The Kingdom to Come…

Read: Daniel 7-8
Marked: Daniel 7:14, Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

In a vision Daniel sees successive kings and kingdoms through the years of time. And then he sees, “One like the Son of Man” who approaches the Ancient of Days.

This is Jesus Christ who receives dominion and glory and a kingdom. While the world today is grappling with politics and protests regarding issues of racism, the Kingdom of Christ is for all peoples, nations, and languages.

Christ’s Kingdom is unlike any kingdom the earth has ever seen. It is an everlasting Kingdom, one which will not pass away, and not be destroyed.

It will be the last kingdom. It will be the eternal kingdom of the Eternal King, and those set apart to Jesus will receive it, even forever and ever. Seek first this kingdom.

This World is not our Home…

Read: Daniel 5-6
Marked: Daniel 6:16, So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”

Daniel had been removed from everything he had know and loved and was taken as a captive to Babylon to live under the rule of the Babylonians and their laws. Yet, Daniel did not compromise his faith in the one true God.

When a new law was enacted that threatened capital punishment on anyone breaking the law for worshipping any god but the king, what does Daniel do?

Daniel 6:10, Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

Daniel simply did as was his custom. He was known and respected as a man of faith, a servant of God, and rose in his position, though a captive, in this foreign government.

He had influence on the king. This king, and others, recognized the hand of God on this humble man. Nowhere do we see Daniel rise up in opposition to the government, demand his rights, or call for the return to worship in Jerusalem.

This is striking in contrast to some Christian leaders today, rather than representing God, demand to be allowed to worship where they insist they must.

I think the words of this pagan king say it all, “Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.”

Are we witnesses of God, and known as faithful representatives of Him and His word to the extent where our government leaders, and the population would say this of us?

We are but strangers and pilgrims here. This world is not our home.

An Idol or God?…

Read: Daniel 3-4
Marked: Daniel 3:17-18, “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

The three friends of Daniel have been condemned to death for not bowing down and worshipping the golden image the king had set up. They were right to do so.

The world doesn’t care who, or what, you worship or bow down to, as long as it isn’t the God of the Bible. That’s why sports stars, Hollywood celebrities, and other famous people are called idols.

But God cares. It is the first and second of the Ten Commandments, “You will have no other gods; and you will not make for yourself an idol.”

Only the God of heaven and earth is worthy of worship. Giving ourselves over in worship to false gods is blasphemy. These three men loved God and knew He could rescue them. But, even if He didn’t, they were still not going to worship an idol made by the hand of man. That’s true Faith.

Don’t Destroy Others…

Read: Daniel 1-2
Marked: Daniel 2:24, Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He went and said thus to him: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I will tell the king the interpretation.”

The king of Babylon had had a dream. His wise men asked the king to tell them the dream. He refused and subsequently decided to destroy all the wise men including Daniel. But Daniel asked for time to seek God and God gave him the dream and it’s meaning.

Daniel had an opportunity at this point to advance himself and become the greatest of the wise men of Babylon by getting rid of the competition. But Daniel didn’t do that. Instead he asks that they be spared.

A man of God is not a man of self or of vengeance. The word Daniel had received had been given to him by God. It would dishonour God if Daniel used what he had been given to advance himself.

Daniel committed himself completely into the hand of God. Which is where all true men of God should place themselves.

Sealed by the King…

Read: Esther 6-10
Marked: Esther 8:8, “You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”

Haman had wickedly set into motion the destruction of the Jews. What he didn’t know, however, was that Queen Esther was a Jew and she had appealed to the king and so, Haman was hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai.

But the law to destroy the Jews Haman had had the king pass was irrevocable and the time was swiftly coming for the destruction of the Jews.

We too have an enemy whose mission is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). But Jesus came to bring us life.

The decree that Mordecai writes, and sealed with the kings own signet ring, enabled the Jews to defend themselves and overcome their enemy.

But the decree that Jesus writes is a covenant sealed with His own blood and frees us completely from the schemes of the enemy.

I don’t have to defend myself against him; Jesus is my defence. What I am unable to do in my own strength, Jesus does for me. Jesus is the King of kings.

The Scepter is Extended…

Read: Esther 1-5
Marked: Esther 4:11, “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.”

Esther was taking her life in her hands. If the king did not extend the scepter to her she would killed according to the law.

This king wielded a scepter of uncertainty. How unlike my King, my God, whose throne is “forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of His kingdom” (Psalms 45:6).

My King rules righteously and those in need can come to Him and find His scepter extended to them to receive them because He calls the least, the broken, and the hurting.

We have a King who sympathizes with our weaknesses. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Are you in need? Do you need grace and forgiveness? You will find it and obtain mercy at the throne of Jesus. His scepter is extended to you.

Keeping Your Building from Decay…

Read: Ecclesiastes 10-12
Marked: Ecclesiastes 10:18, Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.

Building maintenance is required to keep a building from deteriorating. Our body, which the Bible calls the temple of God, is like a building that requires regular maintenance.

Our spiritual building needs regular minor, and sometimes, major maintenance, and occasional, repair. This work is accomplished through the application of the word of God.

But, like any physical structure, if we get lazy, or idle, and don’t do the work of repair, water can get in and start rot. Sometimes bugs find their way into the interior and cause damage.

A daily reading of God’s word, and the application of it, keeps our spiritual building in top condition for years to come.

There is a Judgment to Come…

Ecclesiastes 7-9
Marked: Ecclesiastes 8:8, No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.

The Bible teaches that the spirit of man at death returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

No matter how hard we might try we have no control over where and when death takes us. As much as we may long to live, the death rate is still one per person and a 100 % certainty.

The Bible says we are appointed to die once, but after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Whether we live righteously or live wickedly, death takes us all eventually. Fighting this does not change this fact. But at the judgment there will be a judgment of the righteous and a judgment of the wicked.

Only during our lives on earth do we have the choice how we shall live. Wickedness shall not deliver those who are given to it.

The Living and the Dead…

Read: Ecclesiastes 4:2-3
Marked: Ecclesiastes 4:2-3, Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive. Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

Solomon sees life as vanity, whether rich or poor, there are issues and struggled that everyone faces.

He thinks the dead are better off than the living because the dead know no troubles and no longer suffer.

Then he considers the one who never existed, who is “better than both“. A very pessimistic perspective.

As hard and difficult as life can be, the dead and those that never existed can’t enjoy or know fellowship and love, the beauty of a sunrise, or the colours of a sunset.

They no longer feel the warmth of the summer sun, or the quiet stillness of a winters day, or experience the laughter of their child.

Yes, there is much evil under the sun. There is much good too, and much to be thankful to God for.

Where is Your Treasure?…

Read: Ecclesiastes 1-3
Marked: Ecclesiastes 2:15, So I said in my heart, “As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This also is vanity.”

Since the fool and the wise both die, why should one be wise? But there is the wisdom of the world and there is wisdom that is from God.

A truly wise man will seek God and live according to the word of God. While the fool forsakes his relationship with God to enjoy the pleasures of the world.

Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-22).

A wise man works and lays up treasure for the future. Our time on earth is short, but eternity is forever.