August 30, 2014

Today you should read: Daniel 12

So now we have reached the end of Daniel. We have been in a lion’s den, thrown in a fiery furnace and seen and heard many amazing and confusing signs of the end times. We end this book with a pretty clear picture of what will happen and a pretty clear lesson to take away today. We find it spelled out in verse 2:

“Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace

So which are you? Daniel was told a few times to go his way and live his life. He was also told in verse 13 that he will “rise again to receive the inheritance set aside” for him. This same promise is true for you and me. So the question comes back to us:

What is the inheritance set aside for you?

We have one of two options: We take what we have earned as an inheritance:

“For the wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23 a

On our own, we “earn” death. Our own inheritance is a christless eternity in hell. Our inheritance is one of eternal payment for our sin.

The other option is this:

“For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.” Romans 8:16-17a

With Jesus, we are in line to an inheritance from God. One of eternal life and joy and peace. Which will you choose? If you are reading this you may have already made your choice and that is great. But please make sure you have. There are many people who go their whole lives thinking they have settled this choice but really they never have. And remember this, one day you WILL “rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.” What will it be?

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

August 29, 2014

Today you should read: Daniel 11

Daniel 11 is a specific prophecy on future conflicts among nations until Jesus comes back. This chapter is so accurate in the rise and fall of certain empires in history that many disbelieved when Daniel wrote it but as we all know, Isaiah 44:6-7 tells us that God prophecies what is ahead of time to show His power and sovereignty. Of course Judah and Israel needed to be reminded of God’s power and sovereignty for they were still in Exile and would later be persecuted by the Persians and Greeks. However God makes good on His promises and we are assured of that in the following chapter as we see Jesus will comes back and Jesus wins. Let us be reminded of this great truth as well. Maybe you’re going through something where you are questioning God’s power and sovereignty. Maybe you need to be assured that God is in control over all of history including the future like He reveals in todays jumpstart chapter. Our God is a God of history because it is ultimately HISstory. His story of love and grace to a people who backstab him and are persecuted for Him but ultimately His love and redemption wins out, even if it’s not so evident in our world right now.

Posted by: Erik Koliser

August 28, 2014

Today you should read: Daniel 10

As we learned from reading through the book of Daniel – Daniel has been given power from God to prophesy.  God showed him visions of what was to come.  All of this was very scary for him as you can imagine.

My strength left me, my face grew deathly pale, and I felt very weak.  Then I heard the man speak, and when I heard the sound of his voice, I fainted and lay there with my face to the ground.  vs. 8-9

Have you ever poured your soul out to the Lord and felt overwhelmed?  I love how God responds (through His messenger) to Daniel (as He will to us).

He touched him

a hand touched me… v.10a

There’s something about a touch…  Max Lucado in his book “Just like Jesus” says this:

Our Savior completely surrendered his hands to God. The documentary of his hands has no scenes of greedy grabbing or unfounded finger pointing. It does, however, have one scene after another of people longing for his compassionate touch: parents carrying their children, the poor bringing their fears, the sinful shouldering their sorrow. And each who came was touched. And each one touched was changed.

Have you ever felt the touch of God on your soul?  It’s a life altering, “I’ll never forget it” experience.

He lifted him up

lifted me, still trembling, to my hands and knees v.10

This makes me think of Psalm 40 (my dad’s favorite passage)

I waited patiently for the lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed.

They will put their trust in the lord.  Oh, the joys of those who trust the lord… Psalm 40:1-5a

When God lifts you out of your despair – He restores you to a new outlook on life.  He changes your perspective in ways that only He can do.

He reminded Daniel how precious he is to God

Daniel, you are very precious to God, v.11

Remember when your mom told you that you were her favorite?  You knew she said that to your siblings, too – but it didn’t matter.  It made you feel special.  You are God’s favorite (you and the rest of His kids).  He values you.  He knows your name – you can substitute “Tim” or your name in verse 11 – ______________, you are very precious to God.

He answered his prayer

Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. (v.12)

We grossly underestimate the value of prayer.  The God that created heaven and earth hears you and will answer you.  Daniel’s prayer was answered.  God will answer yours, too.

Have a blessed day today as you live in the light of His glorious presence!

Posted by: Tim Parsons

August 27, 2014

Today you should read: Daniel 9

Vs. 1-2 Daniel had observed from the books of the prophets, primarily Jeremiah, that there would be a time of desolation and calamity for Jerusalem because of the sin of God’s people.  You can see the same thing Daniel likely saw in Jeremiah 25:8-14 and 29:10-14.  This time of judgment and desolation at the hands of Babylon would last 70 years.

 

Vs. 3-19 Daniel’s response to what he read was to go before the Lord in a passionate prayer of confession and repentance on behalf of God’s people.  He acknowledged the sin of his forefathers and pleaded for the Lord to restore them for the Lord’s glory.  Verse 19 is a great summary of the entire prayer:

“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”—Daniel 9:19

Vs. 20-27 There is so much information contained in these verses that it would take multiple pages to cover all of it.  So, let me keep it short and sweet.

Daniel’s prayer garnered an immediate response.  The Lord spoke to Daniel through the angel Gabriel, who spoke to Daniel some prophecy with some real specific time periods.  Contained in Gabriel’s response are prophecies about the coming Messiah.   We can look back now and see the remarkable accuracy of the timing of this prophecy.  This gives us more evidence of Christ as Messiah.

Ok.What can we do with this passage today? What does it have to do with us?  Here are a couple thoughts for application:

1. Pray- Daniel’s example of prayer and confession is admirable.  When he learned the reason for Israel’s desolation and judgment, he went to the Lord in repentance and dependence.  We can learn a lot from his example.  He prayed for his people.  He prayed for the city.  He prayed for God’s glory.  May we be a people who recognize God’s sovereignty and go to Him in dependent prayer and repentance for our city and for His glory.

2. Celebrate– The fact that the prophecy of Daniel about the coming Christ actually happened is something to celebrate.  Jesus came to the earth to put an end to sin and make atonement for our iniquity.  That’s good news.  I don’t want to just celebrate the “idea” that Jesus came and that it makes for a good fairy tale type of story;  I want to celebrate the “fact” that this stuff really did happen just as it was prophesied.  What a great story!  What a great gospel!

Posted by: Rich Duffield