Re:Verse passage – Romans 8:1-4 (day six)
The law turned us into rebels, or rather the power of sin did, taking advantage of the law. The law made it personal. No longer were we committing moral wrongs arbitrarily, we were willfully sinning against a personal and holy God. So overrun by the power of sin, we were as good as dead; walking corpses.
And the law could do nothing about it. Left to the law, shackled by the power of sin, we are nothing but dead rebels.
So, God did what the law could not do, He sent His own Son.
“I am the resurrection and the life,” he said.
“Come out of that grave,” he said.
And the dead rebels breathed and rejoiced.
Re:Verse passage – Acts 1:8 (day six)
We are superhuman. More than we were, decrypted, left-for-dead; Jesus came just at the right time, rescuing us from our god-loathing, self-righteous, self-indulgent ways. His holy-Father loving, righteous living became our own when he crushed sin’s hold, and gave us His life instead. So that we might become the righteousness of God.
It wasn’t enough for us to look the part, so He made us superhuman; He put the Holy Spirit in us. The very same that hovered over the deep in creation. Or gave Samson his strength. Or Isaiah his words to speak. And through and through the Spirit empowers us to live and love like the Son. So, when He commands us to “Go, fill the earth with my glory; be my witnesses,” it is as good as done.
Re:Verse passage – John 1:29-34 (day six)
He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. John 16:14
Last week I wrote that perhaps the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is His gift of conviction. It’s true of course, but conviction of sin, among other of His gifts (i.e spiritual gifts), only serve His greater purpose:
I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ John 1:33
John’s testimony sheds light on the Holy Spirit’s most magnificent job, to manifest the glory of the Son! To put the spotlight on Jesus. To tell the whole world, “This is the guy!”
Makes me thankful!
11 So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything,… Mark 11:11
Perhaps the greatest gift of the Holy Spirit is conviction of sin. Before Jesus cursed the fig tree, and before he cleansed the temple, he came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple, observing and taking everything into account.
What Jesus did for Jerusalem and the Temple, the Holy Spirit does for the Christian. He observes, and after taking everything into account, exposes our own idolatry, sometimes harshly.
Conviction. Not always pleasant, but nonetheless it is the gracious work of the Holy Spirit. It is also grace that He not only graciously exposes our sin, but also is the gracious means to put it to death.
…if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. Romans 8:13
Re:Verse passage – Mark 1:1-8 (day six)
A voice crying in the wilderness…Isaiah 40:3
Our sin got us kicked out of the garden and into the wilderness. Chaos, disorder, brokenness, and a terrible curse were chains we carried as we traversed the soul sucking terrain-wilderness.
And yet even before the beginning God planned to make a way for us to return to the promise land, and not for just a season but for all time; leading us out of the wilderness into the land of promise, righteousness forevermore.
It would take the Father-sent Son, sent into the wilderness to die and rise again, breaking the chains and forging a new path for whomever saw the wilderness for what it was and ventured to follow Him. And like the pillar of fire by night, and cloud by day, the Jesus-sent Holy Spirit would lead from the tabernacle of the human heart; testifying:
Welcome home. These are the children of God.
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 12:1-13 (day six)
13 “As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.” Daniel 12:13
What I find comforting in this encounter, is not only a reassurance of a secure future, but also God’s personal word for Daniel…for the now. Much of the time Daniel is caught up in sweeping visions of apocalyptic proportions, but not in verse 13.
As for you…
These three simple words remind us that we are not lost in the crowd of humanity’s history or future. God knows us, and even more, has a word for us that is relevant now. While God guides all of human history to its end and new beginning, he loves us still…personally. He knows. He cares. He loves. He redeems. He provides.
God is big, and He is small. He spoke the universe into existence, and He whispers to us.
It’s personal. He’s personal.
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 11:1-45 (day six)
“The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.” -Sorcerers, Magicians, and Chaldeans. Daniel 2:11 (NLT)
There are many Old Testament scholars who argue that Daniel is not real history simply because the historical details match up too nicely. No one could have written with that kind of detail in the sixth century BC, they would say.
They draw the same conclusion as Nebuchadnezzar’s sorcerers and magicians, gods don’t reveal mysteries to men. Their practical atheism deny God’s ability to handle the details of human history. The irony is, the purpose of Daniel is to prove the opposite; the only true God is the revealer of mysteries and riddles.
God is in all the details, present and distant future, guiding them to certain ends.
Righteousness forever more.
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 10:1-21 (day six)
13 But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Daniel 10:13
The Enemy has one tactic: keep the world in darkness, to disrupt the advancement of God’s truth (the Gospel), to perpetuate untruths clothed in the guise of reason, to twist the truth of God enough to rob it of its power.
God’s angels have a clear goal too: clear a path for the advancement of the Truth!
While all that is unseen, it is no less real or close. Daniel prayed and God sent an angel, or two. He was a prayer warrior in a spiritual battlefront.
So, if the Church is the infantry, God’s messengers, or angels, are the air support, called in from the ground to clear a path to advance the Truth.
Let’s keep calling.
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 9:23-27 (day six)
Let’s be honest, the best we can do is an educated guess as to the meaning of 70 sets of seven. We can devote all our time to its study and still understand no more than we when we began.
And that’s okay. We are in good company.
32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.” -Jesus, Mark 13:32
Daniel didn’t understand. Gabriel didn’t know, and not even the incarnate Son knew the day or hour when these things would happen. So, what ought we do?
We do what Daniel did; we pray. Now is the day and the hour to seek God. We repent. We pray for mercy and restoration. And God listens and answers our prayer for we too are precious.
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 9:1-23 (day six)
On what grounds did Daniel pray? Daniel makes it very clear that his appeal for mercy is not based on his righteousness. He has none, nor the people of God. They all had gone their own way. Daniel’s prayer hinged on God’s character, not his own. If it was not for God’s righteousness, there would be no grounds for Daniel to pray at all.
What was true for Daniel, is true for us too. We pray in Jesus name because we come to the Father in His righteousness, not our own, otherwise we have no privilege to come to God at all.
This keeps us humble and bold. Humble because it reminds us we have been given so much, and bold because it reminds us we can freely approach the throne of grace without fear.
It’s an odd thought but true; Jesus died so Daniel could pray too.