Entertaining Angels


Favoritism is an act of disobedience against God. When we show favoritism we don’t trust God’s purpose or authority for the impossible (David and Goliath; Mary’s Conception; water into wine). We believe that the person or persons with the most resources has the best opportunity to provide what is needed. On the contrary, who has greater resources than God who has chosen shepherds, women and carpenters to the glory of his name? Radical hospitality includes not only the entertainment of all of God’s people with food (physically and spiritually) or drink, but also the idea that God can and will choose any one of us to carry his message of the gospel, fight God’s causes, or provide for one another’s needs. We must be ready to receive from those we least expect it, lest we miss the blessing because we’ve ignored the possibility.

Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.’

James 2:1-13 My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be without mercy to anyone who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Hebrews 13:1-3 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

2 Chronicles 6:32-33 ‘Likewise when foreigners, who are not of your people Israel, come from a distant land because of your great name, and your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray towards this house, may you hear from heaven your dwelling-place, and do whatever the foreigners ask of you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built. 

Are You My Enemy?


I enjoy British sitcoms. One of my favorites is As Time Goes By. There’s an episode where the ex-wife of the main character (now newly wed) pays a visit to show off her new life of privilege. As the evening progresses it becomes obvious that she is a heavy social drinker and causes an embarrassing scene. Before she leaves for a trip to Barbados she stops by the next day to apologize not for her life, but for her behavior. She realized that her performance was a wasted effort on the newlywed couple that recently found each other again years after the Second World War. The ex-wife’s intentions were selfish and mean, but the lost relationship regained by the couple helped her to realize that her ex-husband’s new life, a display of everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3-5; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 136:1-3, 10-26) was as wealthy as hers and without a doubt far healthier. As time went by they both got what they treasured. Sometimes we don’t know who our enemies are. But if by our actions we are steadfast in our love for Christ, it never really matters.

Romans 12:9-21  ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Psalm 110 The Lord says to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’

Jeremiah 15: 19-21  If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall serve as my mouth. It is they who will turn to you, not you who will turn to them.

Matthew 16:21-28 For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?

Bread For Thought


To render, to help, to provide for, to work actively for, to pay homage to, to go through; are all forms of service. Like the parent who provides for the child, God renders, helps, provides for, works actively for, favors and goes through with us. Like the child, in return we worry, fight against (rebel), test the boundaries, dishonor (refuse to submit) and ignore (refuse to listen). By grace it is a relationship that grows into its fullness in due season, when we begin to understand that God sees our potential and knows our heart. Like Moses, David, Peter and Paul, God loves us unconditionally. This I believe is really one of the best parts of life in Christ, that God loves us unconditionally.

Luke 22: 24-30  … But I am among you as one who serves. ‘You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Psalm 91  Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.  

Psalm 139  O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away… Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?

Philippians 4:6,7  Do not worry (be anxious) about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 12: 8  ‘And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God

Once Marginalized, Now Accounted For


justice for all

In a democratic society our leaders are elected, chosen or both. The individuals who elect or choose them do so with the expectation that they will be represented as to their needs within the society. Subsequently, laws are passed to serve the needs of the people, and for all intensive purposes this generally works. But as we all know the system isn’t perfect and for various reasons there’s always a marginalized group of people who don’t quite fit perfectly into the equation. Therefore there is always room for someone to rise up as a leader specifically to address the needs of those who have been unaccounted for. Unfortunately there are two kinds of leaders who rise to this occasion. The first is self-appointed like Absalom the rebellious son of King David and the second is anointed like Paul the Pharisee, Apostle to the Gentiles. The difference is in what comes from the heart. The one who continually seeks the face of God will make known God’s character as opposed to his own. Today, let us pray for our own discernment of the leaders before us that we may gain the portion of our inheritance promised to all those once marginalized but are now accounted for.

Psalm 105:1-22 When they were few in number, of little account, and strangers in it, …he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.

2 Samuel 15:1-18 “If only I were judge in the land! Then all who had a suit or cause might come to me, and I would give them justice.”

Mark 10:32-45 You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them,…But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.

Acts 21:27-36 …he has actually brought Greeks into the temple…

Rich Man, Poor Man


eternal living

Was there ever a point in your life when you felt like you’ve lost everything? Then perhaps you might understand how the rich man felt when Jesus merely suggested he sell everything he owned and give the money to the poor. I believe that possessions don’t define who we are, but rather how we treat one another. Having the ability to give something away and actually giving it away are two entirely different things. Jesus however, seems to be saying that the rich man is defined by his possessions if he is not willing to let them go in order to have what he asked for, which is eternal life. In addition having so many possessions must have given him pleasure because he was shocked and grieved at having to give them away. I believe what the rich man failed to see was that his possessions weren’t serving him well because they left him still seeking to inherit eternal life. Thus his possessions had given him pleasure but not peace (assurance of resurrection). It is possible that our attachment to things will hinder our peace with God. It is the peace in knowing that there will be times when we have to let things go and assurance (believe) that God will provide what we need. In this way our journey embraces eternal living as we strive towards eternal life.

Mark 10:17-31 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual up building.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved


Thursday-July 28, 2011

Sometimes we honor God with our mouths, while our heart (emotions) tells the true story of where we are in our relationship with him by the words we speak to one another. Twice in the past six days I expected something to happen that did not occur. Both times relied on the services of someone else. The first incident was very personal, a childhood friend’s 50th birthday that I did not want to go unnoticed on my part and the second was an appliance service call that never got serviced. I managed to calm myself down after the first incident and after making three phone calls I got the refund for the flowers that were never delivered. A few days later I was scheduled to have a repair done on a major appliance but the contractor for the work never showed. I don’t know why neither of these events happened the way I expected but I do remember being more furious the second time over something far less important, giving the customer service representative a rather difficult time about not valuing my time. In either situation I did not get what I expected nor trust God that it was all going to be okay eventually. I let my own sense of value overtake my sense of compassion and understanding. If our hearts do not respond in love, the word of God is meaningless.

Mark 7:1-23 ‘This people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me’