a collection of steps

Posts Tagged ‘angels’

Wagging

In Christ, God, healing, Jesus, judging, relationships on August 13, 2009 at 9:16 am

Throughout my life as a Christian, I’ve succumbed to certain beliefs and ways of thinking that I now see stunted my growth.

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One in particular I will refer to as “if this, then that.”  Most techies know this phrase as the logical formula on which computer programs function, but this formula is actually quite ancient. In fact, I was shocked when I read it in my Bible!

“If he is the King of the Jews, let him now come down from the cross and we will believe him!” This statement taken from Matthew 27:42, is one in several that were hurled at Jesus as he hung bloody and ripped to shreds on a cruel cross.

The waggers said, if this, then that. How foolish to box God up so that only one conclusion could be drawn by the scene in front of them!

Matthew begins this scene (verse 39) by saying, “And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads.”

Then it struck me. How often have I been the victim of wagging?  People who have no clue of my background, my circumstances or my purpose in life look at me as they pass by and draw a faulty conclusion: if this…then that!

Worse, how often have I passed by others, glanced at their current situation and mocked, if this, then that!

Could Jesus have saved himself?  Of course!  He said as much in the Garden of Gethsemane when his ‘friend’ betrayed him. He calmly told his disciples, who were incensed by the mob assembled with swords surrounding their Savior, “…do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?”

Wow. A legion is one thousand. Jesus could have had 12,000 angels at his side – instantly – to deliver him from the piddly earthly mob.  The swords of earth’s iron would melt in the presence of God’s army of angels wielding swords of fire. It wouldn’t have mattered though, because in the very moment the angels appeared, those mighty men, puffed up on power  and piety, would have dropped their swords, peed their pants and fainted!  What a scene THAT would have been.

But Jesus had a purpose. He told his disciples in that dark garden that if he called the angels, “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”

We were each created for a purpose. First to be redeemed from our sin and then to please God. This may play out in a zillion ways, for each of us has a path to follow. But how painful it is when God has us in that path and we are met on the road by waggers!

Moreover, how shameful it is for us to wag our heads at those around us who appear to be fake, foolish or out of God’s will and mock!

Scripture warns us on wagging: “Who are you to judge another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4

The challenge then is to stay on the path God has chosen for us and to abstain from judging the progress of others.

Lord, forgive me for wagging my head at others. I have no idea what you are doing in their lives and I am sorry for presuming that I do. And, please heal me from the wounds I have sustained from others who have wagged their heads at me.

Little Ones to Him Belong

In Children, Christ, God, Jesus, kids, love, Moms on July 29, 2009 at 9:29 am

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Facebook is great for photos.  Scrolling through scores of baby and toddler pictures of my friend’s kids is so heartwarming, and now that I am a grandmother, it’s even more so.

Even though I now live only 15 minutes away from my grandson, I still find myself flipping through all the pictures I can find of him when I’m at home (and there are hundreds!).  You can’t blame me, have you seen his precious face?

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Sometimes when I look in his eyes I feel like I  can see the very face of God.  I see peace, love, grace, mercy and most of all – hope.  I see innocence in its purest form and I marvel.  How could any human being look into the eyes of a child and not see God?

I’m reading through the book of Matthew in my Bible this month and came to the part where Jesus pulled a child over to his side as a visual aid to teach his disciples on the value of human life.  He used story to illustrate how deep his Father’s love is for lost souls, it’s the parable of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:10 – 14.  I’ve read it many times, but what caught my attention this time was verse 10, which almost seems out of context.

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

I’ve been absorbing that verse for a week now and as it sinks into my spirit, I realize that I really do see God’s face when I look in the eyes of my grandbaby boy.  And, as sweet as it is to know that his personal angel whose job it is to guard his life looks directly into the face of his Creator, Jesus delivers a stern warning – be careful how you treat these precious ones!

Lord, help me to always watch the things I say, my body language and my actions toward Your little ones – not just babies or children, but those who belong to You no matter their age here on earth.