Thursday, February 25, 2021

GROW- Daniel 7

Go to God in Prayer

Read - Daniel 7


This is a chapter filled with prophecy, and there is so much here to dive into that I am going to leave that to the Biblical scholars.  Instead I want to take a brief glimpse into God's court, this is the time to study from a sensory awareness perspective.

Daniel 7:9-10
“I watched till thrones were [d]put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
10 A fiery stream issued
And came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The [e]court was seated,
And the books were opened.

Place yourself in this place, imagine the immense of the clothing and the hair.  So white that it is blinding.

Feel the heat of the fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire.  Then even more heat from the river of fire.

Now watch the flurry of angels - thousands and thousands are attending to God. What are they doing exactly?  What would you be doing if your only job was to attend to God.  

Then there were millions and millions standing before God.  Why were they standing there?  Because they were about to be judged by the all knowing and all powerful God. What would be going through your mind if you were before God waiting to be judged?  Fear of going to hell for eternity or excitement and anticipation of learning what rewards you will receive?

Write the Lesson

I hope and pray that you are a believer in Christ because He has already taken your punishment upon himself when he died on the cross.  Your debt is already paid.  All that is left is to be judged by how well you have lived out your life in Christ in order to receive your rewards in heaven.  

Exodus 20:1-4
And God spoke these things all these words, saying,
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image - not any likeness of anything that is from in heaven above, or anything that is from in the earth beneath, or that is from in the water below under the earth, 

Typing out verse 5 and 6 to try to get the words in my brain :-)
you shall not bow to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

GROW -Daniel 6

Go to God in Prayer

Read - Daniel 6 


Most know the story of Daniel in the lion's den and the miracle God performed when He protected Daniel from the lions.  But the reason he was thrown in the lion's den in the first place is just as fascinating.

Remember that the Medes have taken over the kingdom, and Darius, the leader of the Medes has put Daniel in a high position.  Verses 1-2 tells us that there are 120 princes and only three governors to supervise the princes. Daniel was one of these governors.

Daniel 6:3 
Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.

Verse 3 tells us that Daniel was filled with the Holy Spirit and because of this he was doing a much better job than the other 2 governors.  The king was thinking of promoting him to govern over the whole kingdom!  

From Daniel's perspective, he was doing what was right in God's eyes.  He was filled with the Holy Spirit and very in tune to God.  He was able to be so receptive to God's guidance because of his devotion to the Word and his prayer time with God.  

Now imagine how the other 2 governors would react to this.  What is their perspective?  Even though they were also named as governors, they were not performing as well as Daniel.  Daniel is simply doing better than they were and it angered them.

Daniel 6:4
Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. 

The governors found themselves jealous of Daniel and obsessed with finding some fault in him.  They were looking for a way to get him fired.  But because Daniel was so devout there was no fault in him.  

What was left to do but turn his goodness and his faith against him.  They came up with a scheme that tricked the king into making it illegal to show devotion to anyone other than the king. They knew that Daniel was devoted and would continue to pray, which would now break the law. What did Daniel do when he heard about this law?  

Daniel 6:10
But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 

Did he run and hide when he prayed?  Not at all! He never faltered and never changed how he worship God.  His main priority was to pray to God, to be close to Him, to worship Him.  So when this new law placed that relationship in jeopardy he did what he had always done and he continued to pray.  The priority to worship God remained Daniel's priority. He was willing to suffer the worldly consequences because he was not willing to let man and man's laws come between him and God. 

Write the lesson

The lesson for us in how to walk through life is laid out nicely in verse 4.
  • be faithful to God and devoted to Him
  • be responsible and always do the right thing.  If you are not sure what the right thing is, ask God 
  • be trustworthy, never give anyone a reason to not trust you.  In other words, always be honest and dependable 
The lesson for how to respond to the world around us is in verse 10.  No matter what the world is doing or what laws are put into place, if they are against God we should not follow them.  Nothing should ever come between our relationship with God.  

I have only been doing memory verses here on Mondays but I decided this is not frequent enough for me.  I am using an app called Remember Me and it provides a few verses to review or learn daily.  I am reciting them to myself daily, but I need the extra help of writing them out to see if I am learning them correctly.  I will only type daily what the app tells me is due.

Today the only passage due is Exodus 20:1-17, but I still have only learned verses 1-4

And God said spoke all these words saying  "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness not of anything from that is in  heaven above, or of anything from that is in the earth below beneath, or of anything from  that is in the waters under the earth.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Memory Monday


Time to see how I did this week.  I haven't worked on new verses as much as would have liked, mostly worked on these...

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me to beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me down  in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil
for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
You anoint my head with oil,
My cup runs over
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil,
My cup runs over
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christand I no longer live, 
But Christ lives in me.
I live in this body by having faith in Christ
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God
who loved me and died for me.

2Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ 
He is a new creation
The old is gone, the new has come

Galatians 5:22-23
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faith, gentleness and self control
There is no law against these things
Against such things there is no law.

Exodus 20:1-4  (should be verses 1-17, but I have only worked on 1-4 so far)
And God spoke all of these words saying
I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image - not anything in the any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or anything on that is in the earth below beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

GROW - Psalm 47

Go to God in prayer

Read - Psalm 47


Clearly this is a Psalm of pure praise.  A psalm of exuberant praise and worship.  The kind that gets you up off your feet and worshipping, not because that is what everyone around you is doing, but because you simply have to worship.   If you have not experienced this type of worship I encourage you to get yourself to a contemporary church service, especially if they have a live band.  There is just something about experiencing the power of the drums in person.  This video is one that has stuck with me for a long time, one that I will revisit when I need the power of the a bunch of Marines worshiping!

Write the lesson  
Learn to worship in the way the Israelites worshipped - with complete joy, unrestrained cheerfulness and holy enthusiasm.  All for the glory of God. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

GROW -Psalm 46

Go to God in Prayer

Read - Psalm 46 


Let's jump right in and look at the first two verses...

Psalm 46: 1-2
God is our refuge and strength,
    always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
    and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Here we are given a promise and a response.  The promise is that God is always with us, He is our strength and the only one needed in times of trouble.  Our response to having faith that God is in control is that we do not need to fear.  We don't need to fear natural disasters or persecution or even personal attacks.  No matter what, God is in control so we need not fear.  

Of course that is often easier said than done.  We experience fear and we worry, some more than others.  And that is the point here.  I saw a quote years ago that sticks with me. 

If you are worrying, you are not praying.
If you are praying, you are not worrying.

Keep this close to your heart and I am positive that you too will have less fear because you are too busy praying!

This Psalm also contains one of my favorite verses.  

Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

This is a direct command from God - to "Be still",  I have seen other versions use the phrases "Be Silent", "Calm Down" "Stop your fighting".   In my Mama paraphrase I might say "Knock it off!"  God is calling us to stop and slow down.  Chill out and calm yourself.  But why?  So that we can turn off the world and be open to what God is trying to tell us.  Simply that He is God.

Write the lesson

As we draw closer to God our faith increases and we get to know Him more and more.  We begin to understand what it means when He says "I am God!"  When we know that, then we simply have no fear, no matter what this world throws at us.   He is God, He is in control, and He has saved from this world.

Friday, February 19, 2021

GROW - Psalm 45

Go to God in prayer

Read Psalm 45


Clearly this is a love song, written for a wedding.  If you are married, think back to the hours leading up to your wedding.  What were you doing?  You were preparing, you were doing everything possible to look your best for your special day.  You were nervous, but filled with joy.  The day had finally arrived.

I once heard it said that you can find Jesus on every page of the Old Testament.  The church is the bride of Christ, this is a prophetic song written for the church.  Reread the Psalm as if it were you waiting in your chamber (verse 13) to meet your groom.  In what state of mind are you in while you are waiting for Christ to return?  Nervous, but filled with joy, you are preparing.

Although verse 8 is written in the context of the groom, it really gives us practical application while we wait.  

Psalm 45:7
You love what is right and hate what is wrong.
    Therefore God, your God, has anointed you,
    pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.

Don't you want to be completely drenched in that "oil of joy"?!  I know that I am already "anointed" because I am a believer in Christ, but am I fully walking on the "paths of righteousness for His namesake" (Psalm 23)?  What can I be doing differently?  What changes do I need to make in my life or in my heart or in my ways of thinking?  What can I change right this very moment to have more "oil of joy"? 

Write the lesson

While we wait for Christ's return for the church - the bride of Christ, we should be preparing ourselves as a bride prepares for her wedding.  We should be making immediate changes in our lives that place more in the centre of the path of godly living.  

Thursday, February 18, 2021

GROW - Daniel 5

Reminder of the GROW method that I am using to study these chapter...

G - Go to God in prayer
R - Read the selected scripture passage
O - Observe such as Who, What, Where, When , Why or use sensory application such as imagining the heat of the fire, the smells of the scene such as the smells on the ark, the sounds of the crowds etc
W - Write the lessons you have learned today

Go to God in prayer

Read Daniel 5


This was a night of celebration.  Imagine being at a grand royal feast with a thousand noblemen.  The food would be the best you have ever had, the best musicians playing, everyone dressed in their very best.  It would be have been exciting and enchanting.  But it wasn't enough for the king.  He remembered all the treasures that King Neb had looted from the temple all those years ago.  He ordered them to be brought to the feast so that they could drink from them.  This seems to be the first step in his downfall.

They made toasts to their pagan gods and drank from the very cups that had been dedicated to God. In verse 5 it says Suddenly, they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall...  God immediately began to correct them.

The chapter goes on to find Daniel interpreting the writing and explaining to the king what it all meant.  He also explained why King Neb had his downfall and how he recovered from it.

Downfall - Daniel 5:20 But when his heart and mind were puffed up with arrogance, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.

Recovery - Daniel 5:21 He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God rules over the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone he desires to rule over them.

Essentially, pride is the downfall, and freedom comes from understanding that God is the Creator of the Universe.

Daniel then chastises the current king in verse 22 for not learning the lessons of King Neb.  He goes on to list the four reasons why God is about to cause his downfall as well.

Daniel 5:22
1. you have not humbled yourself.

Three points from Daniel 5:23
2. you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you
3. drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone
4. you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!

 And the result of his pride, defiance and dishonor is that he was killed later that night.  Babylon was overthrown by the Medes.  The golden head of the statue in King Neb's dream has been toppled.

Write the lesson

We are told in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  We are just like those golden cups that were dedicated to God.  When we allow Satan to fuel pride in us we are defiling God and He has no choice but to cause a downfall so that we may learn the it is the Lord Most High who rules and is in control of everything.