God has put it on my heart to address three expressions in our culture that don’t exactly line up with the Word of God. I see this sentiment often on social media from people when someone loses a loved one.
- “God must have needed another angel in Heaven.”
Sometimes the same idea is stated by saying, “So and so gained their wings” or by saying, “So and so has become my guardian angel and is now watching over me.”
The problem with that understanding is that angels are entirely different from humans. God has created both, but they are not the same. The angels have an entirely different purpose from people. Honestly, the idea of becoming an angel isn’t a promotion. Jesus did not come to shed His blood and give His life for the angels. I Peter 1:10-12 tells us the angels don’t even understand salvation because they do not have a need for it. While they rejoice when people give their hearts to Christ (Luke 15:10) salvation isn’t for them.
Galatians 4:7 and Romans 8:17 tell us that we who have received Christ as Savior are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We have an inheritance in Heaven that angels do not possess. The Bible calls us royal. It says we have been made a Kingdom of Priests. Angels are none of those things. They are ministering spirits, sent by God, to support us! There is even a Scripture that says one day we will judge the angels. (I Corinthians 6:3.) Psalm 8 says we have been made a little lower than the angels in terms of our earthly existence, but we will be above them in eternity.
So, when a believer passes from this life into eternity in Heaven, a new, glorified body is gained, but believers do not become angels.
- God wants me to be happy. Our culture says, “Do what makes you happy.”
wouldn’t argue that our happiness isn’t important to God. I also wouldn’t say that He wants us sad, bored, frustrated, discontent, and depressed, but what if what makes us happy isn’t OK with God?
I think the key here is in understanding where true happiness is found. True happiness isn’t found in an experience that has a shelf life and expiration date. It isn’t found in a thrill or a high, an escapade, a trip, a drug, a drink, or a fling that will not last. Most often, those experiences, the ones that feed the flesh or stroke the ego, result in regret which drains people of the happiness they thought they had found.
The word, “happy,” in Scripture is translated as “Blessed” in the NIV. Psalm 144:15: Blessed (Happy) are the people whose God is the Lord!
Psalm 146:5: Blessed (Happy) is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.
Proverbs 3:13: Blessed (Happy) are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.
Proverbs 28:14: Blessed (Happy) is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
Psalm 1:1-2: Blessed (Happy) is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
God does want you to be happy, but His definition of happiness is different from the way the world would define it. The kind of blessed happiness that is sustained, that is soul-deep instead of situation-deep is a result of pursuing the life of Christ. So many people are trying to go after the things the world has to offer instead of simply receiving all that Christ has to offer. You can try to work to be happy and strive to be happy and run from person to person or job to job or circumstance to circumstance or whatever to try to find happiness or you can simply receive what God wants to give you.
Ephesians 1:3-4 say, 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
The reality is, if you go all-in with Jesus you will never live dissatisfied. You will never lack contentment. You will never wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else, and when that is the case, you will be happy, you will be blessed.
Now review the second part of that text. When we live according to God’s standards we won’t have to deal with the embarrassment, the shame, the guilt, the regret, the depression, the unhappiness that can come from doing what we thought would make us happy based on our own assumptions.
God says the path to happiness is holiness. The bottom line here is that if you choose holiness, you will experience happiness. Rather than thinking of doing what makes you happy, find out what makes God happy. When you make those choices, you will find the ultimate happiness!
- We are all God’s children.
God is the Creator. God is the Life-giver. God is the One who forms and fashions us. In that sense, we all belong to Him because we are His creation. He has a vested interest in us. He has a plan for us. He wants us to know Him like He knows us.
Scripture text, affirms that God loves all people. No one is born unloved by God.
In fact, God loves everyone so much that He gave His only Son’s life to save each person who would become His child. He did this because all people, the people He loves, are all born as slaves to sin. Someone had to redeem us, to free us, to cleanse us from our sin that keeps us from having a right relationship with God. Jesus was and is that Someone. You see, we have an opportunity to become more than His creation. We have the opportunity, because of the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, to become His children.
In the same John 3:16 passage where God’s love is prominently on display, we also read that in order to become a Child of God, a person has to be born again. Born a second time. We are born once when we are born physically, but there has to be a second birth, a spiritual birth, in order for us to claim that we have become a Child of God. God wants to do more than make us; He wants to remake us. Where sin has marred the image of God in us, He wants to remove our sin nature from us so that who He intended for us to be all along, His children, could become our reality.
“We are all God’s children” suggests that everyone is in a right relationship with God as Father, but that is not the case. That phrase can be corrected by saying, “We can all become God’s children.” In II Peter 3:9 He says that He doesn’t want one person to miss the opportunity to become His child. He wants everyone to receive eternal salvation.
I Timothy 2:4b-6 says: God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator (go between/bridge) between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
John 1:12: Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
We do not become God’s children simply from our connection with Him as our Creator. We become God’s children from a relationship with Jesus as our Savior. If you are reading this and you are interested in knowing how to pray to become a Child of God, email me at: Melissa@tvcog.org.
Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and you won’t regret becoming His!