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December 2

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“And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame” (1 John 2:28 NLT).

From: December 2, 2019

HOW TO PREPARE FOR CHRIST’S RETURN

Determine to finish well. How? “Remain in fellowship with Christ.” Stay close. If you wander, come back. If you stray, return. If you sin, repent. Keep short accounts. “Remain.” Which is to abide, to stay, to live and walk in constant “fellowship” with Jesus. This is not working or earning. It is remaining. It is clinging continuously to the One who saves us. If we stay in constant fellowship with Him, we won’t be ashamed when He returns. He has done all the work. He declared, “It is finished” on the cross. There is no work for us to do. It is done. Yet, we must remain in Him to finish well ourselves.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to abide in Christ today, continuously clinging to Him for strength and wisdom. We want to be fully present in every moment to see what Christ would do in and through us today. We want to remain in continuous fellowship with Christ at all times. Fill us with His courage. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God” (Daniel 9:23 NLT).

From: December 2, 2018

WHAT’S THE TIME DELAY BETWEEN EARTH AND HEAVEN?
The angel Gabriel was sent by God in response to Daniel’s prayer during the time of the evening sacrifice. He said a command was given the moment Daniel began praying. One Hebrew scholar read Daniel’s recorded prayer aloud and noted that it took about 3 minutes.
 
So, we might conclude that there is no communication delay between earth and heaven when one of God’s precious ones prays. However, the angelic response time seems to be about 3 minutes.
 
Of course, that theory is tested by the next chapter, when Daniel fasts and prays for 3 weeks (Dan. 10:2). Again, Gabriel informed Daniel that God had immediately heard and responded to his prayer. Yet, this time it took Gabriel 3 weeks to carry out God’s command. For there was spiritual warfare with the “prince of Persia” (Dan. 10:13) that delayed him.
 
In both cases, the Lord heard and responded to Daniel’s prayers immediately, but the time of the response varied from 3 minutes to 3 weeks.
 
So, what may we conclude? God hears our prayers and responds immediately, there is no time delay. However, from our perspective, we must continue to faithfully pray, for the arrival of the answer can vary greatly.

“in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:2 NKJV).

From: December 2, 2017

“In the first year” of Darius’ reign, Daniel was moved to make a careful study of the “books” of Scripture. Surely the sudden shift of world domination by the Babylonians, to the now conquering Persians, made him wonder how it would affect the future of Israel. As he studied the book of Jeremiah, he began to understand that the Lord’s “seventy years” of “desolations” for Jerusalem were nearing an end (see Jer. 25:11-12). The seventy years of captivity was God’s discipline for not keeping the Sabbath Year (Lev. 25:4), allowing the land to rest from planting every seven years. Since they had not obeyed the Sabbath Year for 490 years (490/7 = 70), God rested the land Himself for seventy years (2 Chron. 36:20-21).
 
The understanding that Daniel derived from his careful Bible study drove him to his knees in prayers of confession and repentance on behalf of his people. He began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He made supplication to the Lord that He might “turn” His “anger” and “fury” away from Jerusalem (Dan. 9:16). And the Lord answered Daniel’s prayers. For that same year, Cyrus the Great (Possibly another name for Darius. Or Darius served under Cyrus) would be moved by the Lord to make a decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:22-23).
 
We can learn much about discerning the will of God from Daniel. Bible study with much prayer is key for those that would hear direction from the Lord.

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28 ESV)

From: December 2, 2016

Many start life’s race well, but finish poorly. But I want to finish this life well for Christ. Don’t you? What is the secret to finishing well? “Abide” in Christ. Stay close. If you wander, come back. If you stray, return. If you sin, repent. Keep short accounts. “Abide.” Which is to stay, to live and walk in constant fellowship with Jesus. This is not working or earning. It is remaining. It is clinging continuously to the One who saves and keeps us. It is depending on Him for all things and being satisfied in Him at all times. If we stay in constant fellowship with Him, we won’t be ashamed when He returns. He has done the heavy lifting, declaring, “It is finished!” There is no earning, nor striving for us to do. Yet, we must continually abide in Him to finish well.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2 NKJV)

From: December 2, 2015

Do you ever ask questions of God like, “Why is this happening to me?” The apostle John answers saying not everything has been “revealed” yet, but one thing we can be sure of is that “we are children of God” and we shall “be like” Jesus. That’s God’s goal for us as believers. He is making us like Jesus. “Beloved,” whatever suffering or difficulty you may be going through today may be endured by keeping this end in sight. God is at work in His children, conforming them to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29).

“And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame” (1 John 2:28 NLT)

From: December 2, 2014

Determine to finish well. How? “Remain in fellowship with Christ.” Stay close. If you wander, come back. If you stray, return. If you sin, repent. Keep short accounts. “Remain.” Which is to abide, to stay, to live and walk in constant “fellowship” with Jesus. This is not work or earning. It is remaining. It is clinging continuously to the One who saves us. If we stay in constant fellowship with Him, we won’t be ashamed when He returns. He has done all the work. He declared, “It is finished” on the cross. There is no work for us to do. It is done. Yet, we must remain in Him to finish well ourselves.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2)

From: December 2, 2013

This is one of the 15 “Psalms of Ascent.” Psalms 120 through 134 were written for pilgrims to sing as they ascended towards the holy city, Jerusalem and the temple mount. Today, many pilgrims, both Jew and Christian alike, read these psalms on the Southern steps approaching the Huldah or Triple Gate to the temple mount. But we don’t have to go to Israel to be inspired and encouraged by these psalms. Who will help me climb out of this valley? Who will answer my cry and need? My Helper is the Creator. He is the Lord!

“’Don’t be afraid,’ he said, ‘for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!'” (Daniel 10:19)

From: December 2, 2012

The One speaking to Daniel had a similar appearance and effect as Christ did on John in Rev. 1. When we encounter God’s holiness (His wholly otherness and righteousness), it causes fear. Yet, Christ says, “Fear not. For you are very precious to God.” What joy! This is the message of Christmas: “Peace. Fear not. Be encouraged.” For Christ has come and is coming again!

“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens'” (Daniel 9:25)

From: December 2, 2011

This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus came exactly 483 years (62×7+7×7) after the temple was rebuilt. Yet, one ‘seven’ remains to complete the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years.