Nor the united Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Wales.
But the Three Crowns of Glory for the Saints in Heaven: The Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are going to be REWARDED.
Good morning my friends, it’s such a wonderful peaceful morning with fantastic colours in the sunrise. Peaceful, apart from a poorly grandchild crying in the background, but she’s being comforted by her mummy. It’s strange how we can have pain and beauty at the same time. Today I wanted to focus upon what we’ll be wearing in Heaven. Did you know that you are destined to be wearing a crown?
Our Youth Meeting last night was brilliant, we discussed thier values and priorities in life. After a few expected funny answers about what’s important, they eventually arrived at family, but didn’t quite see that God should be their first priority in life. Afterwards they began asking the youth leaders about what they did, if they were happy in their work and how much they earned. I tried to get across that we are all Princes and no matter how much we earn in life or what we do, as believers in Jesus we’re part of God’s ROYAL family. How do I know this? The Bible explains it in many different ways; we become heirs of the Kingdom, but there’s a beautiful description of our royal attire in the Bible that I’m sure your going to love today. Once you trust in Jesus you become Heavenly Royalty.
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will receive; Three Different Crowns:
A CROWN OF LIFE:
Revelation 2:10 (ANIV) “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
We can definitely see an increase in EVIL on the earth today; with people being murdered on a massive scale at the hands of people who think they are serving a god. This is nothing new, but was predicted thousands of years ago, but it is also a sign that the Lord is coming soon, because mankind will become even more lawless just before the LORD returns.
The LORD is promising through the book of Revelation, that when we faithfully endure hardship, even to the point of death, we’re going to be receiving an awesome CROWN, the CROWN OF LIFE. Nothing can take your joyful hope away from you, no matter what they do to you, your CROWN is waiting for you in Heaven. Be at PEACE no matter what.
A CROWN OF REJOICING:
1 Thessalonians 2:19 (ANIV) “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?”
What an amazing statement, the thing that’s going to bring us honour in heaven, one that will make us rejoice for all eternity, is the souls that get saved from God’s wrath and hell, the ones that we’ve managed to bring into a relationship with the King, those we’ve introduced to Jesus Christ who get saved. WOWzer! Remember how the angels rejoice over just one sinner who repents? Well we too are going to be experiencing that same hope, joy and crown; from the people who’ve been saved because of our faithful; witness, testimony, live and love for the Lord and the saints.
A CROWN OF GLORY:
1 Peter 5:4 (ANIV) “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
That reminds me of Moses, when he was with the Lord on the Holy Mountain, he shone with the glory of the Lord, but it faded away after a time. The glory we’ll get will never fade away. We’ll be shining with the LORD’S Glory of all eternity.
The LORD’S Crown Jewels:
As a boy I visited Edinburgh Castle and was privileged to see the Crown Jewels of Scotland, I’ll never forget how awesome and so impressive they were. Royalty in the UK is something we take for granted, but people today have lost a sense of how special royalty really is. Years ago you could loose your life if you even looked upon a royal in the wrong way. In the presence of royalty, there was a sense of; power, fear, rule and sometimes benevolent justice. Can you imagine what it’s going to be like to see the King of Kings Royalty? His Crown is a crown of pain and beauty: Thorns that once pierced his head are now His glory for all the souls that have been saved by His precious blood. We may save a few people from Hell and receive some glory and a crown that will never fade away, but Imagine how glorious His CROWN will be.
It’s amazing to think how much the Lord wants us to be in His glory, how close He wants believers to be to Him, even to sit upon His throne with Him and share His glory. This GLORY and the Three Crowns: Crown of Life, Crown of Rejoicing, Crown of Glory give us the incentive we need when things get really tough down here on earth.
Just as a Crown denotes authority and royalty: Jesus Christ wore a crown of thorns, so that we might wear these Three Heavenly Crowns. If you’ve trusted in Jesus then you are a Prince or a Princess of the Heavenly Kingdom. Walk with your head up today 🙂
Have an awesome Saturday and look forward to the GLORY.
Daily Spirit & Word, 457: Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.
Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.
Benefit #3: Bible Memory Training: God Gives Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: True Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.
The Blackest Night of My Life:
As I write this morning, I’m reminded of the blackest night of my life, the day whilst at Theological College we were about to attend the Leavers Ball. Someone came running to me and said, “There’s an urgent telephone call for you”. It was the day’s before the advent of Mobile Phones. We, Julie and I, took the call in the little phone booth that students used. My wife had left our children (five of them) in the care of friends in Plymouth, two of them with our Minister and his wife. The call was from his wife, she relayed the devastating news as only a Christian could, “You daughter is OK, but she’s been assaulted” When someone says that about your most precious daughter your mind goes into a whirl. I had to ask her again and again for the details, even then not fully comprehending. She was reluctant to tell us too much, fearing that we’d have an accident as we drove back from London to Plymouth. All I remember asking was; “What happened?”.
The next thing I can recall as clear as light was hugging my sobbing wife, she was inconsolable, but I just hugged her. Then just before we were about to dash off home an brother in the Lord who’d become a great friend over the years of college said, “Let’s kneel down and pray to the Lord”. It was the last thing that I wanted to do at that moment, I wanted to get into the car and head-off as fast as we could. But I knew Charity was right, so we got on our knees before the Lord Jesus and through tears we both prayed. Charity was a strong-tower and declared Jesus peace over Julie and I.
It was on the way home, in the darkness and driving rain that it happened. We were passing a little hillock in Dorset and on the top of the hill I saw a bright light giving of strange beams, like a searchlight, it was hard to make out, but it was there, then it pointed up into the sky; Julie was driving at almost 100 miles per hour. No amount of my telling her, “slow-down” made the slightest bit of a difference. As I looked out of the rain’s tears on my car’s window, I saw that light pointing up into Heaven; then all of a sudden the Lord’s PEACE flooded my soul. In that DARKEST NIGHT of my life, PEACE and CALM like I’d never know before. The light pointing to heaven reminded me of my prayer and Charity’s prayer for peace. It was a miracle.
I knew we were heading home to the tragic news that my precious ten-year-old daughter had been raped at knife-point with many terrible things done to her in that attack. Her childhood stolen and destroyed by a viscous, evil and callous act. That one horrible night led to years of deep heartache and slowly getting back to ‘normal’, but when that PEACE came in the driving rain it stayed with me throughout those years and I was the only one in the family to turn to the Lord and receive His peace, hope, joy and comfort. The Lord was preparing me to be a source of strength for everybody else in my family. My wife blamed hereself and for years couldn’t make decisions, my daughter had night terrors for years, screaming in the night. But the PEACE, it came from above and would not go away.
I remember a few months afterwards reading Psalm 23 with my daugher who’d been attacked, and she said, “That was me wasn’t it? I walked through the valley of the shadow of death” I said, “You most certainly did”. Then she asked me, “Why didn’t Jesus rescue me?” I said, “He did, you are here today to tell the horrible story and one day you’ll be able to give strength to many more people who are going through hard times”.
There was a verse that I’d learned on the day we got that horrible telephone call; when we received the tragic news, you know how a verse sticks out sometimes when your reading God’s Word. Well I committed it to memory quickly, not knowing why the Spirit had illuminated it, it came flooding back into my mind after seeing the beam of light on the hill: Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” You know my friends, I can testify to the truth of that verse from God’s Word. He DID keep me in His PEACE. Though there were times when I could easily have turned the other way, Jesus was always there for me and keeping me in His perfect peace.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.
The full meaning of that verse became apparent about a year later when I shared my testimony in Northern Ireland. At the end of a week of Evangelistic mission activity in the small town of Warren Point. In the Town Hall on the last night I shared my story and what had happened to my daughter, but I kept the focus upon how the LORD had given His peace and hope in my heart. In Northern Ireland during the mission, it was the height of ‘The Troubles’, but whilst the mission was going, we only saw one riot in Downpatrick. The Town Hall was full, and so many people were crying that night and when we gave an invitation for people to receive the Lord Jesus, I think everybody in the hall came forward to be prayed with. It was awesome. Even a Minister, who’d been ordained for years, who I’d become friends with during the mission, but through the conversations we’d had, I knew that He’d never trusted in Jesus for Salvation, because Ministry was a job for him a vocation of choice to serve the community. He came forward and through tears made his confession and gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The PEACE has been with me in many troubled times since, but I’ve also been reminded, I need to turn and trust in the Lord always.
My friends, tragedy may come into your life, but whenever the Lord gives you a text from His Word, you’ll be wise to commit it to your memory banks. He’ll use it again and again and again and again, to bring strength and comfort and deep knowledge that He’s faithful to all his promises in his word. He KEEP you in Perfect Peace when you fix you mind upon Him.
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Psalm 77:17 “The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.”
Psalm 77:17 (Amp).
Since that Blackest Night of My Life: I’ve had countless scriptures the Lord has given me to remember forever, they come either just before or during the times of despair and need. Psalm 77 (Easy to remember) 7/7 you know the shops that are open 24/7 seven days a week? Well, I remember that Heaven is OPEN 7/7. 24 Hours a Day Every Day. Though we may not be able to sleep sometimes for fretting, when we turn to the LORD, He’ll give us His PEACE and HOPE even in Despair. In the Darkest Nights of your life, He’s with you and is available. Call to Him for He is near.
Also Psalm 40 The whole psalm, but especially Psalm 40:9-10 was given just before the Mission to Northern Ireland, it really did come true in the Town Hall in Warren Point.
Psalm 40:9-10 “I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.”
Also Romans 12:28-39 (NIV)
Today, I proclaim AND declare to everybody who’s reading this message; “God’s PEACE be upon you today. May you KNOW and Experience His PERFECT PEACE. AMEN!”
Jesus is ALWAYS faithful.
Have an awesome day with Jesus, be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 77:1-20 (NIV)
[For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.] I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah
You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit enquired:
“Will the Lord reject for ever? Will he never show his favour again?
Has his unfailing love vanished for ever? Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Selah
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.
Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Psalm 40 (NIV).
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Bible Memory Training: Benefit #3 Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.
Daily Spirit & Word, 441: “Do All Religions Lead To God?”.
Daily Spirit & Word, 441: Do ALL Religions Lead To God?
Questions & Objections to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Good morning my friends, I thought I’d start a week thinking through some of the common objections and questions that people have, give or say when we are out sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We go out each week onto the streets of London and we talk to all kinds of people. London, believe it or not, is a very ‘religious’ place, because almost every week we encounter folks who follow lots of different religions and faiths. This makes sharing Jesus challenging, exciting and sometimes perplexing, but definitely always interesting, because people have strongly held beliefs. But there are many we come across, probably the majority, who believe in God’s existence, but don’t follow any one particular path or religious sect.
London is a VERY religious place.
The reasons for that are many. London is a hub of peoples from all over the world so many come with their own religious traditions; we’ve got people from Poland who tend to be nominal Roman Catholics. I say nominal because they are normally baptised as babies, but don’t continue to follow the faith or do so quite sporadically. Chinese people who follow Pagan ancestral worship, Buddhism and some Christians (these are the folks we’ve met, but I know there are many more religions in China). We’ve met Muslims from many nations and they’ll even say to us; “We must be tolerant of one another, because we all worship the same God”… But we’ve met other Muslims who believe that ‘Allah’ revealed through the teachings of their Prophet Mohammed is the only way.
So to answer the question: Do All Religions Lead To God? We first need to consider the statement is normally given in response to our sharing about Jesus with folks. You see we don’t normally get to the point of someone saying “All religions lead to God” immediately, it comes after we’ve talked about Jesus or the Christian faith for a while. The reason people are responding with the statement is because they are like a fish wriggling on the fishing line. When you catch a fish with the bait of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they normally put up a strong fight, sometimes all the way, until they are landed safely on the bank and in the net. They’ll often-times only give up the struggle when you’ve knocked them on the head with a fisherman’s knock 🙂 But we don’t do that with those we hope to win to Jesus.
When you catch a fish on the hook baited with the Gospel, they’ll normally put up a fight. No fish wants to be landed 🙂
What’s the REAL problem for the FISH that’s wriggling against the tug of the Gospel? We’ve normally presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ by that stage, and though they can see and understand the good news of Jesus, they’re still not prepared to come to the Saviour. They’ve understood what Jesus did upon the Cross and how He died there for their sins, because we’ve taken time to show a person how they’ve offended against a Holy God by breaking His commandments. They’ve admitted to themselves, that they’d be in deep trouble if they were to die and face a Holy Just and Righteous God on Judgement Day. We’ve shown them that Jesus is the answer to the dilema of sin, He’s the solution for Mankind’s SIN problem. But they want it to be more open than that, their thinking is; “It’s too narrow, it’s too dogmatic, there must be another valid way of being saved other than Jesus or the vast majority of people in the world will be condemned to eternal torment in Hell”…
Also, they’ve been raised in an Education system that devotes a great deal of time and teaching on being tolerant of other people’s faiths and beliefs, the end result is that we’ve raised a few generations of people in the UK now, who believe there is NO one way, that all faiths must be respected and that ultimately leads to the majority thinking that all faiths MUST lead to God.
Some believe that being ‘Sincere’ in what you believe is what’s most important to God. They believe that a genuinely ‘sincere’ person will be welcomed into Heaven, because they’ve been sincere about the religion they’ve been taught since a baby.
There is also a big problem of not wanting to offend family, friends and country; If they were to accept that Jesus is the only way to God, they’d loose out big time, some would be rejected or shunned by those they love the most in life, if they trusted in Jesus Christ. In some places in the world they would be in danger of loosing their lives if they converted to Christianity from another religion.
So they’ll say, “All religions lead to God”: because they don’t want to offend others, they want to appear open-minded and tolerant or because they want to stick with what’s become familiar or for fear of what might happen to them.
Another abjection to the Gospel we’ll hear often is, “People should be left to choose their own way and make up their own mind”. This is the objection of ‘Free Choice’. Yes my friends we too agree with you on that one, and so does God. That’s why He will not force anyone to accept Jesus. No one can make another person become a Christian; Evangelists can’t neither can; Priests, Popes or Pastors. They can’t make people into Christians just by baptising them in water or by being religious or by making them attend church. God will not force people to be saved against their wills, but He will hold them to account and they will be responsible for their freedom of choice, so we have an human, loving, responsibility to show them the error of this kind of thinking. You ARE free to choose, but you’d better make certain you choose the right one or the right way, because your eternal destiny is at stake.
These arguments and objections to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fact that He is the ONLY way to heaven are just ways of trying to evade the need of commitment to one way or one person. You can sometimes see what’s happening, the fish get uncomfortable and wriggle harder close to the point of submission and being landed on the shore. Their flawed thinking is that by saying these things it allows them some wriggling room, some way of evading the hard choice of responding and being committed to Jesus Christ.
Therefore, How can a Christian land and net this wriggly fish?
I think it is wise to admit that God can and does give people the light of His self-revelation, to know that there is a God who created everything and that people respond to that revelation by being religious and worshipping. However, what people normally worship in response to God’s self-revelation, is man-made religious rules and regulations. Or they’ll often worship what’s been created by God instead of God Himself: The Bible calls that Idolatry – it’s making a god to suit yourself.
Did you know that the statement “All Religions Lead To God” is a form of idolatry too? Because we’re saying something about the God of the Bible that’s NOT true, in a way we’re making a god that we’re comfortable with, that doesn’t demand too much from us and that ultimately will accept people no matter what they believe.
Does it matter what people believe? Are there others ways of being SAVED from God’s wrath and anger against sin and rebellion apart from Jesus Christ? Is it too narrow-minded to declare that Jesus is the ONLY way of Salvation for human beings today?
DEBATE: It’s good to debate with people and get their viewpoints, it’s interesting to hear what they are thinking in regards to faith and religion and to know what path they are currently following. But when you get to this point and they say; “All Religions Lead To God”… What are you going to say to help them see the error of that kind of thinking?
Remember first; we’re in good company, because the Apostle Paul often debated with people in the streets about faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself was out and about with the people, doing exactly what He’s called Christians to be doing: Sharing the Message of the Kingdom and how people can know God for themselves today.
Secondly: Admit that what they say would be really nice. If all religions really lead to God, then we wouldn’t be out on the streets telling people about Jesus Christ, because if what they are saying is true, then we could just leave people alone and let them be comfortable with their decision that no matter what you believe, God will let you into Heaven.
Thirdly: The REALITY: Every religion teaches a different way to God, so they can’t ALL be right. You could ask the person who says this too you; “All Religions Lead To God” you can respond with, “That’s really interesting, what teaching in each religion leads people of all religions to the same God?” They’ve responded to me by saying things like, “Most religions offer peace and harmony and tolerance and being a good person” That’s right they do, but is that enough to satisfy God?
You see Christianity teaches that we can never be good enough to enter into heaven, no matter how hard we try.
Some will say that the Ten Commandments revealed in most religions are the way to be saved, but we then gently show people that following the Ten Commandments just leaves every single person on the earth condemned, because no one has ever kept all of them and God’s standards of holiness and perfection are just too hard and impossible achieve. Most religions teachings and that of Jesus on goodness overlap, but Jesus always goes further than every other religion in the world. He says, “be perfect as my father in Heaven is perfect.” None of us can be perfect and we are all left failing and condemned because we’ve not obeyed the Ten Commandments.
Once they understand the difference between Christianity and every other religion, they are ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that Jesus died to make it possible for people of all faiths and none to be saved from God’s wrath and anger against sin. It’s not too narrow to show people Jesus is the only way, when you know that what they are believing will leave them condemned by God and on their way to certain judgement. The loving thing to do is to show people the folly of their thinking; “All Religions Lead To God”, and showing them the TRUTH; “ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE YOU”.
Winning An Argument: My friends, when we engage people with the Gospel, we’re not out to win arguments with people, we’re not going out to brow-beat people into submission, we’re going out to win people for Jesus Christ and His love compels us to reach out and save them. God wants all people to be saved, but He’ll not force them and neither should we. If we win an argument we can loose a friend for life. We’re going out to share and we must depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide us, lead us in conversations, because every individual is different and though they sometimes say the same old things, their thinking and beliefs about them can be as varied as the colours on a black-bird’s wings.
We know that Jesus is the only way, because we know Jesus. He’s revealed Himself to us and brought us out of darkness into His marvellous light. We know that all other religions are false, but we must be gentle with folks who hold fast to the faith of their fathers, who have no faith at all and who doubt the very existence of God. When they say, “All Religions Lead To God”, that’s their safety net, but with gentle persuasion and revelation of truth in humility, hopefully in God’s good timing, they’ll see, they know and they’ll understand that what we were telling them was TRUE.
My friends, look carefully at what Jesus said about Himself being the ONLY way to Heaven.
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
And that one day, every KNEE will bow to Jesus.
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
You’ll not convince anyone of these truths without first ploughing up their hard hearts with the revelation that comes from sharing the LAW of God, revealed in the Ten Commandments, because they show everyone of every faith that we all need a Saviour. The LAW is a Schoolmaster who teaches us our need for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death in our place upon the Cross for sin.
Don’t be afraid of the objection or statement, “ALL RELIGIONS LEAD TO GOD”, because God will equip you by His Holy Spirit to enable you to demonstrate the folly of that kind of thinking.
Have and AWESOME Monday and a whole week of SOAKING yourself in God’s Word and Truth.
For more information on why there are so many religions in the world and an answere to the question; “Do all religions lead to God?” A great source of information is Got Questions Website. Enjoy the extended reading. May the LORD bless you. Don.
Daily Spirit & Word, 438: A Message From A Humbled King.
Daily Spirit & Word, 438: A Message From A Humbled King.
God humbles the proud, but gives mercy and grace to the humble.
Good morning my friends, the rain is falling, but it hasn’t got the bitter coldness of winter anymore, because the days are getting longer and the sun is warming the UK once again: Spring is on it’s way. In the fourth chapter of Daniel, we see the wonderful account of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, it’s meaning, it’s fulfilment and his acknowledging of the LORD of Heaven. It’s amazing, because this King, who had everything was much like the proud people in our own times, who think they are too advanced or clever or smart to need the foolishness of faith in their lives. But we’ll see how the LORD can change all of that in an instant or in Nebuchadnezzar’s case after Seven Years…
1 King Nebuchadnezzar sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you!
2 “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.
3 How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations.
4 “I, Nebuchadnezzar, was living in my palace in comfort and prosperity.
5 But one night I had a dream that frightened me; I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed.
6 So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon, so they could tell me what my dream meant.
7 When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers came in, I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant.
8 At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream. (He was named Belteshazzar after my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
9 “I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve. Now tell me what my dream means.
10 “‘While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed. I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth.
11 The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.
12 It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. All the world was fed from this tree.
13 “‘Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven.
14 The messenger shouted, “Cut down the tree and lop off its branches! Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit! Chase the wild animals from its shade and the birds from its branches.
15 But leave the stump and the roots in the ground, bound with a band of iron and bronze and surrounded by tender grass. Now let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the wild animals among the plants of the field.
16 For seven periods of time, let him have the mind of a wild animal instead of the mind of a human.
17 For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses— even to the lowliest of people.”
18 “‘Belteshazzar, that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so. But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’
This chapter is easily broken down into sections:
The King’s Dream and Calling of Daniel:
Daniel Explains The Dream:
The Dream is Fulfilled:
The King Honours The Lord:
What does it take to bring The Proud of Heart to their knees before God?This king had already had two AWESOME miracles that clearly demonstrated that there was a Sovereign God who’d made all things, even kings were in their place because the LORD wills it.
Remember how Daniel had revealed that God knew about the King’s first dream and Daniel told the king what it was and what it meant.
Remember how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been rescued from the fiery furnace.
The King had seen them and acknowledged that only God could have rescued them.
Now, this is the THIRD time, the LORD is doing something great in his life.
God showed the King, long before it happened what would take place. but WHY? Why didn’t God just immediately remove the proud of heart king from his place and put someone who loves and worships the Lord on the throne instead? Well the answer of course is that God’s ways are not our ways. Also God always gives a warning of what will happen unless people repent and change their ways. He sends his messengers; either prophets and priests or dreams and visions.
Even today God uses these things to bring people to their senses and acknowledge the Lord Jesus as King of their lives. How, through His Word (The Bible) through His messengers; evangelists and Christians who’ll tell the Gospel Good News, but He still does it through dreams and visions as well.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if the GREAT LEADERS: China’s Chairman Xi Jinping, Russia’s Mr Putin, America’s Barack Obamah or even in our own country Prime Minister David Cameron, came to their senses and realised they are only in their positions of power and influence because God wills it? Imagine what the world would be like, if whilst in power they all turned to Jesus Christ as LORD of their lives? How would PEACE rule the earth? How would world hunger be eradicated? How we could see fairness, equality and justice for everyone? How there would be no armies or tanks or weapons of mass destruction. Pray for them all my friends, but I know that the LORD also deals with small and insignificant people of this world to change the hearts of the proud of heart. He uses those who are nothing in the eyes of the world to shame the wise in their own understanding.
The Mighty Tree:
Of course the dream is obvious to us all now, but it is strange non-the-less.
Trees can being either a source of Good or an influence for Evil: As can Kings or Presidents or Prime Ministers.
Trees can supply the needs: Their fruits distributed to feed the nations: Their leaves used to bring healing to the nations. Their leaves provide a cover of protection for those who can’t protect themselves. Their branches used to make houses and shelters.
However, The Mighty Tree: That once stood proud and tall for all the world to see: Can be toppled so quickly.
The Stump in the Ground:
The LORD chooses to leave a STUMP in the ground: This speaks to me today of Hope of Resurrection. The King was given the meaning by Daniel, we’ll look at that tomorrow, but the stump of course is the King, who after being wild would be restored.
Perhaps, the LORD is going to bring something like this in our day, to bring all those who are proud in heart to the point of acknowledging there really is a God in Heaven, then He’ll put a desire within them to seek God and discover who he is, they’ll find that the LORD Jesus Christ is the only way to understand Heaven. That Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to true knowledge and understanding. That ONLY Jesus can fully meet all of our needs.
Yes we can get by, if the LORD will allow, for a while, even all our life on our own. However, as long as we are away from the LORD we’re NOT living life as He intends. We’re not fulfilling our Divine destiny. We are NOT a peace within. We’re not experiencing life in His abundance.
Like King Nebuchadnezzar, we have a choice; whom shall we serve: Ourselves, our ego, our empire or His?
We must also remember the message of the LORD through John the Baptist, the last and greatest Prophet before the Lord Jesus came; He gave this warning to those who had ears to hear God’s message;
“The Axe Is At The Root”
Matthew 3:10-12 10 The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
May the Lord Jesus grant that all those who are Proud of Heart find repentance and forgiveness in Jesus. Those who think they are the masters of their own destiny. Those who think this world revolves around them. Those who think that others are here for their pleasure and purposes. Those who think that the world owes them everything. May they be brought to the point of joy in discovering that Jesus Christ is the true King.
Let us be sure in our own hearts today that we’ve gotten low so that He can lift us up. Is Jesus your KING or are you still hanging onto being the master of your own destiny?
This weekend I’m praying for you all my friends; let’s continue our journey towards glory with the LORD Jesus. Let His Word feed your soul, the Holy Spirit guide your feet and keep you on His narrow path, and fill you with understanding and wisdom and with His power: so that you can bring glory to the LORD with your life. Amen.