Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Enduring Kingdom

I'm working my way through the book of Daniel in my personal devotions and there are so many things that I am learning about Christ, faith and life for the first time even thought I've read through this portion of the bible before.  Daniel is one of those interesting reads.  Some people call Daniel the Revelation of the new testament as it is chalked full of imagery, prophecy and other forms of writing that can sometimes make it a difficult book to study.

A few verses from Daniel 2 are standing out to me today.  Daniel 2 contains the portion of Daniel's story where he is being used by God to interact with King Nebuchadnezzar in regards to interpreting a dream the king had.  As Daniel begins to interpret this dream, of which he has no prior knowledge, he first gives credit to God for revealing His truth through his servant Daniel.  As the chapter unfolds and Daniel begins to wrap up his conversation with the king, verse 44 sums up the root of the truth from the king's dream that Daniel is interpreting.  Verse 44 says this, "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, no will it be left to another people.  It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever."

Verse 44 is prophecy regarding the Kingdom of Heaven, God's Kingdom...the one that Jesus spoke about over and over again in the New Testament.  I've read these verses before but what stuck out to me is the fact that God's Kingdom is never ending, it will endure all things.  The church around the globe is experiencing life and death all at once.  In some parts of the world the gospel is thriving.  In other parts the gospel, or perhaps more correctly the body of Christ (the church), is decaying or eroding.  Regardless of what season Christianity is facing in whatever part of the world, the point is that God's Kingdom cannot and will not be defeated.  The Kingdom of Heaven is advancing even as I type.  The God of both heaven and earth is marching forward and restoring the world to himself despite feeble opposition offered up by His enemy.  This same God invites you and I to participate in the greatest unfolding story ever written for His Name's sake.

No matter where you are at in your journey of faith, know that it is the kingdom of God that will endure all the hardships thrown your way.  As citizens of this kingdom, we are invited to participate in and inherit the benefits of citizenship.  It's like being on a team that cannot lose.  Crazy huh?  Just remember that Jesus uttered these words on the cross, "It is finished."  In that moment the victory of heaven was sealed for eternity.  Join with God at work because you cannot lose...even when it doesn't make sense to carry on!!

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A Little Something from Psalm 8

 Had a lot of fun with this one.