Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10)
What was the first thing that Daniel did when heard the decree of King Darius ordering the death of any who petitions any god or man other than the king himself? He went home and prayed to God, thus disobeying the king’s decree. The Bible notes that he did this “as was his custom since early days”, indicating that this was not something new for Daniel to do. In fact, these thrice-daily prayers were his usual spiritual cultivation. And these prayers were so important to Daniel that he deemed them worth defying the king for, so important that they were worth dying for.
This is the day which You have made, Lord.
Help me to rejoice and be glad in it.
Last night I had a dream: I walked into my office at work and started to search for my baby. I knew that I had a baby and that I had not been a good parent because I had been neglecting it. I had to dig it out from under layers and layers of blankets and clothing. When I uncovered it, it was this shriveled, tiny thing that was no larger than my hand. And I could see that it was struggling to breathe and that it was very weak. I began to feel a sense of panic. I started to force milk down its throat and it gradually began to look better. The legs began to curl up into the usual fetal position and the color got better. I remember feeling immense relief that it did not die. That’s all that I could remember of the dream.
When I woke up this morning, the dream immediately came to mind and I knew that the shriveled up baby was my spiritual self. It was almost like a lightening bolt, the clarity of the dream’s recall and my instantaneous understanding of its meaning. Continue reading
Peter: He came to Jesus empty-handed, unschooled and artless, with no skills or abilities to boast of (even his ability to fish wasn’t even all that reliable, see Luke 5).
Paul: He came to Jesus with his hands full of earthly gifts. He had the best schooling, high status and power among the Jews.
How were both men able to do great things in their service to God? Continue reading
…[S]he came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. (Mark 5:27-29)
Mark 5:25-34 tells the familiar story of the woman who had a flow of blood for 12 years and was healed simply by touching Jesus’ garment. The striking feature of this story is the way in which her healing came about: it seemed to have surprised Jesus, drawing power from Him almost as if He was not the one giving it.
“And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’” (Mark 5:30)
Here is the only time that Jesus performed a miracle seemingly unintentionally. It is also the only time that He did not know whom the miracle was completed for. So how did the miracle come about at all? It was in her touch. Continue reading