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News for Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunday School Lesson - Explore the Bible
Aug. 31: Be Ready for Tribulation
By Shawn Allred
pastor, FBC, Bruceton


Focal Passage: Daniel 9:20-27; 12:9-13

Jesus is coming back! God’s Word reveals this to us in I Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.” (HCSB) In light of the return of Christ there are three things that we need to do in preparation for His grand and glorious return. We need to live “prayed up,” “prepped up,” and “pepped up.” 

Daniel was spending time with God in prayer and confession in Daniel 9:20-23 when he was approached by the angel Gabriel who had come to give him a message from the Lord. Daniel understood from his reading of the prophet Jeremiah that the exile he and his people were experiencing would soon draw to an end and they would once again be restored to the Land of Promise. Scripture reveals to us that Daniel was in “extreme weariness” seeking to understand what God had in store. Through Daniel’s confession and intercession we see the Lord send a messenger to Daniel to give him understanding of the vision the Lord had previously shown to him. In order to be ready for trials and tribulations and the challenges of everyday life we need to be “prayed up.” Daniel was given answers and encouraged by talking to the Lord. Gabriel, God’s messenger, told Daniel that he had come to give him answers and reminded him that he was treasured by God. This is the same God we serve today. He longs to give us the answers we need and to remind us that we are a treasure in His sight. 

In order to live the life of holiness that God has set us apart to we need to be prepared for what is ahead. Being proactive instead of reactive is always a good quality to practice especially in our spiritual lives. Because the Lord has given us His Word we have a glimpse into what is coming concerning the end times. We know from our previous study that we need to live with victory in sight, but victory will not come without first fighting the fight. Difficult times are here and are coming for the lives of those who follow Christ. We must remember that Christ is victorious, He is the Messiah, and He will bring ultimate victory. We need to live “prepped up” lives, preparing for the victory that lies ahead for all those in Christ Jesus. This was the encouragement to Daniel in his day and remains the encouragement for us today. 

One thing we cannot do is allow future developments to hinder our immediate challenges. Living in light of victory should propel us to live “pepped up” lives for the cause of Christ. Daniel was encouraged by Gabriel to continue to live a life of obedience and faithfulness even in the light of coming events. This is the charge for all believers today. We cannot quit, we cannot wait, and we must not grow weary. Galatians 6:9 gives us this encouragement, “And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” (HCSB) I love what Gabriel told Daniel in Daniel 9:13, “But as for you, go on your way to the end; you will rest, then rise to your destiny at the end of days.” What an encouragement for us! Those in Christ will rest one day from the troubles of this world and we have an eternal destiny in the presence of Christ. So stay prayed up, prepped up, and pepped up until the end.

— Allred is pastor of First Baptist Church, Bruceton.

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