What do you think of when you picture an angel? Do you think of Raphael’s paintings of winged baby cherubs or a woman with wings dressed in white atop your Christmas tree? While scripture does describe creatures around His throne having wings (cherubim (Greek: Χερούβ) and seraphim (Greek: Σεραφείμ)), our cultural depictions of angels may be skewed.
I once heard someone say that she prayed for her college roommate every day for two years for her roommate to know the Lord. And God heard her prayer! Her roommate came to know Jesus. I have always remembered this person’s dedication, commitment and persistence in praying for her roommate. An extraordinary aspect of our relationship with God is that we get to commune with Him through prayer. We get to talk to Him directly. What’s even more remarkable is that He listens to our prayers! Psalm 145:18 (NKJV) “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.”
As one year is wrapping up (no pun intended, :D) and a new year is approaching, it is common for our thoughts to reflect on what happened in the last year and focus our thoughts ahead. I would like to present to you a few challenges to think about and act upon before the year is over and a few to practice in the new year.
Have you ever received an extra bit of cash that you did not expect to receive and spent all of it right away without a blink of your eye? Or do you spend all your earnings each month because you can’t help to buy the things you want?
Ephesians 4:22, 24 (NIV) says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires… and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV) When I read through these verses a couple weeks ago, one phrase resonated with me: despised things. “Despised things” in this verse refers to the things this world despises but God uses for His glory.
Galatians 6:10 says,“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” The Lord has convicted me lately that I haven’t been loving the ladies in my church well.
When I read the passage of Luke 11:33-36, I think of the scene in FireProof when Kirk Cameron rips his computer from the socket, beats it with a bat and throws it in the dumpster which causes his shocked neighbor standing outside to absently water his concrete instead of the flowerbed. This scene reflects Kirk Cameron’s character’s struggle with sin and his desire to sever the sin and repair the broken relationship he has with his wife.
“I don’t think I can adequately verbalize the gospel. I’m nervous. What if my friend doesn’t want to hear anything about Jesus? What if my relationship with friend name here becomes strained because they think I am trying to convert them?” A while back ago, a pastor challenged a group of college students to think of three people in their lives that do not know Jesus and share the gospel with them that summer break. I thought to myself, “This is a cool challenge.” He said, “Just share what the gospel means to you. Share what the gospel has done in your life.” I felt a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders and I thought, “Wow. Sharing what the gospel means to me is much less intimidating than saying to someone, ‘Hey. Have you heard the gospel?’ and see the other person fidget uncomfortably thinking I am trying to […]