I enjoyed our Summer series from Luke’s gospel as we saw the decisive nature of an Encounter with Jesus; they only go one of two ways and part of the beauty of the good news of Jesus Christ is that often the more of a mess we are, the more of His grace we tend to see when we encounter him today.
This Fall, I’ve also enjoyed our mini-series on the abundance of God and the question of how we shall respond. Responding to God is never something that can save us or repay Him for what He has done for us, but it is always revealing of where our faith has got to and indeed if it is even genuine at all (2 Cor. 8:8).
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As I write, we are preparing to return to the book of Daniel for Daniel: Kingdoms in Conflict Part II.
In the first half of the book of Daniel, which we examined earlier this year, three great ancient kings found out about the sovereignty of God (usually the hard way). Daniel shows us that no matter who claims to rule our world, and whatever twists and turns life seems to be taking in the moment, ultimately God is sovereign over all things.
In the second part of the book, the entire genre changes from historical account to something more prophetic and even apocalyptic, but the point is broadly the same.
He receives a series of visions, some of which are so spectacularly strange that even he doesn’t understand them. Often churches avoid books like Daniel. The passages are long and the ideas are complex. But at Christ Church we believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) and so we do not shy away from the tough passages of scripture.
Weird though the mode of expression is, Daniel prophesies the future in elaborate and astonishingly accurate detail. As we seek to explain some of these things, our primary aim is to show that if God was able to prepare his people for conflict then and we can see his sovereign protection over them in the past, how much more can we trust him today and more importantly for eternity.