Warning and encouragement!

Today’s readings are Daniel 9:1-19 and Mark 4:21-34.

These beautiful verses today contain great encouragement and warning and we would do well to heed them carefully!

First of all the Daniel verses show us a wonderful model of what it is to pray a prayer of confession that seeks mercy from the merciful one. God reveals to Daniel from Jeremiah the implications of the seventy years of desolation that Jerusalem and the nation must endure. Daniel is moved to mourn for the nation and the people. He then prays, confesses and makes supplication.
Daniel’s prayer is truly a model for all of us….as he he confesses the sin of the people and himself. He acknowledges that God is right and just to judge his people. It is because of their sin that these dreadful events are unfolding. Daniel prays on the basis of God’s great mercies. He prays for God to hear, to forgive, to listen and to act.
Why is this? Is it because the people and nation deserve mercy? Have they served their time? Do they deserve a break? No, none of these. It is because God’s honour, glory and name are at stake. It is only because of this that Daniel seeks God’s manifest mercy.
We must listen closely to this because we often think of ourselves as somehow deserving because we are the people of God. First and foremost God’s mighty name must reign supreme. It is our joy to witness and testify but we must never presume upon this.

The Mark reading encourages us to shine publicly as a lamp on a stand does. What can we be doing each and every day to shine the name of Christ. Furthermore we learn that blessing is governed by our attitude and the degree of effort we put into our relationship. Sow liberally and there will be great produce and vice versa. But it will all be his, nothing do we bring other than a broken and willing spirit.
In verses 26-32 we learn that the growth of the kingdom is gradual and definite and we can choose to be part of this growth or sit idly by. We know that like the mustard seed from little things God is able to grow a wonderful crop of blessing. Let’s be part of this!
Pray today that you and your brothers and sisters will not be lazy, idle and conceited but eager to be a part of the kingdom work. Pray!

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