Angelic Reminders

Luke 24:6
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”

If you read Luke 24:1-8, you’ll find women bowing in fear in the presence of an angel. The angel who spoke to the women at the grave of Jesus told them something they already knew, but had forgotten.

How many times do we gather information from what we read, hear, or experience, and then we forget it? I believe God has sent angels from time to time to remind us of what was right in front of us.

Do we sometimes forget important things when we let situations change our emotions? These women at the grave were caught up in the emotional experience of seeing the one they love die on the cross. In that situation, it may have been difficult for them to keep repeating to themselves, “He said he’d rise again. He said he’d rise again.”

God wanted his message of hope to continue through their mouths to the others, so sending an angel was a great way to make sure the reminder was memorable. I imagine the experience with the angel stayed with them until they saw their risen Lord.

When you are in a situation that looks hopeless, remember that God may have given you a message of hope already. What do you do when you hear from God?

A good way to remember what God has already spoken to you is to keep a journal of where God has taken you. Journal entries can mention how God has led you in your prayer times, specific scriptures that have stood out as important for your life at that time, or a direct word from God.

We all forget things from time to time, but keeping it written down will help you find those important messages again.

Angels Speak God's Message

Luke 2:10
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

The angel who spoke to the shepherds about birth of Jesus had to calm them down so they would listen to the good news. Angels in the Bible were constantly telling people to stop being afraid. Even today, seeing an angel is a little out of the ordinary. Those who have seen angels don’t generally tell everyone they know.

The shepherds heard the angel mention a sign that this baby was the Christ: “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” The shepherds left to go check out the sign. If they couldn’t find any babies in Bethlehem in a manger, then they probably would’ve headed back to the sheep quietly, wondering about what they’d seen.

They knew the baby they saw in the manger was the one the angel told about, so they went to tell others and praised God for all they had seen and heard.

Often, we keep things to ourselves when we aren’t sure if we believe what we thought we saw. But when we see something spectacular, we tell everyone. We want to share our joy just as the shepherds did.

This description of that angelic visitation is found in Luke 2:8-20. The event is memorable to many people today, even people who have never read the Bible. People who don’t go to church can hear some of these Luke 2 Bible verses sung in shopping malls during the Christmas season. People who don’t go to church or shopping malls can hear these Bible verses spoken by Linus on the Charlie Brown Christmas Special which is on TV every year.

Angels are memorable. God uses them to bring messages that He wants remembered.

Mary, who had just given birth to the Savior of all mankind, thought about all that had happened that day and treasured the memories in her heart. Can we be like her? Can we treasure the message that God wants us to remember?

We don’t really need an angelic visitation to get God’s message. We have the Bible which tells us plenty about God and about ourselves. We also have the Spirit of the Living God. God can speak into our hearts to guide us to His message for our lives.

When you finally really hear the good news of God’s message for you, will you tell someone?

The Sword of an Angel

Genesis 3:24
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

After Adam and Even were banished from the Garden of Eden, God assigned an angel to the pathway to keep them from entering again. The angel who kept Adam and Eve out of the Garden had a flashing sword. Even though I wasn’t there, I can imagine that it was a scary sight. I figure the angel probably did his job pretty well. We don’t ever hear about Adam or Eve trying to have a sword fight with that angel.

Can you think of times in your life that it felt like God had placed that angel in front of something that tempted you? I think God gives us opportunities to walk past temptations without putting an angel there to bar the door. But I also think that there are times when he makes sure we aren’t able to fall to a certain temptation.

As a parent, I recognize that my kids can handle a certain amount of temptation successfully. If the temptation is too great, I usually step in and help remove the source of the problem.

God doesn’t set us up for failure. He wants us to succeed in everything we do.

Like it says in Deuteronomy 30:9 “Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land.” And in Psalm 1:3 “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”

He wants us to prosper, but God also knows that we humans can be a bit stubborn sometimes. I know there have been times in my life where I felt drawn to do something, but I knew I shouldn’t, but I also knew I was going to do it anyway. See? He had a good reason for the scary angel with the sword.

Most of our temptations are things that we can walk past, but we don’t. We have the ability to control ourselves and turn away, but we want God to put an angel with a flaming sword in front of all our temptations.

He’s not going to do that.

He holds out his hand and offers his strength. In our relationship with God, we can overcome any temptation, not by avoiding a sword-wielding angel, but by submitting to God. According to James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

If anything in your life seems overwhelmingly tempting and you can see yourself being sucked into the black hole of temptation, fall to your knees at that moment and submit to God. He lifts up those who are down. He strengthens the weak. With your hand in God’s, you will be able to rise up and resist the devil.

Then watch the devil flee.