Angels were instrumental in many areas of ministry in the life of Christ including, (but not limited to), (1) announcing Jesus’ birth to Mary, (2) reassuring Joseph, (3) naming Jesus, (4) announcing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds, (5) protecting Jesus by sending His family to Egypt, and (6) ministering to Jesus after His temptation by Satan and in the Garden of Gethsemane. Angels were and are major players when it comes to comfort and keeping watch for God and serving His purposes.
1. In what ways have I experienced angelic ministry in difficult circumstances in my life?
2. How have I seen angels ministering to those closest to me?
Challenge: This week try to keep an extra close eye on the circumstances that surround your life. Be ever mindful and thank Him for how He is intervening through His Holy Spirit and through His angels.
This does not suggest that each believer has a personal guardian angel, but we know that believers are served by angels in general. These angels are pictured continually watching the face of God so as to hear His command to them to help a believer in need. Angels are God’s messengers and spiritual beings created by Him and under His authority. They serve believers by protecting the helpless (Matt. 18:10), claiming God’s messages (Rev. 14:6-12), and executing judgment based on God’s commands. (Rev. 20:1-3)
1. How have I been led to believe in the idea of a guardian angel? What Biblical proof can I call on to support that claim?
2. How have I seen God work through His angelic beings in my life and relationships?
Challenge: Let us take our cues from the angelic hosts in order to heed the Holy Spirit’s call to serve those for which we have been called.
I find it interesting that even though angels are powerful (Ps. 103:20) and wise (2 Sam. 14:20), they are not, however, all knowing. Since they are created beings and ultimately subject to the Father and the Son, they don’t possess the attributes of their maker, namely omnipotence (all-knowing). Since they always seek to worship God the Father and Christ, angels will gladly take a subservient role in their ministry service.
1. In what ways have I unknowingly placed angels on the same level as Christ?
2. How do we see ourselves in relationship to angels? Higher or lower on the totem pole?
Challenge: Let us not cease to give all praise and honor to where it belongs. The angels know where their worship is directed; they never cease to say “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” We would do well to take a page from their playbook and seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Have you ever stopped to ponder about angels? They produce awe and capture our curiosity on a universal scale. However, unlike the supernatural beings of fiction, God in His mercy created angels. They are real. Our verse today alludes to this as they have been around since the world was formed. They have many names such as Divine messengers, armed warriors, fiery spirits, and guardian cherubim. They are described in terms of light and lightning, gemstones, and flames. They spoke prophesies and promises. They witnessed and heralded the birth of our King, and they will certainly accompany Him on His return.
1. When I hear the word “angels”, what thoughts come to mind?
2. On a scale of 1-10, how would I rate my knowledge and understanding of angels?
Challenge: Concentrate on having an open mind on angels and what they are and what they are not. Use your Bible’s concordance or a tool like Biblegateway.com to search for the keyword “angels.”
People, if they understood the true nature of sin itself, would never, ever, sin. For “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and the consequences of sin lead to a highway of utter damnation, torment, loneliness, and pain. Hell is not some “fun” place to be; it’s the worst place ever conceived: utter separation from the One who made all, and who is goodness itself. Instead of the wide path, take the narrow path of salvation and goodness.
1. Do we understand what, exactly, hell actually is?
2. Knowing what it is, do we then pray for greater strength to not sin as much as we used to, day by day, with His power and strength?
Challenge: Lord, please give us power to avoid the wide highway of pain and torment (hell) and help us to join with you, forever, in peace, happiness, and contentment, with the Stairway to Heaven (which is by your power and salvation through faith in you, Jesus Christ). And, help us to pray for others to do so by coming to Christ, as well. The narrow path is the better path, always. Amen.
We know that we sin, though we know that we ought not. What happens to us if we continue to do so, even though we try not to? There is a power that can help us to combat sin, but it does not come from us (we’re too weak, and easily relapse). We should call upon God’s power in the Holy Spirit to in order to war against sin and go to the place opposite of the hell for our eternal rest.
1. What are the sinful things that our mind, or bodies (or both) engage in that we know we shouldn’t?
2. Do we pray for power over both, and allow God to overcome our own selfish and sinful nature?
Challenge: Lord, please save us from our own sinful desires and actions, which separate us from you, our savior and Lord. We do not wish to be separated from you and your Heavenly kingdom. Help us to overcome whatever sinful things we do, think, and say, so that we may know that we will join you in blissful eternity in your Kingdom. Amen.
As we do remember that there is a hell, we must also remember that there is a Heaven, and it will be coming to show itself when Christ returns. The “heavenly city” is not a mere allegory. Are we ready for that time, and the beauty of what it will be?
1. Have we prepared our hearts, and those of our friends, neighbors, etc., to be believers so that we may know and truly experience the coming of the new heaven and earth?
2. Do we remember, also, that there will be trials and tribulations prior to that time, and pray accordingly?
Challenge: Lord, help us to remember the wonderful time when the new heaven and earth will be revealed to us in all of its beauty. Help us to pray to be faithful, and to have others join us in receiving Christ, so that we all may embrace that beautiful day and time. Amen.
If ever Christians were wondering what happens to those who do not accept the salvation of Christ, God is crystal clear to what lies in store for those who refuse it, and it’s literal hell. However, to those who embrace the power, grace, love, and salvation of Jesus, we escape it, and are headed for another, opposite, destination.
1. Do we downplay the actual existence of a literal hell?
2. Do we think about those who may find themselves there because they reject the salvation of Jesus? Do we pray that we can bring His message of love and salvation to them, as He leads us to?
Challenge: Let us remember that through the blood and power of Christ Jesus, we escaped the hell that would’ve certainly been our final destination, if not for His sacrifice and love. Let’s also remember to pray for our brothers and sisters not yet saved by Christ, and to help in witnessing to them. Seek that they may be saved, along with us, to be with God forever and ever in heavenly paradise. Amen.
We know that there is a devil, just as there is our Lord. Oftentimes, we forget about him, and the evil he and his legions do to us and to the world. But, he will lose, in the end, and God’s will and power will triumph, as it always was going to. God Himself will make sure of that, as you can see by reading Matthew 25:41.
1. Do we sometimes forget that Satan and his demonic legions exist?
2. Do we also forget to ask for power over him and his evil plans for us and everyone we know and don’t know?
Challenge: Lord, help us to remember that you are the Lord of all, including the one who originally defied you, and was cast down from Heaven. Help us to remember that you and your angels protect us from the one who would do us the ultimate harm, but who, himself, will come to that harm in the end. Amen.
It can be easy to put heaven in the “by and by in the sky” category—something that sounds great but is so far in the future (we hope) that it doesn’t affect how I live today. The truth is that our perspective on heaven and eternity will impact just about every decision we make. Planning for eternity as opposed to, say, planning for a retirement that might last, at best, 40 years should adjust our priorities. It will also alter how you view life’s day-to-day setbacks.
1. How often does the reality of your life in eternity enter into your daily and long-term planning?
2. What area of your world—finances, relationships, time, etc.—would most benefit from a shift to a heavenly perspective?
Challenge: I have heard it said that we spend more time planning for a 2 week vacation than we do planning our life. The first thing we plan with a vacation is the destination. If your destination is heaven, what do you need to do to prepare for it? When vacationing, I want a great tour guide. Are you mentoring someone towards heaven and are you being mentored? If not, consider finding these people in your life today.