Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm No Angel and Proud of It

So in my confessional two blogs ago, I confessed I had gone a couple of weeks without really studying the Word of God much less have a quiet time. I confessed the idea of studying Hebrews did not thrill me in the least, but I do know that I am supposed to be studying this. I know this because He wanted me to read Hebrews 2:1, “We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away” (HCSB). Was I drifting? You betcha. DRIFTING – When I think of the word drifting I think of being a on a raft floating lazily down the river or in an ocean slowly being drug away from the shore line. DRIFTING is gradual, slow. It’s not like drag racing where they take off in break-neck speeds causing whiplash if you aren’t restrained properly. DRIFTING – Sometimes you don’t even realize that you are drifting because it doesn’t really feel like you’re moving, but you are, and you realize it when you see the shore line 500 yards away instead of ten. I tend to DRIFT when I RELAX. I have been lax in my quiet time. I’ve been lax in my Bible study. I’ve been lax in my prayer time. I have drifted. There’s a song that says, “Who Moved.” God doesn’t move. We do.

Here’s the thing. I think part of my being lax is that I take my faith, my relationship with God for granted. In Hebrews 2, the author contrasts the Old Testament message and the New Testament message. Let me lay it out for you:

OLD MESSAGE                                                          NEW MESSAGE

Delivered by angels                                                      Delivered in person by Jesus Christ in human form

You didn’t get away with anything.
There was a punishment for every infraction               Passed on by those who heard the message of grace
 of the law. You didn’t get away with anything.           and hope through salvation
                                                                                  New message is validated by God with gifts through
                                                                                  the Holy Spirit, signs and miracles.

If I had to go to the temple to confess my sin, burn sacrifice and had to uphold every rule written in the law, you’d find me buried under the rubble of religion. Under the new message of grace and hope through Salvation, the focus isn’t on the law but on the relationship with God. A relationship in which God gives his children gifts, Spiritual gifts. He confirms His message through signs and miracles. Do I believe they still happen today? Yes, I do. Why? Because I haven’t read anywhere in the Bible so far where God has said there will be no more signs or miracles.

Here’s something else I discovered in Hebrews 2. Angels are not in the business of saving people.

                     They aren’t in control or put in charge of anything.
                                They aren’t redeemed.
                                        They do as they are instructed...some of which is to help us.

I’m not seeing much of a relationship with God for the angels.

The angels can sing and praise God, but I have to believe the songs of the redeemed have to be more precious, more special and most pleasing to God’s ears than those of angels.

                 Angels will never know what it’s like to be lost and then found.

           They will never know what it’s like knowing that God sought them out to adopt them into His  family.

          Angels will never know what it’s like to discover something new or be in charge over God’s creation.

They will NEVER KNOW! Guess what! You will. You do.

I remember when my kids were babies, sitting up and discovering the world around them for the first time. I loved watching their faces when they discovered something for the first time and how they’d repeat it and be just as surprised the second time and third. I’d buy toys or do things just so I could see them explore it and discover the surprise. In Hebrews 2:8, God has done that same thing for us. The Bible tells us that God put man in charge of everything he had made. Remember Genesis? In Hebrews 2:8 it says, “Nothing was excluded. But we don’t see it yet, don’t see everything under human jurisdiction.” God has built in surprises in His Creation to watch us discover something new. I LOVE THAT! 1 Corinthians 13:12 says we look in a mirror darkly, only seeing a part of the picture. It’s only when we see Jesus that we will get the whole picture. It’s only then that we will see all the surprises – the ones we discovered and the ones we didn’t.

Can I just say, “I love Jesus!” Jesus made himself lower than the angels just so I could experience a relationship with God who has prepared little surprises, who has given me perfect gifts, who has given me a hope and a future. And because Jesus made himself lower than the angels, took on flesh, endured an excrutiating death because of my sins, He now calls me, “Sister.” Verse 10-13 of Hebrews 2 says he’s not ashamed to call me that either.

Nope. I am not ashamed. I am no angel. I STAND REDEEMED!

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