Daniel 12:1-3 Video Devotional

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. – Daniel 12:1-3

The culmination of the book hits in chapter 12, when the time for waiting is finished and the final moments of history come to pass. The endurance will reach a fulfillment and everyone who trusts in Jesus will be woken up to everlasting life! This is the promise – the righteous that will be restored, the happy ending, the motivation to make it through all else. Though it may not feel like it now, there is an ending to this story and it is a GOOD ending! All we need to do is trust in the author of life itself.

As Daniel closes out his book, he discusses time – this is to show that these things have a definite endpoint. At the end of the time, we will reach rest and victory. Daniel modeled this endurance through the first half of the book and then told us what to expect in the second half. Righteous suffering leads to endurance and to God’s glory – which is victory and redemption. That’s what this book is about – making it to the end with your life as an example that leads others to Jesus. Be the light of the world! You are a city on a hill (Matthew 5) – God has called you to be that example. So let Him live that through you.

Daniel 7:15-18 Video Devotional

“As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’– Daniel 7:15-18

It may seem a bit overzealous to take this entire chapter in one devotional, but it really can’t be split up easily and the prophecy comes down to a fairly basic idea. Daniel’s vision of the four beasts is crazy and intimidating to read through but can be understood by knowing how it fits in the book. Chapter 7 is part of the section of detail that comes before it, not the rest of the prophecy afterward. We know this because of the language break after chapter 7. Along with that, these early chapters act as mirrors of each other, each reaffirming their common themes and ideas (chs 2&7, 3&6, and 4&5). Chapter 2 and 7 both talk about a vision of future kingdoms that reign in power, but are not eternal. They are all taken down by the greatest kingdom, the kingdom of God Most High.

When we consider the recurring theme that is consistent throughout the book so far (righteous suffering leads to God’s glory and people’s salvation) and connect that to what Daniel said in the middle of the chapter 7 vision (between the vision and its interpretation), we see the culmination of what righteous suffering does. It leads to eternal victory! There is a reward that comes with righteous suffering and a promise that one day, it will end, because God Most High will reign and His reign will be permanent.

Whether or not you look at these visions as being kingdoms from the past (Greeks, Romans, etc…) of kingdoms of the future (end times), the main idea holds consistent – righteous suffering leads to our victory. What does this mean for you? It means to hang on, knowing that you are joining with Christ through that suffering and people who see what you go through are receiving testimony of the gospel through your life.

Acts 28:23-31 Video Devotional

When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:

“‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:23-31)

Paul settled into Rome and enjoyed a mostly free lifestyle. He had his own place and was able to take in anyone who would listen to his message. Unfortunately for his Jewish brothers, they (for the most part) were not willing to accept the truth of Jesus and left after he quoted to them from Isaiah. That quote is a sad realization that they would not be turning towards Jesus.

It does, however, signal the turn to the Gentiles, opening up in the catalyst city of Rome and opportunity for all people to come near to Jesus and accept His free gift. Paul continued to preach boldly about Jesus – I see it in my mind like an assembly line standing outside Paul’s home for people going in, one-by-one and coming out saved. And with each one of them, as they head to different homes, neighborhoods, cities, regions, and nations being carried out by a person now filled with the Holy Spirit was the gospel of Jesus.

The message turned into a movement. That same movement is alive and well today, being carried on by people filled with the Holy Spirit and willing to take the Name of Jesus anywhere He will lead. Are you one of those carriers?

Genesis 3:14-15 Video Devotional

The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15)

A promise. Whether it is small or large, a promise is one of the key components of trust. Parents are judged by their children on their ability to keep promises. Politicians are judged on their ability to keep promises. When promises are broken, trust begins to erode. When they are upheld, the foundation is secured. People need kept promises. It gives us comfort, confidence, and consistency necessary to step out in faith.

This is important in our relationship with God as well. After all, He created us this way and promised us many things; He’d never flood the earth again (Genesis 9), we are never alone (Hebrews 13), He loves us unconditionally (Romans 8), we are created intentionally and given purpose (Psalm 139), etc… God’s keeping of these promises gives us a consistent Lord that we can trust, rely on and step out to serve in the midst of risk.

With that in mind, this promise in Genesis 3 is quite vital. He tells the serpent how it will all end. Evil (sin) will bite His heel, but He will crush its head. This is the initial promise of Jesus and is laid out perfectly on the cross. Evil thought it ad scored the major victory with Jesus’ lifeless body hanging on that tree. But, on the third day, Jesus crushed its head by rising from the dead and securing forgiveness and eternal life for all who trust in Him.

With this curse handed to the snake, God promised that good would win, evil would be defeated and destroyed, and restoration would come. That’s a pretty amazing promise!