Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jesus, Angels & Pastors (Hebrews 13:1-25)

"Some have unwittingly entertained angels..."
Statue in Central Park, NYC
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

I just realized how I could make this blog easier to use.  I feel a little silly.  I never really set out to study the whole Bible- just what stood out to me.  But once I got started I haven't been able to stop, in almost 4 years.  I've always been hungry for God's Word since I became a Christian, in 1976.  I get to use all my skills here : ) And it makes me think.  I've been having a hard time figuring out what verses I went through in the past.  It dawned on me that if I include the Bible verses in the title, it would be easier for all of us. So, I will work on putting the Bible verses in the titles.

Thanks for stopping by!  I'm honored, didn't know if anyone would be interested : )  May the Lord guide us all through His Word.  Feel free to share your thoughts as well in Comments.

Hebrews 13

This section of Hebrews has some of my all-time favorite verses.  If you're like me you'll want to memorize them.

1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 
I love this thought.  So, you're sitting on a train riding to New York City.  You keep your purse really close so no one can steal it.  It's hard to ride a train alone.  A woman sits next to you.  She's simple and has a strange beauty in her face.  You feel completely safe.  The train stops at Penn Station and the seat next to you is empty before you stand up.  Could it have been an angel?  Maybe.  Or there's this man.  He seems so ordinary.  He's dressed like all the other workers in a flannel shirt.  He pulls you aside and says, "Something's wrong you're usually so full of light.  Are you ok?"

We won't really know until we are in Heaven.  But isn't it a wonderful thought?  Maybe it's just an elderly man who tips his hat and says, "Have a nice day."  When the rest of us are running in circles shopping.

3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”

7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.  NKJV
This challenges me to pray for the leaders in my Church.  It's important to realize when we see someone in the pulpit preaching they aren't perfect.  Pastors and teachers have some of the biggest temptations because satan doesn't want them to succeed.  It would be wise to pray for them, even if it's when I first sit down at Church.   After Sunday I generally move on to other things, except reading some passages of scripture.

10 The altar from which God gives us the gift of himself is not for exploitation by insiders who grab and loot. 11 In the old system, the animals are killed and the bodies disposed of outside the camp. The blood is then brought inside to the altar as a sacrifice for sin. 12 It's the same with Jesus. He was crucified outside the city gates––that is where he poured out the sacrificial blood that was brought to God's altar to cleanse his people.
This is a case where I switched to The Message version of the Bible.  The NKJV was too confusing.  Jesus was crucified where animals were sacrificed outside the city.  His blood poured out as the final sacrifice for our sin.  His blood was brought to God's altar.

13 So let's go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is––not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. 14 This "insider world" is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. 15 Let's take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus' name.
This is sweet.  It's a call for us to do as Jesus did and go outside to where the people are who need us.  To pour out praises.  A sacrifice of praise to me is when it's not normal to give praise.  Things are not going well at all.  You want to cry but the tears don't come.  When I was trying to put myself through college, it seemed like I'd never finish.  Tuition was too high and I had to get loans and grants.  My future seemed over.  I finally looked up to Heaven and asked, "Why me?"  

Then the thought came to mind, "You have 2 choices either trust God or be miserable."  I chose faith.  I really hate feeling depressed!  So I thanked Him for my opportunities.  I was able to pay off my school loans within a few years.  Things were cheaper then.
(Hebrews 13:10-15 Message)

18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
We all covet prayer don't we?  

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.
24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.
25 Grace be with you all. Amen
(Hebrews 13:18-25 NKJV)

My prayer-
Dear Heavenly Father I lift up Lisa once more to You.  I pray You will heal her body and help her through the chemo treatments.  It must be so hard to do what hurts. You know all about that Jesus.  Lord, I pray You will protect those in the Ukraine and Europe.  Please bless their nations.  I pray for Russia and Syria as well.  We don't know when You're coming back for us, but we wait eagerly.  I pray the angels will guard and protect Israel as well.  Help them to find hope in such a confusing time.  Bless the USA with wisdom in our leadership.  Help them know how to turn things around in our country.
In Jesus Name, Amen.

Here's a great song by some Irish folks, Rend Collective, "My Lighthouse" (link)


  1. I love songs by Rend Collective! :D And thanks for this post I really needed it. One statement that stood out for me in your post was, "You have 2 choices either trust God or be miserable." I liked it that you thank GOD for opportunities!

    Joy :)

  2. I agree Joy! Rend Collective is really great! There's so much good Christian music now. Thanks for your encouragement. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's not nearly as hard as we make is it? 2 choices... Thanks for your comment : ) Always good to see you online.

    God bless!