Monday, July 6, 2020

Daniel 6:25-28

Daniel 6:25-28 
English Standard Version (ESV) 

  Remember what happened here -- Daniel prayed, was caught praying, and was thrown into the lions' den.  Not exactly revolutionary activities, but his simple commitment to faithfulness led to the king issuing a decree for all people to 'tremble and fear before the God of Daniel'.  God's ability to deliver and rescue were proclaimed throughout the kingdom because of Daniel's acts of prayer in the midst of chaotic times.
  Friends, we never know what God might do through our acts of faith, no matter how small they may be.  Daniel may have known that his time in prayer would have consequences, but did he realize they would extend far beyond himself?  Likewise, we're never completely sure of the consequences of our actions, and I doubt that we recognize that God is able to do mighty works that extend far beyond our reach through our faithfulness.  
  So may we be faithful in small and simple ways, spending time in prayer, and entrusting to God the spreading of the Gospel, for God can do far more than we can ask or imagine!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Daniel 6:19-24

Daniel 6:19-24 
English Standard Version (ESV)

  What do you believe that God might be able to do?
  Here, the king is overjoyed that the man he threw into a den of lions and left him there all night wasn't eaten by these lions.  My first though is that perhaps he needs better lions...  My second question is how often does he utilize this den of lions?  Does he keep them around just in case?  Who does this?  Anyway...  he goes to the lions' den with hope, which is an interesting contrast with the women who go to the tomb on that first Easter morning.
  Think about it -- they have gathered spices and are going to anoint the body.  Despite Jesus' proclamations that he would die and rise again, no one believed that his visit to the tomb was just a sojourn -- they'd watched him die, and that was the end.  They didn't show up at the tomb and shout questions into it to see if Jesus would answer.
  But the king in Daniel's story showed up at the den expecting for Daniel to be alive!  He didn't tiptoe around the tomb, wondering if there was some small chance that he might have survived.  There was anguish, but he shouts a question into the den with the expectation that there might be an answer.  The king had likely seen countless people enter this den, but none had survived yet, but there was something clearly possible through Daniel's God...
  God can do amazing things.  Even though they may not make sense to us, God is at work.  God has not and will not abandon us.  Sometimes, we're at the point in the story where we are getting thrown into the den of lions, and we can't see the end and we wonder where God is at.  Just because we don't have the whole story in front of us, this doesn't mean that God doesn't still do miracles, that God isn't still at work.  God loves you and cares for you and is at work in your life, transforming you, sanctifying you, loving you, providing for you.
  What do you believe that God might be able to do?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Books of the Bible in Five Minutes: Ruth

The book of Ruth, only 4 chapter long, is a quick read.  Occurring during the time of the Judges, it's a story of faithfulness and devotion that can be helpful to us today.