This past Sunday, we finished up our sermon series in the book of Daniel. As we closed out the series, our goal was to try and capture the main emphasis and themes within the book. As a whole, we saw the book of Daniel helping us to understand that: God encourages His people to patiently persevere knowing that He will establish His kingdom.
As we looked at the book of Daniel, here were the four themes we focused on.
1. God’s Kingdom Reigns Supreme:
This theme drives heavily throughout the book and is an important truth to keep in front of us. In the book of Daniel, we see a number of major political players that even today, are notable kingdoms. Yet, none of them playing today. Kingdoms come and kingdoms go…except for God’s Kingdom;which reigns supreme! How should we think about God’s Kingdom? We should remember that God’s Kingdom is established. It is already in place. God’s Kingdom is Eternal. God has reigned for all of time and He will reign for all of time. Third, God’s Kingdom is a righteous kingdom. His kingdom will be characterized unlike any other, because the King is unlike any other. What a hope we have as we consider the coming consummation of God’s Kingdom!
2. God Sovereignly Positions His People:
The book of Daniel helps us to see that God is sovereignly positioning His people. God is putting you in the places that He is, on purpose. One of those purposes is that we would be missional. God has positioned you at a job or a school, in a neighborhood, in a family and in New Mexico ON PURPOSE! So that obnoxious classmate, lazy co-worker or goofy neighbor…God put you in their life with a missional purpose in mind. Loved ones, let’s lean into the places that God has positioned us. Secondly, God positions us for sanctifying purposes. In the same way that God put the people of God into captivity, there was a sanctifying purpose connected to that. The situations and circumstances that you find yourself in today, God has put you into them as a means to conform you to the image of God.
3. The Nature of Suffering in the Life of a Believer:
One of the more difficult but necessary themes in the book of Daniel is seeing the nature of suffering in the life of the believer. We see multiple forms of suffering in Daniel, which serve as a reminder that we too will suffer in our lives. God will not shield us from suffering. In fact, we would do well to expect that we will suffer. This is seen throughout the Scriptures. But inasmuch as this is a fact of life for the believer, what we also see is that God offers hope in our suffering. In each of the four visions on the back half of Daniel, they bring with them a dark and disturbing picture for God’s people. Yet, in every vision there is hope that is offered to God’s people. This is true for us as well. While we will suffer, we have a hope that supersedes our suffering and will one day put all of our suffering to death.
4. God Delivers His People from Destruction and Wrath:
The final theme that we discussed is really the theme of the Bible: God delivers His people! This isn’t just thematic in Daniel, it’s thematic throughout the Scriptures. But what we clearly see in Daniel is first the need for God’s justice. We see God’s holiness and humanity’s sinfulness. We see that God must address and deal with sin and wickedness. Yet, we also see God’s deliverance. We see that God rescues and delivers His people! We praise God for that. Loved one, let us live our lives in light of this incredible news! Let us be reminded that God has rescued us from the wrath that we deserve! Let us be reminded that we have a living hope! Let us be reminded of our Savior who came and dwelt among us, so that we will one day dwell with God!Let us live as people who have been freed from the bondage of sin and death because of the great work of our Savior Jesus!
Please read the following Scripture for Sunday, December 23, 2018: