And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you…
1. Christians are saying to the world either that God is false to his promises, or that God is true. You dishonour him by unbelief. You honour him by faith, the utmost honour you can give him. A German writer gives this incident in the life of Johannes Bruce, the founder of the order of the Carmelites, who, though a Romish priest, was a saint indeed, distinguished for his love to God and his faith. The convent was poor; and the friars, dependent on charity for daily bread, were often compelled to console themselves with the passage, "Man does not live by bread alone." One day the brethren found, when they had assembled for dinner, that their whole stock of food was a single piece of dry bread. They sat down; they asked God's blessing upon their crust. Then Johannes arose, and poured forth such words of encouragement and consolation concerning the love of Christ and the great promises He had given His people, that all of them arose delighted and refreshed, and, without partaking of their bread, returned to their cells. They had scarcely reached them, when the bell rang at the convent-gate, and a man entered with a large basket of provisions, which were carried, with a letter, to the prior, who was on his knees praying. He read, the letter dropped from his hands, and he began to weep bitterly. The porter, surprised, said, "Why do you weep? Have you not often said that we should weep for nothing but our sins?" Johannes replied, "Brother, I do not weep without reason. Think how weak the Lord must see our faith to be, since He is unwilling to see us suffer want a single day without sending visible aid. He foresaw that before evening we should despond, unless He sent immediate help to our faith by means of this charitable gift. It is because we possess so little confidence in the rich Lord in whom we are encouraged to trust, that my tears flow."
(From sermon by Charles Finney.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.