get tired. But still people. Even those who reject Jesus will live forever in hell as…people.

4. You can’t attract angels with fragrances or scented candles (but don’t let that deter you from using deodorant “fragrances”). You can’t attract angels with anything! They do what God tells them to do.

5. Angels don’t show up dressed for the spa. In fact, when Elisha prays that his servant can see the army of angels in 2 Kings, the Scripture says it’s an “army of angels.”  Not a “coffee klatch” of angels, or a, “gaggle of angels,” “flock of angels,” or a “sorority of angels.”

God says “army.” MAJOR point to remember for reading the Bible:  God is never at a loss for words or tongue-tied or uses the wrong words. So when He says an “army of angels,” He says that knowing that you and I will picture a group of burly warriors ready to rain down fire and destruction on the enemy’s forces (see picture below).

angel-02
A Biblical guess illustration of an angel.

6. You should never pray to angels. Prayer is an act of worship and we only worship God. Also, Jesus was very clear about how to pray. He said to pray like this, “Our Father…”. Anakin Skywalker may be Luke’s father, but no angel will ever be your father. Pray to your Father. Pray like Jesus.

7. The Bible doesn’t say your dog can’t be an angel. I suppose an angel can show up in whatever form God wants it to. But if that’s the case, it’s not your dog. It’s God’s angel. And no…your dog does NOT have a personal angel.

8. Angels can appear as people. This happens with Abraham in Genesis 8:2.

9. Angels can bring death, but only when sent by the Lord. There is no specific “angel of death” mentioned in the Bible. In 2 Kings 19 an “Angel of the Lord” brings about death.

10. Just because something a beautiful doesn’t mean it’s of God. Satan, that former angel of the Lord, can masquerade as an “angel of light.” Sometimes kittens are cute. But they still grow up to be cats.

Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Or kitty.  2 Ecclesians 11:4

11. You may have been around angels in your life and didn’t even realize it. Hebrews 13:2 says “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”

Abraham didn’t recognize when angels came to see him. Jacob sure didn’t (although he didn’t show hospitality – he wrestled with the angel all night!).

So there you go – 11 great things to know about angels.

______________________________________

SO WHAT IS THE “SO WHAT?” David?

Here’s the “so what,” and it does boggle the mind a bit:

God, the Creator and Master of all that exists, has armies of angels loaded for bear.

And what does He do with them? Our loving and compassionate and ridiculously wonderful God “will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:11.

Concerning me? Who am I? I’m a nothing! I’m a nobody! I’m one of seven billion on the planet.

And yet time and again in Scripture, He commands His armies to watch over His people, protect His people, and even serve His people. For those in Christ, God is always and in every way taking care of business and employing His massive resources, which includes armies of angels that may be around you right now, and He does it to “guard you in all your ways.”

So take heart.  God is good. And He’s commanding His angels…concerning you.

Amen.

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