I'm still learning that there is no virtue in reading about Abraham's obedience. I must obey his God. There is no virtue in studying Jesus' words. I must put them into practice.
Of all of God’s creation, human beings are the most unique and frustrated. Made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26), we have the capacity to think, create, and question. Curious, we stretch to grasp things we can never understand with our finite minds and we grow frustrated. However, Daniel, who was just as curious as we, believed and trusted God to reveal the truth about the end of time at the appropriate time—whether he could understand it or not.
But the truth is we can't know everything. Most of the time we don't even fully know our own reasons for our actions—how can we possibly know the mind of another?
“The living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten” (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 9:5). Anyone with such a philosophy would come to the same conclusion Solomon did: life under the sun is empty. But is this really true of God’s servants? Daniel, as he comes to the close of his book, received a vision of four groups of people who will have significant lives in the future and on into eternity—not forgotten by God.
Brought to the very edge of prophecy, the angel showed Daniel the cruelty of war between the successors of Alexander the Great on into the demonic warfare of the Antichrist. For us, what we see in history shows us the grim picture of what is to come for those who will enter the tribulation—inescapable worldwide war—without Christ.
Oh, I understand that our example is Christ…and that the standard is high…and that our motives are to be pure. But it needs to be repeated again and again and again: Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.
The ancients were comfortable with the truth that reality exists in two worlds—the physical and the spiritual. Yet we moderns sneer at such ancient mythology, while our hobgoblins whisper, “The ancients were right.” Daniel understood that two realities exist. And with another angelic visitation he would come to know how real the unseen world really is.
Crises are deemed to be negative changes in life especially when they occur abruptly. Since a crisis is a testing time or an emergency event, we may panic, become stressed, or struggle to cope as a result.
When the calendar turns and we face a new year, many of us ask ourselves common questions. What changes will take place in my life this year? What difference will I make in the next 12 months? Since Jesus offered His people abundant life, it makes sense for His people to reflect on such significant thoughts. What better time for reflection on the big questions than at the start of a new year?
When was the last time you gave a gift to a loved one expecting a payment in return? Probably never because if you receive payment for a gift, it ceases to be a gift! Likewise, God’s gift of salvation has been freely given. We can’t earn it and He doesn’t expect payment for it. God wrapped His indescribable gift in eternity, equality, deity, and humility. Open it today!