The Divine Appointment….Are You ready?

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”                                                                                                                Hebrews 13:2 

I like the NIV version of this verse as well: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Okay, here’s the big question of the day for you, are you ready?    When was the last time someone came up to you and said that you ministered to them in a deep way, and they proceeded to repeat word by word of what you said,  and what you did? 

I have to admit, I have a hard time keeping tract of what I say,  and what I do, when given the opportunity, by God to be used as a minister of God’s grace.  And you know what?  I’m glad it’s that way in God’s economy.  He is the one who receives all the glory and awe; because He is a great God isn’t He?

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Okay, here’s the scoop.  Yesterday was July 4th across this great land we call America.  Whether or not you know it, the world looks towards America as the example of how we live our lives justly, righteously before God.  They know, by our examples that we are a giving, people. Whenever there is some great catastrophe like a massive earthquake, a hurricane, America is there, helping the people’s by their generosity and giving what they can, to help someone they don’t even know.  Organizations like Red Cross, and others do the work of thousands, but without the one, giving their dollar or physically giving of their labor, none of these things would happen.

God moves the hearts of His people to get involved in the work of the ministry at all levels. Have you ever had perhaps a neighbor whom you know, lives there, but you never saw it needful to get to know them, see how you can be used by God to maybe be an encourager, or a helper, in their life.  Or. maybe you personally experienced on the receiving, end the help at a timely moment in your life, that you are eternally grateful for all someone did for you.

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

This passage is directed towards all of us who call themselves ‘Christian’s’.  God has chosen us not only to be a beacon of light into a dark wicked world, who’s only pleasure is lavishing themselves first, before they would think of helping someone in need.  “Do not forget”  Well, that is the starting point at being used by God.

We need to remember and not forget that even though we will forget,  God never forgets the cry of His people for help in a time of need.  We can avoid forgetting by remembering all He has done and given and helped you. All of us have been in a place where it seemed there was no way out, no solution to our problems. But we soon found that God knows, and He cares.  In Isaiah 43, His Word promises that “He will send men for us and people for our lives, fear not, I am with you”

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers”  Well, to some of us this leaves us out. There are so many times whether grocery shopping, or Home Depot, where we rarely even make eye contact with people passing by. If we dare do so, we might be held back with our time schedules.   The sad part is that if we do stop and take the time with a stranger and listening to their need, we surprisingly find out that the time spent there  becomes an incredible testimony whether it be our wives, husbands or friends.  They seem to be astonished at how God worked in that situation!  Hospitality doesn’t always mean that you run inside the store and buy them a roasted chicken. Hospitality is really also your time, care for that stranger.

“for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Wait a minute here! Do we really believe this?   Have any of you actually experienced this, and if so, how long ago?   The Bible teaches us that angels are as real as we are.  They are actually ministering servants of God.  It’s very possible that they have helped us, in our lives more times than we can count.  Now then, knowing that they are real, and God uses them to help us, we are not to worship them.  We worship the source of their help, our God  Jesus Christ.   Jesus sits at the right hand of God, governing this world.  He said that “the Father has given Me dominion over all things in heaven, all things on earth, and all things under the earth” There is not one sparrow that falls from the sky that He is not aware of.

God is in a constant state of protecting, providing, caring for the needs of His people, those that are lost, destitute, and in need. And yet, He sends us this reminder today, because we need to remember that regardless if that person we stop for is an angel or not, God desires to involve us in His work of provision.  We really need to place this verse next to “redeeming your time”   After it’s all said and done, when we stand before Jesus in heaven at the rapture, and we are judged, remember that we will be judged with what we did for Jesus.  Jesus actually poses the question to us, as Christian’s  “Where were you, when I was hungry, when I was naked, where were you, when I was sick, when I was in prison”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be found favorably in His eyes as the one in Matthew 25:35; “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in”

In closing, I thought it right to share what happened yesterday, July 4th, while my lovely, and caring wife and I were taking a brief break while the clothes were washing at the laundromat.   We like most of you were, scheduled to also be at a friend’s house who invited us to come and celebrate the day with food and fellowship.  As it would be, God had also scheduled something into our array of things to do; especially……..our goal of resting from all other things.

We were on the way to the park across the street from where we just had  a small breakfast meal.  As we approached the crosswalk, there appeared out of nowhere… this short man with a jug of water and what appeared to be some kind of small briefcase.  He immediately began a conversation with Patty, identifying himself as Joshua Williams…..as he began unfolding a handwritten map, asking her where this address was.  I chimed in and begin to encourage him that we would help show him his destination; which appeared to be a block away.  And so Patty and I parted ways for the time being, she returning to the work at hand, and I going forward in the work at hand, which was helping Joshua to get to his destination, which he said was a July 4th barbecue he was invited to.

As I walked with him, I realized that walking wasn’t going to be enough. We jumped into Patty’s Jeep Liberty and drove around, the streets looking for a missing 242 Ave. It seems that from 241 Ave  to 242 Ave that one street was missing.  I stopped many times and asked various ‘locals’ who live nearby where 242 Ave was.  They all pointed to the same place, but guess what?  No 242 Ave.

Now, about this man,  he shared with me that he had taken the bus from Los Angeles down to Lomita.  It seemed like he had some kind of slight disability in the way he was talking, but was clearly understanding.  Finally, it came to the point where I had exhausted every effort, including prayer to get him to his destination.  I pulled the Jeep to the curb and explained that it looked like I could no further help him.  His reply was as calm and gentle as I could ever be. He said, “well, it’s okay, looks like God didn’t want me to go there….can you take me to Western and PV drive north, there is a coffee shop there and I can catch a bus back home.”

I have to tell you; my first reaction was….’Oh boy…..this is really taking me off my schedule.”  To myself I thought this, and then I chose to finish the promise I made to him, that i would do my best to get him to his destination.  We arrived, I prayed with him, and off he went; as quickly as he came.  I returned to the laundromat , to help my wife with clothes, and shared with her what had transpired. She was not surprised, and yet amazed at how much God thinks of us to rearrange our schedules that we might have a testimony to share.  We finally did get to our destination that afternoon, and guess what?  We were able to share what happened, and our friend who invited us, was amazed and delighted to remember that we may just be entertaining  a stranger.

A careful reminder that when we did share as we arrived at our destination for the day, there was great joy in the midst…..Jesus was there my friend….. Be ready, maybe even pray that God would send you a heavenly scheduled appointment……who knows……it could just be an angel….”in disguise”.

God, thank you for sending “Joshua Williams” yesterday. You made our day!

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

 

 

 

hebrew 13

Enjoy today’s  riveting video……  a must see to inspire and remind us of our calling, “You did not choose Me, I have chosen you…”  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LMUnc07GXA

 

 

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