Archive for December 31st, 2007

Angels Watchin’ Over Me, Every Step I Take

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Today’s scripture: Acts 23:12-22 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Jeff Miner):

Paul was in trouble — deep trouble. Forty assassins, with the consent of the local political establishment, were conspiring to kill him the next day on his way to a second hearing. What’s even more frightening is that Paul had no idea he was about to step into a trap.

Paul’s situation reminds me of the lyrics of an old Amy Grant song:

God only knows the times my life was threatened just today.
A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way.
Near misses all around me, accidents unknown,
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home.

But I know they’re all around me all day and through the night.
When the enemy is closing in, I know sometimes they fight.
To keep my fight from falling, Ill never turn away.
If you’re asking what’s protecting me, then you’re gonna hear me say:

Got His angels watching over me, every move I make,
Angles watching over me!

The message, of course, is that God is watching over us, often protecting us from danger when we don’t even realize it.

That’s what Paul experiences in today’s passage. His sister’s son happens to hear about the conspiracy. Perhaps one of the conspirators told a close friend, who told a friend, who told a friend, who told Paul’s sister’s son. Coincidence? Not to Paul. This was just one more reassuring reason why he felt no need to worry. Until his time came, nobody would be able to lay a hand on him.

Don’t misunderstand. The point is not that no one will ever be able to take our lives. Paul was eventually executed by the Romans. One way or another, everyone eventually dies. The point is that we can rest in the assurance that we are bulletproof until our work here is finished.

Consider Ira Sanky. In the 1800s, Sanky was a famous Christian singer/composer who traveled with an even more famous evangelist, D.L. Moody. Once when Sanky was traveling down the Delaware River on a steamer, other passengers on board recognized him. They asked him to sing one of his compositions. Instead, Sanky said he’d prefer to sing a hymn by William Bradbury, entitled Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us. He asked everyone to join in. One of the song’s stanzas begins with, “We are thine, do Thou befriend us; be the guardian of our way.”

When they finished, a man pulled Sanky aside and asked, “Were you in the army, Mr. Sanky?”

“Yes, I joined up in 1860.”

“Did you ever do guard duty at night in Maryland, about 1862?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Well,” the man said, “I was in the Confederate Army. I saw you one night at Sharpsburg. I had you in my gun sight as you stood there in the light of the full moon. Then just as I was about to pull the trigger, you began to sing. It was the same hymn you sang tonight. I couldn’t shoot you.”

Thought for the day: Until my work here is finished, I am bulletproof.

You’ll need to overlook the “classic” 80s video elements, and just focus on the song, Angels Watchin’ Over Me:

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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