Sunday 17th January 2021

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For he is the living God and he endures for ever;

His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end.

He rescues and he saves;

He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.

Daniel 6: 26b-27a (NIVUK)

Today would usually be Covenant Communion Sunday. It is being postponed until July - Why July? The 15th July is the 100th Anniversary of the original building being opened, so on Sunday 18th July we hope that restrictions will have been lifted and we will be able to meet together and share communion – and our plans also include us staying for lunch together. That is a celebration for us – for the church family, but we also want to celebrate with the neighbourhood and we will do that at the start at September, when we hope to also be able to announce that all the usual mid-week activities will restart.

Each autumn I begin to think about the bible verse which we usually adopt at our Covenant Service and explore throughout the year. Initially, I rejected the verses printed at the top of the page because there isn’t any action involved. Usually, our verse asks us to trust – to love - to shine, but as I continued to search for what I thought would be a more suitable verse, these verses wouldn’t go away, and the more I read them - the more I found them to be an encouraging statement about who we put our faith in.

The verses come from the end of the chapter 6, where we read about Daniel’s stay in the lion’s den, but as I began to work on this series of messages from the book of Daniel, I realised that the statements made in these verses is what gave Daniel and his friends the strength to remain faithful to God throughout testing times.

So, can I encourage you to write out these phrases from Daniel chapter 6 and perhaps some of you will want to make them into a work of art. If you do – send me a photo of it. Find lots of opportunities to repeatedly read these statements and so begin to memorise them and then you will discover how encouraging and strengthening it is to know that “He is the living God and he endures forever…”

Read Daniel 3: 13-20

Chapter 3 helps us to understand more clearly what the bible means when it uses the word ‘Faith’. Often today this word is used to describe someone’s positive thinking – someone’s desire to see their solution to a situation come about. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego show us that when the bible talks about faith it is describing someone putting their trust in who they know God to be: We know that God is good, he is our ‘Heavenly Father’ and that he is ‘Light.’ But God is also ‘The living God and he endures for ever…

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego know enough about God to know that he could rescue and save them, but they would also be familiar with Isaiah’s reminder that the Lord says (Isaiah 55:9) ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my wayshigher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’

So, they say to king Nebuchadnezzar (Dan.3:18) even if God doesn’t save us from being killed – God is still the living God who endures for ever and we put our trust in him. As they declare their trust in the Living God, we see God’s shalom fill their lives, giving them a sense of wholeness, completeness and peace, which is the result of trusting in the living God who endures for ever…

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would have memorised many of David’s psalms, and I’m sure they often would have found encouragement through remembering that the Living God who endures for ever, cares for them like a perfect shepherd cares for his sheep.

Use these lyrics to lead you into prayer.

The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want, He makes me lie in pastures green.

He leads me by the still, still waters, His goodness restores my soul.

And I will trust in You alone, And I will trust in You alone,

for Your endless mercy follows me, Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness, and He anoints my head with oil,

And my cup it overflows with joy, I feast on His pure delights.

And though I walk the darkest path, I will not fear the evil one,

For You are with me and Your rod and staff are the comfort I need to know

Stuart Townend © 1996 Kingsway's Thank You Music


Page last updated: 19th January 2021 9:28 AM