OYB December 2
Julie FerwerdaAre you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
- 2009 Dec 02
Chapter 9 is a great prayer for personal and national repentance! I have often wondered why I am not more prayerful and repentant to pray for my nation and especially for the Church as a whole. It seems that the people of the Bible were so much more aware and broken over national sins and the impact on society than we are today.
9:4 O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. This is exactly what heroes of the faith like David said about God, too. It is very comforting to rely on the testimony of men and women who found God's promises to be tried and true. It should give us more faith and more peace.
9:11 All Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice. If I remember correctly, Daniel is in captivity during the time of exile, so he is experiencing first hand the repercussions of the turning away of Israel from God, as we see in the next verses.
9:13-14 Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing his truth. Therefore, the Lord has brought upon us the disaster he prepared. The Lord our God was right to do all of these things, for we did not obey him.
9:16 All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors. This is true of the Church today. People see us and they mock us because our witness is so corrupted on many levels. A couple more prominent ways I see is our hypocrisy in the dollar amount and size of our church buildings while the world is starving. Add to that, the increasing involvement of the Church in fighting against social issues and government, which is not the Biblical model.
9:18 O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. Luv Daniel's humble heart!
9:20 I went on praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people, pleading with the Lord my God for Jerusalem, his holy mountain. Does God hear and truly answer these prayers? Let's find out...
9:23 The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. The fact is though, that Daniel would not see the answer to his prayer in the flesh during his lifetime. I believe this is recorded so that we know not to give up or cease praying. Our prayers really are more powerful than we realize. I sure wish I could internalize and live by that. I have such a hard time believing my prayers really make a difference a lot of the time. But they DO.
10:5-6 looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people. As I read this description, I couldn't help but think it sounded like the manifestation of Christ's body-the overcomers. Remember that they are dressed in linen, they have been refined like gold, they are made into precious gems in the new Jerusalem, and the voice was like a vast multitude of people! Yep, sounds like the "body of Christ" after the resurrection, coming to rule and reign on earth.
10:12 Then he said, "Don't be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. Again, we see the power of prayer. The following verses are like a script out of a sci-fi movie! If we could only see what goes on in the heavenlies that we are totally oblivious to!
10:19 "Don't be afraid," he said, "for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!" This is not only for Daniel. It is for anyone who is "judged by God." All overcomers have this beautiful sentiment from the Father. It's enough to really make your day!
2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. The thought just hit me. The word "Christ" means "the anointed one." This passage is speaking of antichrists that were among us but who left us. Who would this be? Those in our midst who claim to be Christians but who are "against the anointed ones." I don't think John is speaking of those outside the Church, but those inside who fight against the anointed ones or the overcomers. Check out verse 20:
2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
2:27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. This goes along with what the other John the apostle said:
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." John 14:26
these verses would really step on some toes of people who insist to me
that I need theologians and scholars to study my Bible properly. I've
been finding that the Holy Spirit is a GREAT Teacher! He called fishermen and tax collectors for Pete's sake.
3:4-5 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. This is one of the several great verses that hold up the law (Torah) as not done away with. Jesus did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill it. But we cannot continue living in willful sin as believers or we are only practicing lawlessness. Obedience through the Spirit is a critical part of our journey!
28:27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed. Good reminder for all.