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Heaven Rules

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God is in control of the world, Lifestyle should represent us being im his kingdom

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Prayer
FRIDAY, JULY 12: We pray for Commander Bonnie Mason, who serves as Deputy Director of Chaplaincy Services in Ottawa, and for her ministry to members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. PCC Canada Prayer...
Scripture
Daniel 4:1
Daniel 4:13–17 NIV
13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “ ‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. 17 “ ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
Daniel 4:4–37 NIV
4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. 5 I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. 6 So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. 7 When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. 8 Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.) 9 I said, “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no mystery is too difficult for you. Here is my dream; interpret it for me. 10 These are the visions I saw while lying in bed: I looked, and there before me stood a tree in the middle of the land. Its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky; it was visible to the ends of the earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed. 13 “In the visions I saw while lying in bed, I looked, and there before me was a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven. 14 He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But let the stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze, remain in the ground, in the grass of the field. “ ‘Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven, and let him live with the animals among the plants of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal, till seven times pass by for him. 17 “ ‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’ 18 “This is the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had. Now, Belteshazzar, tell me what it means, for none of the wise men in my kingdom can interpret it for me. But you can, because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.” 19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! 20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, 21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds—22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth. 23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’ 24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.” 28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.” 33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. 34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Daniel 4:24 NIV
24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:
Daniel 4:24–27 NIV
24 “This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26 The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”
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What makes this piece of scripture interesting is the book of Daniel and its prophecies. This piece today tells the story of king Nebuchadnezzar. A man who was not a follow of the one true God, but who instead followed his own Gods and how God brought him to worship and praise the one true God.
Daniel 4:
Who was Daniel? He was a member of the Judean royal family and was taken captive by king Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed Jerusalem in 605 B.C. Daniel was one of the chosen few that were trained as officials. What made them special was that even though they were given this privilege they chose to maintain their worship of God and obey the laws that they lived by, even when presented with a wide array of food they refused to eat anything that was forbidden. God was happy with this and made them all succeed in the tasks they were given. Daniel in particular was given the ability to interpret dreams and this made him a valued advisor of the king of Babylon.
In this story the great king Nebuchadnezzer has had a dream and is asking all the wise men of his kingdom to interpret the dream for him. Two of the wisemen predict that his dream applies to his enemies. You seen Nebuchadnezzer is at the height of his power and they feel that they may be able to increase their status by pleasing him with their words. Essentially they are paying him lip service and telling him what he wishes to hear.
He then asks the prophet Daniel to interpret a dream for him. Daniel interpreted the dream and explains the outcome for Nebuchadnezzar. He tells him he will be driven away and live like an animal unless he renounces his sin and begins to be kind to the oppressed. He even tells the King that he has the opportunity to avoid the negative consequences and continue to live in his prosperity if he does this.
The king chooses to listen to the words of those who proclaimed the dream is meant for his enemies. Twelve months latter he is still living in his pride and arrogance and thus he suffers the punishment that God decreed for him. For 7 years he suffers as an animal before God restores him to his Glory.
It is through this suffering that the king realizes the true sovereignty of God. He realizes that the kingdom and power of God far outweigh his power as one of the most powerful kings in human history. Nebuchadnezzer comes to be fully aware just how unimportant he is in the bigger picture of the world.
However, the part that I do think there are parts that still apply today.
His prayer when he regains his sanity is a clear example of this:
Daniel 4:34–37 NIV
34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Daniel 4:34-37
What is our lesson here tonight?
God’s divine providence will overrule anything we do on or in this world. Whether we are faithful believers or not, God controls everything, so we should live our lives accordingly. God has the power to give and take away any aspect of our lives and anything he chooses to do is both just and righteous. We should live our lives to glorify him, praise him and serve him.
It is my hope and prayer that each of you will go home and reflect upon how you can live your life in God’s kingdom in a more Christlike manner.
Let us pray,
Sometimes we may even be these people, paying lip service to someone instead of telling them the truth of their situation because we are afraid that we may hurt their feelings, lose a friend or offend them in some way. How often do we hesitate to tell someone the truth because of these things.
Gracious King, Forgive, Intercede, Restore
How often can we be like David and tell someone the truth even though we know it is not something they want to hear.
O Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, you died for our sins on the cross, and you rose again from death, and live and reign forever as our mediator and gracious King. Graciously forgive us our sins, intercede for us poor sinners, make us righteous and sanctify and reign in us with your Holy Spirit to bring us to eternal life. Gather now your eternal church from every land. Give us good government, and protect us from the power of the evil foe; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
I think there is a lot of depth in this story, the is a lot to be learned about human nature and about how we communicate and respond to those around us.
Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 289-290
Perhaps the strongest message comes through at the end. We should exalt, glorify and praise God for all he does in our lives each and every day, because whatever he has done he is right and just in doing.
https://acollectionofprayers.com/tag/extended-collect/page/1/
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