But as for you, go on your way to the end; you will rest, then rise to your destiny at the end of the days. Daniel 12:13 HCSB
With age it is only natural to worry about declining health and if there will be enough money in retirement. With older age comes the death of loved ones and concern about the future and who will care for us if needed. We may even worry about what death and heaven will be like.
Daniel was assured that he did not need to worry. God was in control and everything was in His capable hands. God does not want us to be burdened by worry; He especially does not want us to worry about the future, but instead to trust Him. God’s Word reminds us, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 HCSB
Challenge: Are you ready for the end of the days? With God you do not have to worry because He has everything under control. Trust Him to take care of all that concerns you.
“He will make a firm covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.” Daniel 9:27 HCSB
A church where I have served discovered that the gym and school had been built with concrete blocks without any steel rebar to give the walls structural integrity. As a result, the church spent a great sum of money to have steel and concrete put in the walls to strengthen the structure. The engineer said that the walls in the gym were standing by the grace of God. He was surprised that the walls had not come down as a result of strong winds or some seismic activity.
Any good builder lays a solid foundation and then makes sure the walls are strong and reinforced. The steel in the walls provides the strength needed to withstand strong winds, earthquakes, and even fire and floods. As believers we need a strong foundation in Jesus Christ, but we also need reinforcement to help us weather the storms of life. With Christ as our Foundation and God as our Protector, we can face the many obstacles that life throws at us. In the end times there will be tribulations, but with Christ we can stand strong against whatever Satan may bring our way.
Challenge: Are you ready for the end times? Even though you may face trials and tribulations, you can be assured that God is with you to strengthen and help you when you face obstacles that seem unsurmountable.
“Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city – to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.” Daniel 9:24 HCSB
How would you describe your perfect world? Would it be a place where there was no more pain or suffering? Would it be a place where everyone had enough food and clean water? Would it be a place where everyone was happy and got along with others? Would it be a place where people willingly loved others without any prejudice? The perfect world is what God created from the very beginning of time, but man contaminated it by rebelling against God and bringing sin into the world. Because of our sin against God we live in an imperfect world.
This verse promises that we will encounter suffering and pain, but eventually there will be a place where there is no more sin or iniquity. There will be everlasting righteousness. Would your perfect world be a place of everlasting righteousness? It is hard to imagine what everlasting righteousness might look like.
Challenge: Pray for everlasting righteousness. Do what you can to create a perfect world. Pray for those who may be suffering and do not seem to have any hope. Assure them that God is in control and someday the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will return to our world and He will bring everlasting righteousness. There will be a perfect world where there is no more suffering, pain, or death. Praise God for making it possible for you to be a part of His eternal, everlasting world.
“At the beginning of your petitions an answer went out, and I have come to give it, for you are treasured by God. So consider the message and understand the vision.” Daniel 9:23 HCSB
My father passed away about eight years ago as a result of a brain tumor. He was my best friend. Anytime I had a problem or question I always went to my father for his advice. I miss him but know that he is now in a much better place. I have my father’s Bible that he used while preaching and another smaller Bible he used for funerals and weddings. I treasure both of these Bibles and use the smaller one whenever I perform the ceremony for a funeral or wedding. To me, they are priceless treasures.
It is interesting that the messenger from God tells Daniel that he is treasured by God and that God had heard his petitions and has answered through the vision Daniel had seen. The messenger was going to provide an interpretation of the vision so Daniel would understand. Certainly, Daniel was treasured by God because he sought to follow God’s plan and direction in his life and was willing to go against the crowd and popular opinion to do what was right in the eyes of God.
Challenge: Do you think you are treasured in the eyes of God? If not, what do you need to do to be treasured by God? How could you become more like Daniel and seek God’s will and direction in your life? Pray for wisdom and guidance in everything you do. Be willing to take a stand and go against the common thoughts and ideas of today.
While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sins and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before Yahweh my God concerning the holy mountain of my God – while I was praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the first vision, came to me in my extreme weariness, about the time of the evening offering. Daniel 9:20-21 HCSB
Have you ever really prayed urgently and with passion? I can remember several years ago praying for our daughter, Sarah, with that type of fervency. I received a phone call from my wife telling me that Sarah had been involved in an auto accident and the emergency medical technicians were putting her in an ambulance to take her to the hospital. I was attending a conference three and half hours away from home. As I made the long drive home, I prayed for my daughter to be healed of her injuries. I arrived at the hospital to discover that my daughter had three compressed vertebrae, a broken nose, a sprained knee, and a broken orbit around her eye that later had to be repaired with surgery. I don’t believe I have ever prayed as hard and as fervently as I did that day. Sarah will always have the effects of that terrible accident that was not her fault, but she has healed as much as possible and is currently a stay at home mom for our grandson, Logan, and is expecting another child
in February of next year.
Each day Daniel fervently prayed confessing not only his sins but the sins of others. He took his requests to God. We have the same privilege to take our petitions and requests to God. He wants to have a conversation with you and earnestly seeks to have a relationship with you.
Challenge: Make a list of your requests and petitions. Take these before God in prayer, seeking His will to be done in each situation. Thank God that you can take your requests to Him and that He hears your prayers.
“But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.” Daniel 7:18 HCSB
There seems to be a never-ending quest to stop the aging process and live forever. Men and women dye their hair. Some have plastic surgery to tighten sagging skin so as to look younger. Others exercise and eat a healthy diet in an attempt to stay young and live longer.
There is only one way to live forever and that is to invite Jesus Christ, the Son of God to be your personal Lord and Savior. The Bible is clear that everyone has sinned and rebelled against God and the result is death and separation from Him. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross as a way of paying the penalty for all of the sins of the world. He was then buried and three days later came back to life. Through Jesus Christ, all can be forgiven and receive eternal life.
In Daniel’s vision he was told that the holy ones (believers in Jesus Christ) will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever. In John 14:2 Jesus promises His disciples that He is going to prepare a place in heaven for them and that He will come again and take them to be with Him. As believers in Jesus, we have that same promise. Someday we will possess the kingdom of God and we will live forever and ever.
Challenge: If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can pray and invite Him into your life. It is as simple as A-B-C. Admit you are a sinner. Believe Jesus is the Son of God and He died and rose from the dead. Confess Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. If you are already a believer, share with someone how he or she can live forever by believing in Jesus Christ.
“I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom, so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14 HCSB
I enjoy photography and especially nature and landscape photography. While on vacation, I will get up early to capture pictures of the sunrise and I am always watching for the perfect sunset. The clouds are what makes a sunrise or sunset so beautiful. The sun peaks through the clouds and creates all shades of color. It is a breathtaking sight and causes me to think about what an awesome God we serve. The touch of God’s creative hand is in every sunrise and sunset.
The vision Daniel experienced was one of the end times when Jesus Christ will establish His eternal kingdom. Just imagine what it must have looked like with Jesus, the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. I am certain that there is not a sunrise or sunset that would compare to the beauty of Christ coming with the clouds. Jesus used this verse in Daniel to refer to Himself. (Matthew 26:64) God’s glory has appeared in the clouds. (Exodus 16:10)
Challenge: Are you prepared to meet the Lord on that final day? It will be a beautiful sight worshiping our Lord and Savior with people from every nation. Praise God for the beauty of His creation and for providing a way for people to be forgiven and spend eternity in Heaven with Him. As a believer, you will be a part of His kingdom that will never pass away. Hallelujah!
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A river of fire was flowing, coming out from His presence. Thousands upon thousands served Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was convened, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:10 HCSB
My grandmother was the Justice of the Peace in Amarillo, Texas for 25 years. She retired at age 75 and was known affectionately as “Judge Potter,” which we fittingly put on her tombstone. She was known to be a tough but fair judge. Many different cases were brought before her to be decided. The gavel she used in her courtroom is now proudly displayed on a desk that once was my grandmother’s that is now in my living room.
My grandmother judged a variety of cases, however the vision Daniel saw was the last judgment at which many people will give an account of their lives to be judged by God. The fire represented judgment and the thousands upon thousands represented millions of people who were standing before the judgment seat. We will all someday stand before our Heavenly Father and give an account of our lives.
Challenge: How would you measure up if you were standing before Almighty God at this moment and He was judging your life? What would He say about your life? Live each day as though you were going to stand before God’s judgment and give an account of how well you have used the gifts and talents He has provided for you.
“As I kept watching, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of His head like whitest wool. His throne was flaming fire; its wheels were blazing fire.” Daniel 7:9 HCSB
Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon I was awestruck by its beauty. It is absolutely amazing. I find it hard for anyone to not believe in our creative God. The beauty of the Grand Canyon is without comparison and is hard to describe with mere words. Not even a picture does it justice. One must stand at the rim of the Grand Canyon and take in the beauty of God’s creation to really appreciate its magnificence.
Just as words fail to describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon, words fail to describe the majesty of God. Daniel’s description of God pales in comparison to what he actually saw. God having a body and hair may or may not be true. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well that, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). We must assume that Daniel’s description is more imaginative than literal. When it is difficult to describe something, we usually use words the other person might relate to or understand. Daniel’s description of God is similar to the description of Christ in John’s Patmos vision in Revelation 1:12-20. The term “Ancient of Days” describes the eternal nature of God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Challenge: We can only imagine what the majesty of God really looks like. Know that a wonderful and creative God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. Thank God that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and that you can always trust in His faithfulness and character. Listen to “Ancient of Days” as sung by Petra (one of my favorite groups) on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjSfS4Jv1WQ