Sunday 7th February 2021

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Come people of the risen king      who delight to bring Him praise;

Come all and tune your hearts to sing to the Morning Star of grace.

From the shifting shadows of the earth, we will lift our eyes to Him,

Where steady arms of mercy reach to gather children in.

Rejoice, Rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice!

One heart, one voice; O Church of Christ, rejoice!

(Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend © 2007 Thankyou Music)

Spend a few moments thanking God for his ever-present help.

So, on Wednesday we looked at Daniel chapter 6. It told us about the most well-known event in Daniel’s life – how he was thrown into the lion’s den. Today I am going to cover the rest of the book of Daniel - the final 6 chapters, they tell us about the dreams and visions Daniel had.

These dreams and visions are often summarised as describing ‘the last days’ meaning the events leading up the return of Jesus’ – his 2nd coming and the final judgement as life as we understand it comes to an end.

In Matthew’s gospel (Chapter 24) we find Jesus mentioning Daniel’s dreams and visions, before going on to explain that he would one day everyone would see him return as a victorious king. Jesus also says that his return would be unexpected, like a thief coming in the night or like the on-set of a pregnant woman’s labour pains.

Some Christians spend a lot of time and energy trying to fit the detail of Daniel’s visions in to the events we see reported in the news. I prefer to see a different reason as to why these dreams and visions are recorded for us in the bible. They tell us that no matter how bad life on earth gets there is a king and a kingdom which one day will overpower anything happening on earth and will bring about the kingdom of God Is a new and more physical way than anyone has previously experienced.

These visions and dreams which fill the second-half of the book of Daniel also include the interpretations of those images. After each dream or vision Daniel asks God to help him understand the meaning of them. God’s answers are perhaps not the clear explanation Daniel (and us) was hoping for, but each time God’s explanation tells Daniel that no matter how bad life gets, God is bigger and stronger and that he is ‘the living God who endures for ever and his kingdom will not be destroyed’.

Read three of those explanations: Daniel 7: 26-27 / 8: 23-25 / 12: 1-3

Do you see the theme running through them? That there is a king and kingdom which is more powerful than any earthly kingdom and will overwhelm and destroy all evil. The really Good News for us is that we know this all-powerful king!!  – and perhaps even more reassuringly, he knows us - He knows our name! If we have declared Christ to be our Saviour and Lord, then King Jesus knows us and so we need not fear whatever may happen in the future - we have been adopted into Almighty God’s family, we are his children, heirs and co-heirs with Christ Jesus.

The dreams and visions which Daniel saw, tell us that no matter what atrocities may happen or whatever devastation we hear about,

there is a living God, and he endures for ever:

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

We may wish that the bible gave us more specific details than it does, but the bible gives us enough information about the living God for us to trust that he has everything sorted. From all that you know of Father God can you trust him to have considered and have plans for the details we are worried about? From what you know about Father God can you trust him to take care of us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in?

So, when the Lord Jesus returns, because of our faith in Jesus as our Saviour and Redeemer we have nothing to fear – when God looks at us, ready to judge us, he sees us ‘washed clean’ by the blood of Jesus, ‘Justified’ is the word the bible uses. We might not feel perfect because we know we still sin, but the perfect sinless sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross pays the price for all our sins. God sees us as washed clean by the blood of Jesus and the judgement we deserve – paid for by our Saviour.

Faith in Jesus as our Saviour is the only preparation we need to have made to be ready for when Jesus returns. While I don’t talk much about Jesus return, we sing about it all the time, many of the hymns we love singing, in their final verse look ahead to Jesus’ return:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

and take me home - what joy shall fill my heart!

Then shall I bow in humble adoration

and there proclaim, my God, how great Thou, art!

(Russian Hymn translated by Stuart K Hine © 1953 Thankyou Music)

LENT Booklets

Lent starts on Wednesday 17th February (in 10 days’ time). Like previous years we have purchased a daily booklet to take you through Lent., and my Sunday and Wednesday messages will connect with that day’s bible reading.

Myself or Ruth & Tez are happy to deliver these booklets to you, but I thought some people might enjoy a reason to come to church and collect them. I will open the premises on Saturday 13th 10:00am to 12noon and Sunday 14th 2:00pm to 4:00pm. If you decide you would like to come along to church and collect your booklet please let me know by text or email, as we will want to start delivering booklets to those who aren’t coming before next weekend – Stephen

Page last updated: 10th February 2021 6:52 AM