December 28

Daniel 2:44-45 (NIV) 44"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 46This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands–a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. "The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."

Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon when Daniel went into captivity. Daniel had been through their re-education program to serve the king as a man of wisdom and counsel. This group of people also practiced magical arts, but Daniel and his friends continued to seek the one true God alone.

When Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him, he called for this group of counselors to interpret the dream. Apparently, he was wise to their trickery and really wanted to know the truth about this dream. He asked them to first tell him what he had dreamed. Then he would know that they had special wisdom from the gods. When they could not help him, he commanded them all to be executed.

Daniel asked his friends to pray for a revelation from God. Daniel was given the interpretation. Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a great statue. Its head was of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and the legs, feet and toes were part iron and part clay. A rock was cut out of a mountain and flew into the image, breaking it in pieces. These metals and parts of the image were symbolic of coming kingdoms. The metals were the main metals the coming kingdoms used. The rock is the Kingdom of God. When the world of man's governments comes down to the final ten nations, the toes, Christ will return and set up the Kingdom of God. Man's governments will end.

Consider: The eternal Kingdom of Christ is coming. How, then, should we live today?

December 28

Revelation 12:10-12 (NIV) 10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short."

After a battle in heaven, the Devil and the angels that followed him are cast out. With the heavenly battle won, a loud voice announces the coming of salvation and power and the kingdom of God and the authority of his Christ. It is not that the Devil is finished. In fact, then he will really go to work in the earth. But for all intents and purposes, he's done. Without access to heaven, he has no real power to continue.

He is also called the accuser of our brothers. He lives out the picture we see in the first chapters of Job. He is always making accusations as to our integrity and the motivations of our hearts. That is where guilt and doubt often come from. Once he is cast out of heaven, he can't continue that practice.

How are we to overcome such an incredible being? We overcome with the blood of the Lamb. It is the purchase of our redemption. When he accuses us, we point to the blood shed in our place and remind him that we have the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We overcome with our testimony. No one can deny our experience. We have seen our lives transformed. We know it is a work of the Holy Spirit in us. But finally, we overcome by not clinging to our lives. Death is our graduation. When the Destroyer takes our physical life, we have won.

Consider: Are you overcoming with the blood of the Lamb, the word of your testimony, and by not clinging to your life here?