By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
As messengers of God, angels devote themselves to the furthering of His will. We find angels throughout the Bible ministering to humans in times of trial and situations of difficulty.
Daniel 6:22 (NIV): My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.
We also find angels ministering to humans as messengers. While we may not always know what is best for us, our requests are known to God and He is righteous when administering His answer.
Luke 1:13 (NIV): But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.
God understands the Devil is our adversary and he is working to take us off the path of righteousness. We must endure and find comfort in the fact that angels are sent to encourage us on our journey. All we must do is remain faithful and trust in Jehovah; as long as we are faithful, the angels will be there to help us.
Hebrews 1:14 (ESV): Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
One of the more frightening roles of an angel is their task of enforcing God’s wrath. As a righteous God, we are fully aware of God’s will and we know what is pleasing to Him. When we willfully ignore His commandments, He may attempt to save us through punishment. No different than any parent punishing their child; the ultimate desire is for the child to repent and live virtuously.
Numbers 22:22 (ESV): But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him.
Judges 2:3-4 (NKJV): Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” So it was, when the Angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept.
As messengers of God, we understand angels are performing a task that is in line with God’s will. It is our responsibility to make sure God is pleased with us so the angel is encouraging us. If we live in a manner contrary to the will of God, we should be wary of the ensuing message the next angel may bring.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
When dealing with the unknown, we have the natural tendency to first search for answers from our friends and family. It is almost an innate reaction for us to seek what we know when dealing with what we do not know. King Nebuchadnezzar was no different; he was terrified because he had a dream that he could not understand (Daniel 4:4-5). Nebuchadnezzar first pursued advice from those he knew best; his friends and trusted council.
Daniel 4:6-7 (NKJV): So I made a decree that all the wise men of Babylon should be brought before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. Then the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers came in, and I told them the dream, but they could not make known to me its interpretation.
There is nothing wrong with seeking what we recognize when confronted with something unfamiliar; but God should be the familiar refuge we seek first. God is more consistent than any person we have met, more knowledgeable than the wisest among us, and more concerned about our wellbeing than our closest family member. Remarkably, Nebuchadnezzar knew he should have looked to God for answers; because Daniel already interpreted a dream that Nebuchadnezzar’s wisest men could not decipher (Daniel 2:1-11). The ability of the king’s wisest men fell short again and Nebuchadnezzar eventually requested for God’s servant Daniel to interpret this dream too.
Daniel 4:8-9 (NIV): Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.) I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me.
When we are confronted with fear of the unknown, we must seek answers from the correct place. Sometimes the answers do not come as quickly we would like, but that is no reason to lose faith in God. Stay strong through the unknown, understanding that God is wise and omniscient; loving and enduring for His people.
Romans 11:33 (NIV): Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Patience is a sign of faith and faith is a sign of hope; hope in something greater than what we see in front of us.
Romans 8:25 (ESV): But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV): And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
There are so many situations in life where we have little to no control over the results. That is why it is essential we lean on God and his understanding when coping with the difficulties of life. Whether we find ourselves with financial issues, relationship/family issues, or health issues; we must patiently trust that God’s will is in our best interest.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV): For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Patience produces faith, which creates trust, which leads to obedience in God. When we lack patience, we are more likely to pursue goals on our own timetable instead of God’s timetable. We are going to seek our wisdom before we seek God’s wisdom, and we are likely to forget to include God in our plans.
James 4:13-15 (ESV): Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
When we show patience in the will of God, we will be strong enough to handle anything. We will look past the here and now and put our hope in our future with Christ. Our life on earth is but for a moment; our pain is temporary and one day all of our suffering will cease. We should focus on the things that will never cease, because there we will find a peace that lasts a lifetime.
1 John 5:11-13 (NIV): And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Throughout the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the cornerstone and foundation of the church. There are multiple reasons for this, with the first being His death and resurrection is the premise the church is built on.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NKJV): Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Another reason to consider is fact that Jehovah relinquished His authority over heaven and earth to Jesus. As such, Jesus is the head designer and architect of the church.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV): And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
We also find the confession that Jesus is the son of God is a foundational piece of the church. As a reference, the same Greek word used here for “rock” is also used in Matthew 21:42 for “stone”. These two verses also share the fact that Jesus is the foundation (cornerstone) and that Jehovah is in control.
Matthew 16:16-18 (ESV): Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 21:42 (NIV): Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord as done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
While the Apostle Peter had a vital role in the growth of the early church, he was not the rock or foundation of the church. He did not have the ability to modify scripture; nor was he provided any additional revelation or insight. The Apostle Peter was an obedient follower of Christ who laid the foundation as it was taught to him.
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NIV): For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Shame and guilt are the feeling we get when we know we have sinned. Our morality comes from our creator; so whether we want to admit it or not, we do not enjoy sin.
Jeremiah 3:25 (NIV): Let us lie down in our shame, and let our disgrace cover us. We have sinned against the Lord our God, both we and our ancestors; from our youth till this day we have not obeyed the Lord our God.”
Understanding sin separates us from God helps us to understand why we would feel sorrow or shame when we sin. To remove shame we must reunite with God under the salvation found in His son Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:16 (NKJV): For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 10:11 (ESV): For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Once we have placed our trust in Jesus, we must forgive ourselves of the sins we have committed. We should not demean ourselves by continually playing our worst decisions in a loop. Our last mistake is not going to be our last mistake; so we need to learn to let go and let God handle the issues of our life. We cannot be fearful or ashamed of our human weaknesses; we must be confident in the person we can become by abiding in Christ.
Isaiah 54:4 (ESV): Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
When we put our trust in God, we will be able to endure all types of persecution and hardships. No matter the ridicule, no matter the embarrassment; if we are working for the furthering of God’s kingdom, no shame will be in our game.
2 Timothy 1:11-12 (NKJV): For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Psalm 31:1-2 (NIV): In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.