Sovereignty and Missions in Daniel, part 2

In my last post, I reflected on the theme of God's sovereignty in the first four chapters of Daniel.  This is one of the concepts I think we often know, but the implications escape us. Yet as we seek to understand scripture we must seek both meaning and application.  Application in many cases may be understanding how a bedrock truth should effect the way we think about common areas of our lives as followers of Christ. For example, as I was reading these chapters, I felt that there are some powerful implications for missions found in Daniel's presentation of God's sovereignty.

The fact that God is sovereign over every nation, means that He is the rightful King of all peoples.  He is the King of those who recognize Him and He is King of those who have never heard of Him.  As I have heard it said, He is not merely a tribal deity.  He is the one and only God of the Universe.  The proper response of His subjects is humble and joyful submission to His loving and gracious rule.  In fact, this is what Daniel pleaded with Nebuchadnezzar to do:

"Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity." Daniel 4:27

True missions is not a mere making of converts.  Missions is calling rebellious citizens to the King's palace that they might experience and live in the fullness of life and joy found in Him.

This same idea hit me this summer as I attended the World Changers project in Savannah.  I was praying with Carrie and the summer staff one night when Keyla, who is from Puerto Rico, began to pray in Spanish.  As she was praying, God showed me a blindness I didn't realize I had.  I knew He was God over the earth.  At that time, He reminded me that when I go on mission, I am not introducing them to a foreign King, I am telling them of their God.  He already is God of the nations whether they know Him or serve Him.  My role is to be an ambassador of the King and call them to recognize Him.

"Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20

Posted by Jack | at 8:00 AM | 0 comments

Sovereignty and Missions in Daniel, part 1

In my personal study time, I have been reading the book of Daniel.  I have finished the first four chapters and there is a powerful recurring theme I have noticed: the sovereignty of God in all things.  After reading chapter four, I went back and looked over the previous chapters and reflected on how God's sovereignty is seen up to that point.  Here is what I found:

  • He is the one who gave Israel into the hands of the Babylonians (1:2)
  • He is the one who moved people into government positions (1:9, 17, 2:36)
  • He knows all thoughts and dreams (2:19)
  • He is the one who brings about the future (2:28, 45)
  • He is sovereign over human plots and designs (3:28)
Chapter four has a statement that is repeated, with slight variation, three times (v. 17, 25, 32) "till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will."  This is important in that it reminds us that God's sovereignty is not limited to the nation of Israel or the Church.  God is the rightful and sovereign King of all the earth.

This has many powerful implications, especially in the area of missions.  For that, you will have to wait for my next post.

Posted by Jack | at 8:00 AM | 0 comments

Nine great years

Today marks nine years that my precious wife and I have been married.  I could ask for no better helpmate, encourager, friend, partner, and mother for my children.  I am blessed in more ways than I can count.  I thank God for Carrie.  Love you Lu!

Posted by Jack | at 9:33 AM | 0 comments