Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Keep and protect me, O God, for in You I have found refuge, and in You do I put my trust and hide myself. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have not good beside or beyond You…The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup; You hold and maintain my lot.’”
A Psalm of David
Psalm 16: 1, 2, 5
“O God, thank You
That Your promises are valid
As long as the world lasts.
They do not suddenly dissolve
When my faith is feeble
And my courage fails.
When You have given a promise
You will perform it
Sight or no sight
Feeling or no feeling.
You may take me
Through the darkest night
The deepest waters.
The very worst may happen
But out of it
You will bring the very best
For Your Word remains secure.
Lord, keep me faithful in my trust.
When I can articulate no other prayer
May my waiting heart
Ruth Harms Calkin
Keep Me Faithful
Today’s Study Text:
“My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.”
Daniel 6: 22
“Earthly Power Versus Heavenly Purpose “ Part 34
“God’s Guardians” Part C
“The Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, who revere and worship Him with awe and each of them He delivers.”
Psalm 34: 7
Have I ever had an event in my life where I believed that “God’s Guardians” – angels – have been sent to protect me personally?
“The angels are the dispensers and administrators of the divine beneficence toward us; they regard our safety, undertake our defense, direct our ways, and exercise a constant solicitude that no evil befalls us.”
“For He will give His angels special charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways of obedience and service.”
Psalm 91: 11
I want to begin today’s devotional with a prayer penned by Angels Ashwin, based on Psalm 91: 11 – one of the most recognized passages of Scripture, which gives us insight into the work of the heavenly beings we call “angels”:
“Blessed Lord of angels and archangels,
We praise You for the brightness of Your love.
Give Your angels charge over us,
to guard us against the powers of evil.
May these beings of light
encircle and protect us,
so that we may serve You better
and never lose our vision of Your
Throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, stories are told which open our eyes to the fact that angels appear as helpers, as in the case of Hagar, who when sent away from Abraham’s camp, was encouraged with a promise brought to her by an angel who told her that, “Thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction” (Genesis 16: 11, K.J.V.). At other times, God sent angels repeatedly with guidance and instruction throughout the journey of the children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan. Furthermore, in the book of Zechariah, the prophet has conversations with an angel on several occasions. In fact, Zechariah used the specific phrase: “the angel of the Lord talked,” eight different times in his short book among the “minor” prophets.
Author John Michael Mountney, in a prayer he penned about the life of Jesus and angels, leaves us with these words:
“Lord of all creation, an angel foretold Your birth and the birth of many of Your chosen servants: let us rejoice in the wonderful order of angels.
Angels announced Your birth to the Shepherds with great joy and praise; may our lips be always praising You.
Angles ministered to You in Your temptation and trial: be present, we pray, to all who are in trouble or oppression.
Angels announced Your resurrection to Mary Magdalen: fill us with the assurance of Your risen power.
Angels were present at Your ascension into heaven: make us ready for Your coming again in great glory.”
As we note from the above words, at every important point in the life of Jesus, angels from heaven were on hand to praise, encourage and honor the Savior of mankind.
In his insightful book entitled, Angels, first printed in 1975, Evangelist Billy Graham writes that angels are “God’s restoring servants, His heavenly messengers, (who) have encouraged, sustained and lifted the spirits of many flagging saints; and they have changed many hopeless circumstances into bright prospects.” Pastor Graham also brings the work of angels down to a more personal level when he points out that “angels are watching; they mark your path. They superintended the events of your life and protect the interest of the Lord God, always working to promote His plans and to bring about His highest will for you…We may not always be aware of the presence of angels. We can’t always predict how they will appear…Often they may be our companions without our being aware of their presence.”
After our car accident, when Jim and I had finally gotten home and were trying to get back on our feet again, some of the police who were first to arrive at the scene of the wreck came to visit us. They told us, with a tone of amazement, “Your angels were on-duty that day.” We quickly came to recognize that just one inch more and who knows what type of catastrophic spinal injuries we both would have sustained – Jim in his neck and me in my lower back. Just as Daniel exclaimed to King Darius, “’My God’ hath sent His angel” (Daniel 6: 22, K.J.V.). so Jim and I have, on many occasions, said to each other, “Our God, sent His angels.” I’m certain, if your eyes were opened, as were Elisha’s servant, you would be truly amazed as you became witness to the many times in your own life when angels were sent to your aid, encouragement, and protection.
While still in a den of lions, God’s ambassador in Medo-Persia, the prophet Daniel testified to King Darius that “’My God’ hath sent His angel.” What a triumphant statement. What a glorious witness to the king. As author Ruth Burgess so beautifully expresses:
“We forget the angels,
whom we cannot see for our blindness,
but who come when God decides
that we need their help
when we are ready
for what they can give us.”
It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall the events of that fateful day, August 27th, when a young man decided he wanted to kill himself and he made the choice to intentionally cause a head-on crash with a combined impact of 145 miles per hour. Yet as hard as that collision was, as Jim likes to say, “Heaven touched earth and said no further.” I have often wondered how many angels, “God’s Guardians” here on earth, were surrounding Jim and me and we just couldn’t see them, but oh – “Our God” put them there to save our lives.
It may be that on this very day you are going through some horrid situation that has you at the breaking point. And then somehow, someway, on this very day, the pressure will be released. The right job will come along. The fractured relationship will be miraculously healed. The financial burden will be rolled away. Because “Your God has sent His angel!”
One of my favorite old-time writers, J.R. Miller, in his devotional book, Glimpses Through Life’s Windows, shares these words in his thoughts called, “Unrecognized Angels”:
“There is a picture called ‘The Angel of Consolation.’ A woman sits on the low rocks, looking out upon the sea. Desolation is all about her – not a flower, not a tree on the shore; only sand, rocks, and breaking waves. Down into the waters her heart’s treasures have gone. Her face is stony in its despairing grief. Almost touching her shoulder, hovering over her bowed form, is an angel, white-robed, softly striking the strings of a harp.
Does the mourner know how near to her the angel is? Does she hear the celestial music? No! She sits in unconsciousness, sad and lonely, while God’s minister of comfort waits so close, and while the notes of sweet music fall unheeded on her ear.
Is not the picture true of many sorrowing ones? Is it not true of many lives, starving for blessings? Longing for God to send His angel!
Remember, angels come to us unaware, in disguise. Angels walk with us, talk with us, and may only become known to us when their places are empty.
We do not begin to recognize the worth of even our nearest human friends. With a wealth of precious love, and almost infinite helpfulness, they move beside us along the years; but their garb is plain, and we do not see the splendor that is in them. It would be well were we to pray to have our eyes opened that we might see the common angels, the “Angels of Consolation,” God sends to bless our lives.”
Too Great For Thee
“An angel touched me and he said to me,
The journey, pilgrim, is too great for thee,
But rise and eat and drink,
Thy food is here,
Thy Bread of Life,
Thy cruse of water clear,
Drawn from the brook, that doth as yesterday
flow by the way.
And thou shalt go in strength on that pure food,
Unto the Mount of God,
Where thy Lord’s face
Shall shine on thee,
On thee in thy low place,
Down at His feet, who was thy Strength and Stay,
Through all the way.”
Rose From Brier
“Everlasting God, You have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals. Mercifully grant that, as Your holy angels always serve and worship You in heaven, so by Your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, Amen.”
Book of Common Prayers
“Angels, help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise with us the God of grace.”
Mary Francis Lyte
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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