Envious Angels

AngelThe Bible says that angels do not experience redemption, but long to know what it feels like to be saved.   Angels being the unfallen ones, of high intelligence, who serve God in holiness, and dwell in the light, even they see how great human salvation is and they desire to experience it.  Shouldn’t those of us, who are the objects of this mercy, shouldn’t we diligently pursue it also?  Do you take your salvation for granted?  You shouldn’Envious Angelst!  Consider 1 Peter 1:12, whose theme is “the sufferings of Christ”, and the “glories that should follow them.”  Peter also says, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.  Even angels long to look into these things.”  “Them” refers to the searching prophets.  They are the human authors of the Bible. The Holy Spirit is the divine author.  God the Holy Spirit revealed to the human authors what to write.  The word “revealed” means unveiled.  God unveiled himself by revelation.  These Old Testament prophets were not writing simply for themselves but for you and me, and future generations.  Peter says, “Even angels long to look into these things.” And these things are: the sufferings of Christ, the great mystery of redemption and salvation by Christ, the doctrine of the Gospels in which the glory of grace, wisdom, righteousness, truth, and power of God is displayed.  These things angels are delighted with; take pleasure in the contemplation of, desire a greater knowledge of, and want to acquaint themselves with.  Our salvation is even the subject of angelic speculation.   Our salvation is envied!  Our salvation is great!  And to think, salvation is all ours.

Hark the Hearld Lark Sings

 Hark the Hearld Lark Sings

Hey, isn’t that reminiscent of a Christmas song?  Isn’t that supposed to be “angel” sings?  Is it Christmas already and you nearly missed it?  Naaah!  Wrong story and month.  Shake it off!  You’ll be alright.  However, we are going to talk about one of God’s precious creatures—the birds.  Nope, it’s not a partridge in a pear tree.

Birds Nests

Some birds build their nests in trees, bushes, and barns.  Some build their nests on ledges of tall buildings, under eaves of department stores, some under porches, in garages, on decks, anywhere they can.  Bird nests have been found in the most unusual places; under the hood of a car, in high voltage boxes, on elephants, anywhere and everywhere they feel protected.

You know it is winter by the overcast gray days, the cold and snow.  The summer shows up with the hot sun and heat.  Fall announces with its bright colors and leaves falling.  Spring is different; it is the only season you can hear.  Listen closely, the birds and their beautiful voices tell everything to wake up. But though you think yourself taking the day by the prime, it is already old to the birds.  Isn’t it a pleasure to know you can start each day with no harsh words, malice in their voices or ill-will when they sing?  They don’t just sing they serenade.  Aren’t we lucky?

The lowly lark lays her eggs in some small depression in the ground, maybe at the edge of a field or pasture.  The lark is probably the most beautiful of all the singing birds.  The bird itself isn’t the most beautiful, but its song baffles the imagination.  There are beautiful poems and stories about the entrancing songs emanating from this little throat.  Its songs are legendary, but nothing is mentioned about the larks feet!  That’s right, its feet.  They are ugly and out of proportion for its size.  The toes are unusually long and covered with rough, unsightly growths.  Did God make a mistake?!  No—God does all things well!  He doesn’t make mistakes.  The feet are made that way in the event of danger. With her protective feet the lark picks up her eggs and carries them to safety.  The toes are extra long to grip the eggs firmly and rough to keep them from slipping away.  This roughness protects the eggs when she lands.  Her feet take the brunt and trauma of the surface landing area protecting her precious cargo!  Is God clever or omniscient?

“What is the price of two sparrows–one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Mat 10:29-31  “Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!” Psalms 84:3

Be a Brighter Writer

Be a Brighter Writer TitleThe world needs Brighter Writers.  Written anything longer than a shopping list lately?  Or, do you use an app for that, too?  Is handwriting a dying art?  Many probably don’t care of its near demise.  They should.  Writing is connected to thinking.  Recent research suggests there’s a reason to put pencil/pen to paper.  It’s good for the mind.  You know, thinking. Writing by hand helps lay the neural groundwork for other important skills like reading, comprehension and application.  Research has also found that just seeing letters activates a previous documented “reading circuit” after writing on paper, not after typing on a keyboard, or, even tracing, but putting pencil to paper using ball and sticks or cursive. National Teachers Hall of Fame Inductee and Teacher, Michael Terrell, Kindergarten and 1st grade educator (34 years), suggests children, especially younger children, should put down the iPad, Nook, Tablet PC, and other electronic media, and write.  Want to become a better writer, reader and thinker?  Write on!

 

Be a Brighter WriterI’m familiar with a brighter writer.  A “Jack of all genres”.  Great writer.  Between 1931 and 1964 he published 34 books.  Secondary study reaches into the hundreds.  Ninety percent of his income went to charity.  He had his father’s fear of being bankrupt for most of his life.  He had many wonderful friends.  If you’re into theology you’ve read many of his works.  If you’re a Christian, you’ve read many of his works.  If you’re an atheist, you’ve studied his works.  His nickname was “Smallpiglebottom”.  Recognize who he is? Some would say, “Oh that’s just Mere Christianity”, and they would be right.  Good stuff!

 

C.S. Lewis was truly what Shakespeare called, “A Man for all seasons.” Without a doubt, C.S. Lewis was perhaps the most influential writer, for the Christian, since the twelve apostles walked the earth. There have been other great writers of course, but pound for pound, soul for soul, C.S. Lewis has literally touched millions of lives with his writing as a Christian apologist. Any serious student of Christian education has elevated C.S. Lewis as the world heavyweight champion of champions. God saw that he came along at just the right time to influence a world of fledgling preachers.

 

Clive Staples Lewis was as human as any other mortal. Born in November 1898, he was raised in a world on the brink of war. Serving in World War 1, he saw the cruelty and horror of war up close and it cemented his atheism. His friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien gradually led him back to his Christian beliefs. His positions at Oxford University and Cambridge University touched a new generation of twentieth century preachers. His writings of fiction; The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe brought anthropomorphic animals to life. His non-fiction; The problem of Pain, Miracles, and his greatest, Mere Christianity reached an entire world for Christ. It was Mere Christianity that ultimately converted Charles Colson to become a Christian and another giant among those toiling in God’s garden.  Every generation looks for a hero and this generation is no different. If you’re looking for a way to help someone understand what Christians believe and why they believe it, “Mere Christianity” is the best starting place. C.S. Lewis died on November 22, 1963. Sadly his death would be overshadowed by an American president being assassinated that very same day, but his influence lives on and continues to add to God’s kingdom. If you’re looking for a current ‘Brighter Writer’ please consider this quiet humble giant who toiled in God’s garden. The Brightest Writers have already been published – please consult your nearest Bible.

 

“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. … A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.”
2 Timothy 2:14-15, 24-26