Christianity 201

July 12, 2017

Entertaining Angels

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:33 pm
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Once again today we’re paying a return visit to Biblical Proof, the blog of Alfred Shannon, Jr. There are some great articles here I would love for you to read, but they’re longer than what we use here. Click this link to visit the site. Click the title below to read this one at source.

Entertaining Angels Unaware

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

Have you ever entertained an angel? How about a stranger or someone unknown to you who came on the scene with a special need? Maybe they had a physical, emotional or just a need for affirmation or acknowledgement. Perhaps they just needed a bite to eat or a place to lay their weary head. I know I have a few times, and I am always reminded of the Hebrew’s writer admonition to help all in need lest we also neglect God’s messengers without knowing it.

Who or what is an angel? The biblical definition of an angel is a messenger. A messenger sent for a variety of reasons with a specific purpose. Notice in our text, the entertainment of an angel comes in the form of hospitality. When one shows hospitality to someone sent by God he or she may be hosting an angel. Their purpose in presenting themselves is to give you the opportunity to be their host. Thereby you are doing God’s bidding.

The word “unawares” means it is likely you won’t know who or when this opportunity comes. Angels will also be unrecognizable. They may be disguised as someone you know or a complete stranger. Our response to this text should be, since we don’t who God is sending our way, be hospitable to everyone. Those who appeal and some who are not so appealing. Those who possess great wealth, and those with meager means. If you do not want to miss an opportunity to entertain a heavenly being do not ignore what may be their earthy manifestation. Don’t look for a being with wings or a halo, for that will never come. Look for one whose needs you are capable of meeting or ministering to. If you are one who practices hospitality to all, it is possible, even probable, that you have entertained an angel.

Remember the commandment given by the apostle Paul while writing to the Galatians. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10). The lesson learned is: If you would help an angel of God, then by all means help all who are in need, especially the saints of God!


Why are the Bible quotes at C201 in green?

Ever broken up a small tree or sticks and been aware of the green color inside? Green shows that there is (or at least was!) life inside. That’s why we highlight scripture here in green. We want to show that while the words of the various writers whose material we borrow are helpful and instructive, it’s God’s Word that brings life.

February 19, 2011

Sometimes When Giving, We Receive Even More

This week we’re catching up with some devotional bloggers we met up with this past summer.  Jennifer Slattery shares a personal story with a narrative that many readers here have experienced in similar but different ways.  This appeared on her blog under the title, The Beauty of the Broken.

I was eight, maybe nine, and on my way to school when I noticed a woman taking her trash to the curb. She held the black bag in one hand and a walking stick in the other, scanning the ground with her “eyes” as she went. I ran to her side, ready to rescue this blind lady, little did I know that God had sent her that day to help me.

She smiled at me and nodded, then humbly allowed me to carry her trash to the curb. It wasn’t until a few days later when I was sitting at the breakfast bar in her kitchen that I realized the humbled love she showed to me that morning. As I watched her answer her phone, make popcorn in the micro (for me) and flitter around her kitchen with more ease than a sighted woman, I was slightly embarrassed by my offer to “help” her only days before. She let me help her not because she needed it, but because doing so would form a connection–a point of contact.

Before long, I was at her house nearly every day. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about. I do remember the popcorn, and the tremendous joy that filled her home. I remember watching her husband and son very closely, curious by their rather silly antics and the ease with which they interacted. But what I remember most was the overwhelming sense of being loved and accepted as day after day Mr. and Mrs. Neighborhood (my name for her and her husband) showed me love.

She died a few years later, not knowing how the story would end–not knowing the chain of events her allowing me to carry her garbage started, not knowing the impact those afternoons had on me. She didn’t understand fully until she got to heaven, and although I don’t believe God caused her blindness, (it was the result of a stroke), I know He used  it to bring her and I together. And through her, I got a taste of the love of Christ.

I wonder if she were standing on the edge of eternity, able to see into the abyss, and asked to choose between her sight or my salvation, I wonder what she would have chosen. Actually, I know what she would have chosen. She showed me daily.

But even now, Mrs. Neighborhood’s story doesn’t end. Every time I write, every time I pray, every time I cuddle up with my daughter, a Bible spread between us, we are seeing the fruits of her service (and other amazing women God placed in my path as I was growing up.)

And it all started because she let a little girl help her.

I thought of her this morning during church as I read 1 Thessalonians 2:1-7

1 You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.

Her visits with me were not without results. The results just wouldn’t be seen until many years later, long after she’d passed. And she wasn’t concerned with the praise of men. To the contrary, she humbled herself and allowed a young child to help her.

Her life was the very first domino in a beautifully intertwined display, except the story really began long before then, with another domino set in motion in her life, and the domino set in motion in the life that loved on her. Each life, each domino, was but a tiny, yet powerful, part of a glorious, life-saving story that will one-day unfold before us. When we stand in God’s presence, surrounded by an innumerable family of believers, each one but another domino that set into motion another chain, everything will all make sense and all we’ll be able to say is, “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelations 7:12 NIV)

~Jennifer Slattery