This mornings Bible reading is Daniel 7-12 if you are following along in our Bible reading program. These scriptures are the visions and prophesies that Daniel received while in exile in Babylon. It is interesting reading but like Daniel, we are often perplexed and wearied by these things.
There are those who try to take these visions and read into them all kinds of things about the end times. There are others who say that all of these prophesies have been fulfilled already with the rise of the Greek and Roman empires. There are still others who say these are not literal things that are going to happen but they are symbolic of the end of various ages. I am fascinated by these theories and enjoy hearing them. But I must admit that I don't buy every little theory that comes along... especially when I hear someone claiming authority by saying "God revealed to me..."!
I have argued end-time prophesy with the many. I find it fun and enjoyable. But I contend that there are somethings that are meant to be known and somethings that will remain hidden even to the righteous, like Daniel. The vision was given. An explanation was given. But understanding is not always clear and can be troubling.
But there is a message and application that we can get from these passages. I like what the messenger told Daniel in the end, “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance” (Da 12:13). I think the message that we clearly can take from any prophesy in the Bible is this: 1. God is in control of all of this. 2. Stay faithful to the end. 3. Your faithfulness will be reward in your eternal home in heaven.
Keep reading and exploring the Word of truth!
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father; I praise you because you are mighty and your throne is established forever and ever. You are in control of all things. History and the future belong to you. I pray that you will give me the strength to remain faithful even when times get tough. I ask you to give me wisdom and understand to know what you want me to know and to be content with what you reveal to me. I thank you for my salvation through Jesus Christ, your Son. It is in his name that I pray. AMEN!
Romans 12:1-8 - Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
I just watched a group of children playing basketball. The coach was busy shouting encouragement and instructions but the players weren't listening. They were all doing their own things. One of the boys who must have thought he was "God's gift to basketball" was hogging the ball. The other kids were running around shouting "I'm open" when they were clearly not. One boy even sat down on the court! Needless to say the game was not going well for anyone. They were not playing as a team and nothing was being accomplished.
I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul starts this chapter out by saying that we should be a living sacrifice. In other words, we need to die to ourselves. Our old selfish ways, the ways of the world, need to be killed off so that we can live for Jesus. That means we humbly serve together for the will and way of God. We work as a team to accomplish the goals of the our Heavenly Father.
Each of us have a part in playing on this team. God has called us, given us his Spirit, and given us a task. If one person tries to do it all he will accomplish nothing. If the others aren't playing their part then others will have to overwork to compensate... again nothing good is accomplished. And if we all are not giving our best to God then we aren't really giving anything at all.
So let's get to it. Let's get our head in the game and work together for the glory of God. Then we will truly see amazing things happen in our church and in our community.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are the coach. You have all the knowledge and insight on how the game is played. You wrote the playbook. Forgive me for trying to be the star. Forgive me for not playing well with the other members of the team. Help me to sacrifice my pride and my selfish desires so that I may do what you have called me to do. Help me to work and play well with the others on the team. In Jesus' name. AMEN.
I place my attention in this precious moment
I release my plans and motives
I let go of unmet needs and unrealistic expectations
I choose to forgive and let go
I put tomorrow in the Lord’s hands
I trust his providence and provision
I fill this moment with his love and grace
In doing so I find strength and peace for today
Joshua 1:6 – Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
It had been 40 years since Joshua and Caleb had spied out the land with the other ten men from Israel. Joshua and Caleb had been the only two who stood their ground when they gave the report to the people. They knew that they could do it with God’s help. He would be with them. But the people cried out that they couldn’t do it.
Now Joshua was older, more mature, and in charge. Moses was dead and Joshua would have to lead the children of Israel into Canaan and face the walls of Jericho. Do you think that he was feeling his age now? Do you think he had doubts or fears? Do you think he questioned if the people were ready? Do you think maybe he wondered if he was ready to lead?
The Bible doesn’t say he faced these questions. The walls of Jericho were high and wide. It is said that the walls were impenetrable. God doesn’t know something that is too big for him but we of human frailty know!
I know that we often face walls that seem impenetrable. Sometimes the walls are ones we have built ourselves. Sometimes they are walls that have been built by others or by the circumstances of life. But we all have big walls that need to fall down.
In my spiritual walk with Jesus I see some walls that seem pretty impressive. How can the walls of fear, doubt, temptation, addiction, selfishness, pride, and sin come falling down?
Well, if you remember the story, Joshua and the people did not bring down the walls of Jericho. God did it. All they had to do was follow his directions. They were to march around those monstrously impressive walls one time each day for six days. On the seventh day they were to walk around the wall seven times. And on the seventh time they were to blow trumpet and shout. And the walls of Jericho fell flat.
So as we prepare for God to tear down the walls let us stand faithfully and follow his instructions.
As we prepare for revival we need to be praying each day. Here are some suggestions for you spiritual walk around the wall each day. Pray this as you go:
Day 1: Our revival speaker and musicians
Day 2: Our church leaders
Day 3: Our church
Day 4: Our community
Day 5: Our country
Day 6: Our Youth
Day 7: Our sick, shut-in, elderly
Keep walking and praying. The walls will fall down.
Prayer Thought: Dear God, Today, I stand before the walls and I see just how big they are. But I know that I have a God that is even bigger than the biggest wall. And you are the one who can bring them all down. Help me to trust in you and not be overwhelmed by obstacles that stand in my way. I want to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
So often I have found myself trying to do it all by myself because I am self-sufficient and don't need to rely on anyone. Besides, no one does it like I do or as good as I do and so it is better to do it myself.
When you put it down on paper or listen to yourself say it the words are rather egotistical and harsh. But it is really what most of us are thinking when we take to a task.
In His book, Basics, by Francis Chan, he tells us, "This type of individuality is common among Westerners. We’re raised with the mind-set that we create our own identities and shape our own destinies. We’re taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstrap. If you believe it , you can achieve it – even if the whole world tries to stand in our way.”
But this is not the case when we begin to look at what fellowship is all about. Christ has joined us together as one body. He has made us citizen's of God's Kingdom and members of his own household. As Christ pulls us together he builds us into this magnificent building for the purpose of worshiping and serving God together.
There is no ego in church work. Our identity is in Christ. Our purpose is in Christ. Our mission is in Christ.
So here is the real question: How can I learn to put God first and begin to work together for the furtherance of His kingdom? Think about it.
Prayer Thought: Dear God in heaven, Help me to get my own ego out of the way and work together with my brothers and sisters to advance the gospel of Christ and expand your kingdom on earth. Let us work together in unity and love. In Jesus' name, Amen.
I just wanted to let you know that I write a little blog almost every day. It is a devotion designed to help motivate you toward losing weight. Having said that, many people read my blog even if they are not wanting to lose weight. They read it because it helps them to refocus their lives on God rather than on self. If you are interested in checking it out follow the link below.