Daniel and the Sixty-Sevens (Message from Sunday, Daniel 9)

Introduction

  • Encounter a truth: guilty, you already know this truth, it’s easy to put off, but you know it makes a difference
  • Belief: Big results happen when we practice small habits. <diet, exercise, music)>
  • Review Daniel
  • Daniel illustrates this today.

 Bible

  • 9:1-4: Daniel’s Habits
    • He prayed and read his Bible- daily
      • He did his job everyday in Babylon
      • He did it with little results (three weeks in the next chapter)
    • Background to ch. 9: Babylon fell, could the Persians send them back?
    • Why did Daniel think they would be going back?
      • Jeremiah prophesied it: Jeremiah 25:11-12, “This whole country will become a desolate wasteland (Judah), and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolate forever.”
      • The reading of scriptures motivated Daniel to pray
    • Daniel’s prayer
      • He refers to God’s law numerous times (The Bible)
      • 9:18, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” <mercy through Christ>
      • Daniel’s small habits of prayer and Bible reading led to something huge
  • Daniel’s vision
    • 9:21-23: Gabriel flying towards him! (No wings!)
    • 9:24- Heptad = seven (like we use “dozen”)
      • Seventy sevens = 490 years
        • 7 days / 7 years part of the sabbatical cycle
        • Every 7 cycles == 49 years / Year of Jubilee <>
        • 7 = completion (creation)
        • These goals will be completed in the Jubilee cycle
      • 6 Goals (Just like the Dream project is working on now)
        • The Holy City to finish transgression
        • Put an end to sin (The curse in Genesis)
        • Atone for wickedness (Jesus)
        • Bring in everlasting righteousness (We receive this in Christ)
        • Seal up the vision and prophecy(Age of visions and prophecies pass)
        • Anoint the Most Holy Place.
      • What an answer!!!!
    • 9:25-26 (Antiochus (last week)
      • Jesus- 500 years before he was born.
      • Seven sevens = 49 years: How long it took to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra and Nehemiah)
        • Times of trouble: had to rebuild the wall with one hand on the sword / Generational strife in Ezra
      • 62 7’s = 434 yrs. 434 + 49 = 483 years (still seven left out of 490)
        • Anointed One = Jesus
        • Cut off = cross
        • Nothing = no heirs
        • When you add 483 years to the date of Ezra and Nehemiah, 408 B.C.E. (after Jerusalem is rebuilt) you get 30 BC.. the exact year of Jesus death on the cross.
      • People of the Ruler = Rome
        • In 70 CE Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple (and sacrifices were no more)
        • History tells us that the destruction did come as a flood.
        • The Romans laid siege until people were starving to death. They battered the walls with stones (muck like LoTR)
          • People stacked like firewood (Josephus)
          • Burned the temple so hot the gold and silver ran down the cracks of the stones.
        • 9:27: Daniel longed to see Jerusalem and the temple rebuilt yet it is destroyed again. This verse points to the temple in Revelation, that will never be destroyed, in heaven: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:22-27
          • This is our hope too! Christ is our sacrifice for our sins in this temple.
        • Daniel prayed and read his Bible and God opened this incredible vision to him.
        • What about you? What part of a big and mighty God could you be missing if you neglect the small habit of prayer and Bible reading?
        • I believe one problem many Christians have is a lack of being able to interpret their faith experience correctly because they lack these habits- thus you have many frustrated and hurt Christians.

Application

  • A Big God happens when we practice prayer and Bible reading.
  • Great results happen when we are great at small habits.
  • Be like Daniel <>
  • Jeremiah said, ““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 29:11
  • Imagine coming to God with your marriage problem and God says I have incredible plans for your relationship. <broke, addicted, top of the world, depressed, useless, maybe you can’t see us getting out of the Y>
  • How do you pray?
    • “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’  Matthew 6:9-13
  • Read Your Bible
    • YouVersion, start with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    • Lisa and what Beth Moore Said, read as a conversation vs. textbook

 

Making the Dream Workl

Last week I shared with you the three observations we gathered from the Dream Project.  The dream project is where we are looking for God’s direction for the next 5 years of C3.  Those observations are: (1) Find a new location, (2) grow spiritually, and (3) empower people to serve the community.  Right now we are in the process of turning these observations into a vision.  The first rough draft will be given out on September 13th.

The Bible makes it clear that there are two essential values and priorities that must be invested by anyone desiring success and fulfillment for their spiritual life and church.  They are hard work and faith. It seems churches seem to swing from one pendulum to the other.  They do all the hard work and don’t leave room for faith to breathe or they say we have to have faith and sit back and wait for God to do all the work.   Those on the work side ignore this scripture, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine , according to his power that is at work within us.”  Ephesians 3:20.  Those on the faith side ignore scriptures like Proverbs 21:31, “The horse is made ready for battle: but victory belongs to the Lord.”  It is a lot of hard work to get a horse ready for battle.  It is not just a matter of dressing it up in amount either. You have to break the horse, train the horse, and so on.  It is a lot of hard work.

Our vision for the next five years will be just letters on a page unless we as a church family execute it with hard work and faith.  It requires both.

Daniel and the Ram and the Goat (Message Notes from 8/17/2015)

HOPE

  • Hope is expectant (anxious, fast forward, claim the future)
    • Pregnant, student graduating, plane
  • Hope is confident (going in, rollin’, shot out of the park), house loan, retirement)
  • Hope is bright (it will happen and has happened), our destiny is not here at the Y <>, birthday, graduation day, brighter day, peace, struggle will be over, shackles, hope doesn’t hold back, leans forward, energy to move, groove, and improve.)
  • Hope gives (joy, strength, peace, the happy day, cope without hope)
  • Everyone hopes
    • The only choice is where we place our hope
      • (Money, beauty, power, intellect, security, or something else)
    • Hope drives your life >> deepest desires
    • Hope wrongly placed makes you weak, fragile, appalled, and exhausted
  • Your heavenly father knows life w/o hope is no joke 

Daniel 8

  • Daniel 8 (Background, 10 years)
    • Fell to Persia in 539 BCE, 10 years (529 BCE)
    • Vision is about 200 years before it happened. 400 b4 Jesus was born
  • Daniel 8:1
    • Not in his sleep
  • Daniel 8:2-5
    • Reference to when Persia was small, insignificant
    • Susa is the capitol of Persia
    • Ram- symbol of Persia (General’s wear Ram’s head into battle)
    • Persians and Medes (Mede is the smaller horn)
    • 553 BCE to 334 BCE Persia did expand on all sides.
  • Daniel 8:5-8
    • Goat = Greece
      • 1st Greek colony was led by a goat
      • Aegean Sea refers to a goat
    • Alexander did exactly as this vision describes
      • He conquered Persia w/o losing one battle by the age of 32
      • Conquered 1.5 million square miles of land
      • He thought of himself as the son of Hercules
      • He becomes sick and dies in Babylon
    • After his death this Kingdom divided into four Kingdoms
  • Daniel 8:9-12
    • The one referred is the Greek Seleucid Empire
    • Led by King Antiochus IV (160 BCE) {Recall Daniel having this vision in 529 BCE)
    • Good news- Israel will not be exile forever (Jerusalem and temple rebuilt)
    • King Antiochus will be a time of turmoil (defeated by Egypt)
      • He assassinated the High Priest. Onias IV
      • Murdered 80,000 Jews
      • Sanctuary in turmoil (Pig sacrifice to Zeus in temple)
      • He was unyielding and merciless
      • Bible on the ground refers to his campaign to rip to shreds every copy of the Torah.
      • He sold 40,000 Jews into slavery
      • Replaced Feast of the Tabernacles with the Feast of Bacchanalia
      • General forced Priests to play Greek games naked in the temple
      • Jewish woman and babies
      • Seven sons (ripped out tongues and fried them on flat iron, 1 at a time
    • Antiochus the Madman
    • Imagine this nightmare passing through Daniel’s mind.
  • Daniel 8:13-14- How long will this take place?
    • 2300 evenings and mornings = 6 years.
      • This is how long Antiochus reign lasted
    • Maccabean Revolt
      • Judas the Hammer (Judas the Zealot disciple)
      • Hanukah (Candle staying lit)
      • Sets up the scene for Zealots, Pharisees, etc. when Jesus came.
    • It is believed Antiochus IV became sick the day the Jews carried Jupiter out of temple.
  • Daniel 8:15-25 (Interpretation)
    • This is given to Daniel roughly 300 years before it happened.
      • God doesn’t predict the future. It already has happened, is happening, and is going to happen all at once for him.
      • Prophecy is future history.
    • Daniel 8:26 (What to do with the vision)
      • For future generations (God was giving his people hope!) <>

GOD GIVES US HOPE!

  • HOPE!
    • God gave this vision for a future generation to have hope.
    • Through Christ we have our hope too!
      • Better tomorrow, resurrection, eternal life, return, expectant, rise from the dead, new earth and heaven, Jesus gave his life to seal the deal.
      • You might ask through, “How long Jesus?”
    • We have Revelation <>
      • It’s big theme is hope! God reigns!
    • Jesus is our hope
      • Revelation: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”  Psalm 39:7 echoes, “Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you!”
    • ILL: Nazi death camp survivor- create a feast (Passover, Purim, Hanukah)
    • APP: We have a great feast to look forward too:
      • “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:7-9
    • Review
    • A life without hope is no joke. Your heavenly Father knows this so he has given us hope.  He has given us Jesus.   When life is tough, exhausting, perplexing, appalling, don’t wish upon a star.  Anchor on the Bright and Morning Star, Jesus Christ.  He is our hope!

PRAY

TIME OF COMMITMENT: Our hope is in Jesus Christ, a person, a historical event, it is solid, backed up by proof (Daniel)

Three Observations

Three observations.

We have made three key observations from the information we collected form the Dream Project this summer.   The Dream Project is where we asked everyone I the church what their dream is for the church 5 years from now.  We have collected the data and we have made three observations.  Right now, we are I the process of taking these observations and asking God to turn them into God’s vision for our families, our church, and for Suffolk.  Would you please pray over these observations that God will use them to increase his fame through us?

Observation 1:  We need to expand our ministry beyond the YMCA.  It was also discovered the dream was not to wait five years for this to happen.   Many believed the facility itself was holding C3’s ministry from moving forward.  This belief was expressed whether we build in on the land in Chuckatuck or not.

Observation 2: There is a desire to improve the spiritual maturity and community of our congregation.

Observation 3: There is also a desire to not merely help the community, but make a significant impact in the lives of people in Suffolk.

Please pray as we turn these observations from your input into God’s vision for our church.  What is the preferred picture God has for us five years from now?  Will we believe that he will give us the resources, the people, the skills, the funds, and the faith to get this accomplished?  I believe we will.  I believe if we follow God’s plan we will see more baptisms, new Christian leaders, and God’s fame spread far and wide.

My Dream Card

I thought I would share with you my Dream Card for C3.  As you know, we have been collecting your dream cards and thoughts over the summer and I have held off until now in sharing mine. I wanted to hear what you were saying first.   I don’t consider mine any more important than yours, but since you shared your dream I thought it would appropriate to share mine.

  1. In five years I want to see 50 people coming to a faith in Jesus per year. That would be about 1 baptism per week.  Why the number?  That’s my dream! I want to see people turning their lives over to Jesus and living in faith with him.  I want to make friends in heaven.  Right now, we see about 1-2 baptisms a year.  I really, really, want to see that changed in a positive direction.
  2. I would like to see all current Christians in our church as well as the new ones mentioned above grow to be reproducing Christians. I just don’t want to see people start their faith.  I want to see them grow from a babe in Christ to a mature Christian that reproduces the fruit of the Spirit in themselves and be able to share their faith successfully.  I want to see people live by their identity in Christ and not their career, or family name, or personal interest.  I want Christians to know the value they have in building up the Kingdom of God.  I want them to know the joy of leading and baptizing someone into Jesus Christ’ death and resurrection.
  3. I would like to see our church family organized to empower you to do ministry in the community. One observation I made during the Dream Discussion Groups was people had a lot of great ideas on reaching out to the community.  They were great ideas, but these ideas did not require a building nor would they require 5 years to accomplish.  For some reason people seemed hesitant to act on their ideas. I’ve been asking myself, “Why?” What was stopping these awesome ideas from coming to life?  I would lie to see us be better at empowering the church to be the church in the community.  Whatever obstacle is keeping us from accomplishing our vision for the community needs demolishing.

That is my dream card.  I have turned it in!  Be on the lookout for September 13th when we reveal the first rough draft of the vision!

What is a vision?

Phase II of the Dream Project is to construct a 5 year vision rough draft.  We will be presenting two rough drafts and after each presentation, we really desire your feedback.  During the month of August, we will be analyzing the data we have taken from your comments and with much prayer write the first rough draft and present on September 13th.

What is a vision?  A vision is not a mission.  Our church already has a mission.  We desire to be a church that connects people to God and the community.  This does not change.

A vision is what believe we can accomplish with Jesus at the center.  A vision is a preferred picture of what our church family will be like 5 years from now.  The vision is specific with a defining and timely goal (as in we will land on the moon in 10 years).  Great visions solve great problems as in Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls.  Visions from God always require what seems to us great risk, has profound obstacles to overcome, boundless faith, prodigious wisdom, and abundant prayer. A vision is too small if we can do it on our own and with no help from God.  A vision is too big if it is unattainable and crushes us more than it excites us.  Read the story of King Rehoboam if you want an example.  I’ve seen the early results and I like what God is saying through His people.  I can’t wait to see it put together and share it on September 13th!  Get ready C3!

Daniel and the Lion’s Den (Sunday’s Message Outline)

WHY

  • Next Week: Celebration Sunday!
  • Review Daniel: God is in control when life is out of control.
    • 1: Exile, 2: Dream, 3: 3 guys, 4: Boanthropy, 5: Belshazzar
  • Assumption: You have some kind of faith <>
  • Don’t waste your faith:
    • Boat drifts with no engine (Faith is your engine)
    • “You must believe and not doubt, because one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
  • Faith is a horrible gift to waste
    • We all have some level of faith / Get by
    • Faith gives you forgiveness, righteousness, hope, ambition, glorious riches in Christ,
    • Faith is a horrible gift to waste
  • Daniel 6 is a great illustration of this NOT wasting your faith

 

WHAT

  • Daniel 6:1, Satrap, Darius <>
  • Daniel 6:2-3
    • Daniel had a great blessing, even in a new regime
    • Didn’t like Daniel because he was now from 2 defeated nations
  • Daniel 6:4
    • “Unless it had something to do with his God.”
    • The only way to get Daniel to slip up was to pit between his loyalty to his job and his faith.
  • Sneaky plan: Darius, give decree everyone must pray to you for 30 days <>
    • Violators thrown into lion’s den <>
    • Why? Unity
  • Daniel 6:10, first sentence only
    • <> on Daniel going up to pray, and pauses
    • He sighs (Only 30 days, Lion’s Den, ineffective)
      • Had to pray in window <>
    • Daniel 6:10 (second sentence)
      • Why so important to do this activity?
    • The other leaders catch and report him
    • Darius, after much frustration, has to do it by Persian law
    • “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Darius the Mede
    • Daniel in the Lion’s Den <>
      • Next morning walks out all smiles
      • Daniel 6:22
        • Jesus walked out of a pit of death too
          • Both sealed by a large stone
          • Both walked out at dawn
          • Both were innocent
          • But Jesus was dead when he entered, not Daniel
          • And Jesus walked out with wounds, Daniel didn’
          • Daniel used his innocence to defend himself
          • Jesus traded his innocence for our sin
        • Both had faith in God that they would survive the night!

HOW

  • Why was Daniel so committed to praying?
    • Why risk his career, lifestyle, even his life to prayer?
    • Could you see yourself missing work, overtime, a ball game, practice, a team trip, business appointment, because you were committed to praying?
  • For many of us prayer is a chore, something we do in our down time. Perhaps you have prayed and it didn’t work, so whay put faith in it?
  • Daniel could say the same <>
  • Daniel understood something about prayer many Christians do not understand. Prayer safeguards your heart. Prayer keeps your faith strong.
    • Daniel in a foreign land <>
    • We too live in a culture <>
    • Faith is wasted when prayer is jagged.
  • You cannot have faith without prayer
    • Philippians 4:6-7 teaches, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” <>
    • APP: In ALL situations go to God in prayer. Safeguard <>
    • Your faith must be strong… you keep it strong by being committed to praying.
  • If we are going to follow Jesus with all we’ve got shouldn’t we pray like Daniel did?
  • If you are going to believe in God shouldn’t you pray like Daniel did?
  • Prayer doesn’t work? God didn’t answer your prayer the way you like? <>
  • Prayer is boring. Are you a little too comfortable with your ears being tickled all the time?
  • Prayer is hard.
    • What’s hard is going through life without the peace of God
    • What’s hard is going through life without a higher power.
    • What’s hard is going through life with bitterness and anger.
    • What’s hard is a heart filled with grief and hurt and not grace and love.
  • Prayer is where you dare to know the peace of God. A faith is jagged when our prayer life is ragged.
  • I often don’t pray because:
    • I tend to magnify my concerns and not Gods desire. God’s desire is to guard our heart and to give us eternal life and peace.  Too often, I just want God to fix things.  My situation calming down doesn’t give me peace.  God gives me peace.  Praying as Daniel prayed is where I learn that reality.
    • I tend to evaluate all I see as if that is all there is. No eternal perspective.
    • I tend to close my hands on my possessions instead of allowing God to possess me.
    • I tend to hold onto my emotions and not Gods peace.
  • Pray like Daniel did, dont waste your faith!
  • Faith is ragged when your prayer life is jagged!
  • Prayer is where you dare to know the peace of God
  • You cannot follow Jesus with all your heart and soul w/o prayer

 PRAY

TIME OF COMMITMENT:           

            Jesus had a similar commitment to prayer, often praying all night.  Why did Jesus pray?  He didn’t need to pray for God to heal stuff or fix stuff. He prayed to safeguard his heart in God himself.  Through Christ’s blood on the cross we have that same access.  Don’t waste your faith!