Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28 - Wisdom and Power for Life

Today's Reading:
Daniel 2:24-3:30
Matthew 24:1-28
Proverbs 19:23-20:4
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Focus Verses:
Daniel 2:17-20
17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven 20 and said: "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.

The magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers who served King Nebuchadnezzar claimed to have special gifts of interpretation and secret knowledge. The King challenged the credibility of these claims by saying essentially, "Anybody can make up an interpretation to a dream. If you're so smart, tell me what I dreamed. If you can't tell me the dream I had, why should I believe your explanation of it?"

Daniel, on the other hand, claimed no special gift or secret knowledge. Instead he simply professed his faith in the God who knows all things. Daniel's ability to reveal and interpret the king's dream would only be possible with God's help and revelation. So Daniel cried out to the Lord, and when God answered his prayer, Daniel's immediate response was to give thanks, praise, and testimony for God's provision.

Response and Action:
The world is filled with needs I cannot meet, questions I cannot answer, and problems I cannot solve. While many claim to have all the answers, their solutions usually fail. That is not a mistake I want to make.

Instead, like Daniel, I simply want to put my faith and confidence in God’s power to meet needs, provide answers, and solve problems. I will cry out to God for the insight and wisdom I need to serve and bless others. I will give God praise and thanks for any good thing he helps me do in his name.

O God, by the grace of your Holy Spirit, transform and empower me to be your servant. By following in the footsteps of Jesus, teach me to live out grace and truth that blesses others. By the instruction, rebuke, and correction of your Holy Scriptures, train me in righteousness and make me thoroughly equipped for every good work. I ask all this in Jesus' name, with a readiness to give thanks and praise to you for every mercy you grant. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: James 1:5-6
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential
by Gordon T. Smith

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