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Thursday, September 18, 2014
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"What Will The Outcome Be?"
"I Will Rise!"
"I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, 'My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?' He replied, 'Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end'" (Daniel 12:8,9). "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance" (Daniel 12:13). "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say, it is well
We have some friends who have recently entered into a time of difficult testing. Surgery and then more tests await. But they are trusting God and day by day experiencing His peace as they await the outcome.
Tuesday I had lunch with Kevin, a local pastor friend. He has had his share of heartache in life. His first wife died in an automobile accident when she was 39. Then some ten years later his newlywed son-in-law, who was also his youth pastor, died in a freak accident when the church van fell on him. But Kevin, who came to faith in Christ as a young adult, has stayed faithful in spite of the hurts and the mysteries of God's providence. He is awaiting the final outcome, that glorious day when faith becomes sight. The day when we rise to receive our allotted inheritance.
Daniel served the Lord about 2,600 years ago. He was one of the exiled hostages taken from Judah to Babylon to serve in Nebuchadnezzar's government. Daniel provides a Biblical model of one who was confronted with the temptation to compromise every bit as much as we are, but he remained firm and faithful to God.
Early in his life he made a commitment when he first went to Babylon. If you don't already know this passage I recommend that you memorize it (at least the first underlined part of the verse). "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank" (Daniel 1:8).
Notice that he made the purpose "in his heart"; it wasn't just a passing thought. Daniel must have deeply contemplated his dilemma, considered the possible consequences, and bathed his decision in prayer. He demonstrates for all of us the great Biblical principle of separation. I urge you to continually learn God's ways and, like Daniel, make a purpose or resolve in your heart to live according to His commands.
Over his long career of civil service Daniel distinguished himself while maintaining his faith and steadfast obedience to God. The first half of his book is an interesting narrative with such familiar stories as his three friends being cast into the fiery furnace and his own deliverance from the lion's den. But the last six chapters have some of the most outstanding prophecy in the Bible. God reveals to Daniel events that would transpire over the next several thousand years and even beyond our own time.
At the conclusion Daniel expresses himself in a way in which many of us can identify, particularly when it comes to some of the more difficult prophetic portions of God's Word. "I heard, but I did not understand." I've sure been there. I've read and wondered, "What does this mean and when will it happen?"
I've also experienced Daniel's heartfelt appeal expressed in the question, "My lord*, what will the outcome of all this be?" Surely you have asked the same question. He wanted to know what God was going to do just like we do. But like us he didn't get the answer in every detail he wanted. Some things just won't be revealed "until the time of the end."
And that's true not only with prophecy, but in God's personal dealings in our lives. Although we know that things will work out according to Romans 8:28, we so much want to know how and when. The answers to most of these questions are simply not provided. So why do we expend so much energy or allow ourselves to become anxiety ridden about those things which we can do nothing about. But we so often do!
We need to keep moving forward in the direction we feel God is leading and trust Him to provide the answers along the way. The apostle Paul, facing a time of great uncertainty said to the Ephesian elders, "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me" (Acts 20:22,23).
Such is the life of faith! My friend, keep trusting today. The book of Daniel ends with this statement. "As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance" (Daniel 12:13). Let us also receive this word today in our own lives. One day we will rise to receive our allotted inheritance!
There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we don't always know where our present steps will take us on life's journey, but we do know they lead us to heaven as we walk with You. Our steps here may lead to steep mountains or deep valleys. Crooked paths and rough terrain may be part of the journey, but ultimately we will rest where the steps of Jesus end at heaven's throne. There we will no longer have questions about our future, for we know that we will spend eternity forever worshiping You as we give You glory, honor, praise, and thanksgiving. Give us peace and joy for our journey here below and heavenward anticipation for our future inheritance. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.
* "Lord" is in the small case in this particular Scripture reference because this message to Daniel came from an angel not deity.
Speaking of trials when we're uncertain of the outcome, we just got a call from one of our companies early this morning. A female employee's ten year old son was hit by a school bus yesterday. In critical condition he was transferred to Hershey Medical Center so we will stand with her in prayer as she awaits the final outcome of his injuries.
Pumpkins at the Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouses.
Mums at the entrance to the Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouses.
We passed this serene scene on Elizabethtown Road the other day.
The Thomas the Tank engine is running at the Strasburg Railroad this week. We drove by while they were making a very slow test run and were stuck at the Ronks Road crossing for awhile. It was a pleasant wait since we weren't in a hurry anyway.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"I Will Rise" Video Chris Tomlin
"When Trials Come" Video Keith & Kristyn Getty
"Jesus Is The Answer" Video Andrae Crouch
"Jesus Is Still The Answer" Video Collingsworth Family
Ashcombe Farm and Greenhouses
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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