Focus Verse: I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding. (27)
Even after Gabriel interpreted the vision, Daniel still did not understand it. It is fine to admit that we do not always understand God’s Word. His ways are often beyond our understanding. Even though I have read the Bible through several times, I don’t comprehend it all. Revelation remains one of my favorite books, but much of it remains wrapped in mystery. Our lack of understanding should not keep us from reading Scripture. Truth does not have to be understood to be believed. Everything will one day be revealed to us because of our faith.
Focus Verse: “Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. (7)
I think it is safe to say that Daniel was pretty much innocent regarding the desolation of Jerusalem. He was faithful to God in his youth and remained faithful to God until his death. However, Daniel took it upon himself to confess not only his sins, but also the sins of his people. No matter how righteous we esteem ourselves to be, it greatly pales in comparison with God’s righteousness.
When we are punished for our disobedience or unfaithfulness, we should not get mad at God. We should say like Daniel, “The Lord our God is righteous in everything he does.”
Focus Verse: Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. (12)
When we humble ourselves before God, our prayers will be heard and a response will be given us. When we are touched by God, our weakness will leave us and we will be strengthened.
Focus Verse: Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— (1)
In previous passages, Paul described himself as a servant of Jesus the Christ. In this passage, he describes himself as a prisoner of Jesus the Christ. He is aware of all that Jesus has done for him and recognizes that he owes his life to the One Who died for him – as we all do.
Slave is generally defined as “a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them” or “a person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation.” This is not what it means to be a slave of Jesus the Christ. To be a slave of Christ means that we are totally, unquestionably devoted to Christ. We are not forced to do so. We do so because we love Christ because He first loved us.
Jesus the Christ is not an oppressive Master. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Because we have been set free from sin, we have become slaves of God. The blessing we receive from this leads to holiness and the result of this holiness is eternal life.