Sunday Preview

March 22, 2012

This Sunday is the last sermon in the series I have been doing on Daniel since the first of the year. I feel as though I have been living with this Spirit-filled man of wisdom for months. Daniel turned life-threatening trials into opportunities to demonstrate the glory of God. I’m going to miss thinking about him every day.

My message this Sunday from Daniel 12 is titled, “Daniel and the Last Days.” In the first six chapters of Daniel, he was solving the challenging problems of living in a foreign culture and serving powerful pagan kings. Daniel not only survived, he thrived by God’s grace. In the closing chapters of the book, the Lord speaks to Daniel about what is going to happen in the last days as a great war engulfs all of mankind. Some of what God revealed to Daniel unfolded in the years shortly after his death. Other truths which we will focus on are things which have application for believers for all time. Daniel 12 mentions an archangel, the resurrection of the dead, judgment, and the abomination that causes desolation.

I’m hoping that this glimpse into the last days will help prepare us to live for the Lord with faith and confidence so that we will shine like bright stars in the Kingdom of God.

Sunday Preview

March 8, 2012

My sermon this Sunday is called “The Handwriting on the Wall,” from Daniel 5. This is a classic story about the hand of God writing a message on a wall during a decadent party hosted by Belshazzar, King of Babylon. Daniel was called in by Belshazzar to interpret the writing when none of the king’s advisors could understand the message. This story has given us a phrase that is part of our language today. The wisdom to read “the handwriting on the wall” is vital for every one of us.

As we grow in Christ, we are filled with the Spirit and wisdom so that we can help people who are perplexed by their problems. People without wisdom often make decisions that sink them deeper into trouble. They need wise counsel to accurately interpret their circumstances so they can make good choices. Should they wait patiently for their situation to change, or should they humble themselves and take a different approach? Is it time to show mercy, or is it time for tough love? The Lord can give us understanding in family dynamics, business situations and political affairs. We also need the gift of discernment so that we can tell the difference between truth and deception.

A discerning person looks at the handwriting on the international wall and says, “This world is facing stress and big challenges.” However, we know Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus overcame the world because his Father gave him wisdom and grace. We too can overcome the world because the Father gives us wisdom and grace through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray that God’s Spirit will release gifts of grace and wisdom as we worship together this weekend.