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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day 166: John 7:32-52 & Psalm 24 - How Do Rivers of Living Water Flow out of the Hearts of Believers?

Today's Reading: John 7:32-52 & Psalm 24

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How Do Rivers of Living Water Flow out of the Hearts of Believers?

"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive" - John 7:38-39, ESV

When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4, He said, "“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13-14).” Now, He proclaims to all those gathered in the Temple that "whoever believes" in Him will have rivers of living water flow out of his heart.

In today's passage, John explains that Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit when He spoke about "living water." But that doesn't perfectly clarify everything, does it? How is the Holy Spirit like living water? What does it mean for rivers of living water to flow out of our hearts? How does the Holy Spirit make this a reality for believers?

The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is nothing less than the personal presence of God Himself in the heart of every believer. When Jesus speaks of the heart, He doesn't mean simply our emotions but the very core of who we are. Through Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in the core of the life and soul of every believer. This means that God Himself is with us, always, never leaving us nor forsaking us.

What does the abiding presence of God do in our lives? Well, Galatians 5 tells us that the Holy Spirit grows fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This fruit of the Spirit imparts life and vitality to our souls and lives and the fruit overflows from our lives for the benefit of others around us. Notice that all of the fruit of the Spirit carry benefits for the believer and for those in relationship with the believer.

This is the picture Jesus is painting with the image of rivers of living water. When living waters out from our hearts, it first brings refreshment, healing and fruitfulness to our own lives and then it overflows to bless those around us. Without the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, we are dry and thirsty and barren. The Holy Spirit alone brings us life and love, joy peace, etc., which bless us and all those around us.

How can we experience the life-giving streams of the Holy Spirit? First, we need to believe in the Lord Jesus rest in Him. Secondly, we need to stay connected to the vine (to use another of Jesus' metaphors). How do we stay connected? By staying on our knees in prayer, in the Word, in private and corporate worship, sharing in the Lord's Supper, enjoying real life-giving fellowship with other believers. God has given us all of the means of grace to keep us connected to Him and to keep His grace empowering our lives. 

If you believe in Jesus, call out to Him for the rivers of living water, the powerful, life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit. Then, seek Him in His word, in prayer and in worship. He loves to meet with His own and to give more and more of His Holy Spirit to us.

Prayer Based on Psalm 24:

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.

Heavenly Father, this is Your world. You are the Maker, Upholder and Ruler of all. Everyone who draws breath breathes Your air and everyone walking on this earth walks on Your ground. Lord, I pray that everyone would see the truth and would acknowledge You. 

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Lord, I confess to You that I do not have clean hands or a pure heart. My hands have been guilty and my heart has been impure. I know that I have no right to ascend Your holy mountain or stand in Your holy place. I have lifted up my soul to falsehood again and again. I have sworn deceitfully and have no right to expect blessing from You. 

But I thank You for the glorious grace of the Gospel! How wonderful is the good news of Jesus Christ and His righteousness! He has earned the right to stand before You and He has earned access to Your holy place. You, by Your grace, have united me to Christ and You count me as righteous in Him, giving me access and security before You in Him! 

Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob. 

The generation of those who seek You, O Lord, is Your church, Your people. We seek Your face because You have drawn us by Your lovingkindness and have secured us for Yourself. And so we seek You and we cry out to You. Rise up, O Lord, and show Yourself mighty to save and awesome in saving power. Come in among Your people in our times of worship and prayer. Change our hearts and renew our minds in the truth. Go before us into battle and fight for us against our enemies, Your enemies. You are the King of Glory! Be glorified now and always! 

Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Day 165: John 7:1-31 & Psalm 23 - Why Didn't Jesus' Brothers Believe in Him?

Today's Reading: John 7:1-31 & Psalm 23

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Why Didn't Jesus' Brothers Believe in Him?

Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. - John 7:3-5, ESV

One of the most puzzling facts recorded in the Gospels is the fact that Jesus' younger half-brothers did not believe in Him during His earthly ministry. In fact, Matthew, Mark and Luke all record that Jesus' brothers tried to stop His public ministry. John here records His brothers taunting Him and daring Him to go and get into a public confrontation with the Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem.

Why didn't Jesus' brothers believe in Him? Well, He was their older brother. They all grew up in the same household. These men were the natural sons of Joseph and Mary. They all knew that Joseph wasn't the biological father of Jesus. They had probably heard the stories of their mom's miraculous conception of Jesus in her womb, but they obviously didn't believe it. They probably suspected their parents lied to cover up some ugly reality.

Even though these men had grown up with a literally perfect older brother, they did not believe that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. The fact that all four Gospel writers record this truth is stunning, really. It is stunning because Jesus' brothers did actually become believers later. James and Jude became leaders in the early church and wrote the books of the Bible that bear their names. 

So, what would have changed the minds of these brothers of Jesus? How did they go from mocking unbelief to committed discipleship of their older half-brother? The conversion of James and Jude is one of the key pieces of evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus. Both men were converted to Christ when they saw Jesus alive again, risen from the dead following His crucifixion.

So it turns out that the unbelief of Jesus' brothers is more than just an uncomfortable fact that makes parts of the Gospels painful to read. It's an important demonstration of the truth and power of the resurrection of Jesus. 

Prayer Based on Psalm 23:

You, O Lord, are my shepherd; I shall not want.
    You make me lie down in green pastures.
You lead me beside still waters.
    You restore my soul.
You lead me in paths of righteousness
    for You name's sake.
Lord, please lead me in paths of righteousness
   for Your name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
    Your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in Your house, O Lord,

    forever.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Day 164: John 6:60-71 & Psalm 22 - Why Would Jesus Choose "a Devil" to Be His Disciple?

Today's Reading: John 6:60-71 & Psalm 22

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Why Would Jesus Choose "a Devil" to Be His Disciple?

Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) - John 6:70-71, ESV

John 6 is one of the most powerful and dramatic chapters in the Bible, containing one of the most controversial teachings of Jesus (see yesterday's post) and ending with a most unusual and harsh-sounding pronouncement. Jesus actually calls one of His twelve chosen disciples "a devil." Why would Jesus call one of His disciples such a harsh name, and if Judas was such a devil (as he proved himself to be), then why did Jesus choose him in the first place?

When we consider why Jesus would have chosen a devil to be His follower, we can weigh several possibilities:

1. Jesus didn't know what kind of man Judas was when He chose him. Even the most skilled leaders can be deceived and betrayed by some of their closest followers. But John has already told us in John 2:25 that Jesus "needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man."

2. Maybe Judas was a good man when Jesus called him, but he only became a devil over time as he followed Jesus. This seems more plausible, but then it would mean that Jesus could not see what was going to happen with Judas. Besides, how would a good and honest man be made corrupt by following Jesus? Further, if Jesus knew here in John 6 that Judas was a devil, why didn't He kick him out of the Twelve?

3. Jesus might have had good reason for wanting such a man among His closest followers. This is actually the right answer, it seems. Jesus often does things that make no sense to us, that challenge our most basic assumptions about life and leadership. Jesus selected a greedy, dishonest and disloyal man to be among His twelve disciples because even Judas served a useful role in the work of Christ. After all, the Messiah would have to be betrayed by someone. 

This is a helpful perspective for us to gain: Jesus always has good reasons for the things He allows, even for things which are painful and seemingly irrational. Who wants a thief and a traitor among their followers? Only the man who had come down from heaven in order to be betrayed and to lay down His life for His own people. Jesus had come to win our salvation for us, and that meant Judas must betray, even with a kiss. 

Never think that God is making mistakes in Your life. When things are allowed in contrary to your desires, Jesus is working out a better plan. The most unwelcome elements make perfect ingredients in God's recipe for salvation.

Prayer Based on Psalm 22:

Heavenly Father, Psalm 22 reminds me of the great price Your Son paid for my salvation on the cross. He was despised and rejected. He suffered deep physical pain and He suffered the agony of Your wrath that I deserve. He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter, mocked by His enemies and crushed by Your wrath that I deserve, for me and for my salvation. It was my sin that held Him there. It was my sin that cost Him His life. 

Lord, my heart's desire is to see Jesus receive the fruit of His sacrifice, the inheritance of the nations. So, Lord, send out Your church, Your missionaries, Your ambassadors, to carry the message and the ministry of the kingdom to all the nations, until that day when we see the Gospel permeate the nations and Jesus exalted in every language among every people on earth.

All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
    and he rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.      

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 163: John 6:22-59 & Psalm 19 - What did Jesus Mean by Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood?

Today's Reading: John 6:22-59 & Psalm 19

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What did Jesus Mean by Eating His Flesh and Drinking His Blood?

Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.- John 6:54-56, ESV

Few passages of Scripture have proved to be more divisive or more offensive than today's teaching from Jesus. When He first spoke these words, many reacted by saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” and then by walking away from Him altogether, taking the number of the followers of Jesus from huge crowds of thousands down to the 12.

So, what did Jesus mean when He said that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life and to abide in Him? Well, as strange as His language is, Jesus is talking about faith. It is clear in the context of John 6 that eating Jesus' flesh and drinking His blood are other ways of talking about coming to Him and believing in Him. 

How can we know this? Well, Jesus says that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood "has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." Well, this is exactly the same language He uses in verse 40: "For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." It's also very similar to the language of verses 44 & 47: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day . .  .  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life."

So, before Jesus says what He says in verses 54-56, He has already given His meaning in clearer language in verses 40-47. As is so often the case, people get mad and confused about what Jesus says because they only listen to part of His message and not all of it. So, if He means believing in Him and coming to Him, why talk about eating and drinking Him? 

First of all, we can acknowledge that Jesus was intentionally using provocative and divisive language because we wanted to drive people away. He knew that most of the people who were "following" Him did not truly believe in Him. They just wanted free food and freedom from Rome. So, He used this striking language in order to drive them away.

But He also had good, positive reasons for using this language, reasons that we can still benefit from today. Jesus wanted us to understand that believing in Him means to have His life and death become central to who we are. Faith unites us to Jesus, so that He is in us and we are in Him. Eating and drinking are powerful ways of driving home the essential and vital nature of this union.

Further, Jesus wanted us to ponder the meaning of His life and His death, of His body and His blood. He wanted us to think of righteousness, peace and life, all of which are embodied in the metaphor of bread. He wanted us to see our need for forgiveness and cleansing, for a substitute sacrifice, all of which are captures in the image of blood. 

You and I need Jesus, not in some superficial way, but in the deepest part of who we are. We need His life to be our life. We need Him to be our peace. We need His death to be our death. We need the deep cleansing of our souls that His death alone brings. All of this we gain when we come to Him, believe in Him and abide in Him. This is what it means to eat His body and drink His blood. 

Prayer Based on Psalm 19:

The heavens declare the glory of God,    
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.

Heavenly Father, this world is full of Your glory. Your skies spread Your praise from horizon to horizon. Your heavens declare Your awesome power and beauty in every star and planet. You have made this world so full of wonder and beauty, and it testifies to You in an unceasing universal chorus.

The law of the Lord is perfect,    
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple.

And then, Father, when we turn from Your creation to Your word, there we find salvation. It is only in the pages of Holy Scripture that we see the clear, convicting and converting truth of who You are and what You have done for us. In Your perfect word is perfect wisdom and the great reward of truly knowing You.

Who can discern his errors?    
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
    let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.


Lord, it is not enough just to know about You. I desire to live a life that pleases You. I know my only hope of salvation in found in the perfect righteousness of Your Son. But still, O Lord, I desire to live a life of freedom and obedience, a life that reflects who You are. Please save me from my sins, from those hidden ones as well as the presumptuous ones. Purify my heart, O Lord.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart    be acceptable in your sight,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Day 162: John 6:1-21 & Psalm 18 - Why Didn't Jesus Want to be King?

Today's Reading: John 6:1-21 & Psalm 18

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Why Didn't Jesus Want to be King?

"Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself." - John 6:15, ESV

So often, Jesus' actions in the Gospels just didn't make sense according to our way of thinking. Today's passage is a perfect example: After feeding 5,000 people miraculously and finally being recognized by the crowd ("“This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”), Jesus withdrew Himself from them because they were going to make Him their king. 

Wait a minute! Jesus is the King, isn't He? Why would being made king of the Jews by a popular uprising be such a bad thing? After all, Jesus would've been a good king and could've solved many of the structural injustices and oppressive systems plaguing God's people. So, why didn't He do it?

Because settling for an earthly political kingdom would have kept Him from the cross and would have left us unforgiven, unreconciled to God and eternally condemned. In other words, He loved us too much to abandon our eternal salvation in exchange for some practical solutions to earthly problems.

The mission of Jesus today has not changed. When He was here, He set His face toward the cross, where He would pay for our sins and purchase our redemption back to God. Today, He sends out His people to take up our cross and call people to His cross where they can be forgiven and redeemed. To the world, this kind of mission still doesn't make any sense. Sadly, many of God's people are still trying to make Jesus an earthly king.

Some would-be king-makers want Jesus to lead their political party to victory in the next election, so their people can get their agenda passed in Washington, DC. Surely Jesus is in favor of their good political aims, right? Other king-makers twist the Gospel to make it more about relieving poverty and injustice in this world and not about the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to a holy God. Jesus does care for the poor, and the Bible has much to tell us about injustice, but to shift away from proclaiming the Gospel to a substitute "shalom"-driven social gospel would be to condemn people eternally in the pursuit of making their lives here and now a little better.

It is a serious step down from His present position for Jesus to be enthroned on Capitol Hill in DC. It is a serious neglect of people's truest and deepest need to withhold the Gospel and instead given them only political empowerment or poverty relief. Jesus has sent His disciples into the world to proclaim the good news of salvation in His name and to demonstrate the power of this good news by loving each other and loving our neighbors. We need to pursue His mission in the world and stop trying to make Him king.

Prayer Based on Psalm 18:


I love you, O Lord, my strength.The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies. - Psalm 18:1-3

Heavenly Father, it is so wonderful to have You as my Fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my Rock, my Refuge, my Shield, the Horn of my Salvation and my Stronghold. Only You are strong enough to protect me. Only You are powerful enough to save me. And You love me and surround me and deliver me from all of my enemies. I praise You!

Give me the grace to call upon You in my moments of need and in my moments of seeming safety. Let me never grow complacent but always seek You, my Redeemer.

For You save a humble people,
    but the haughty eyes You bring down.
For it is You who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
You are my God—Your way is perfect;
    the word of the Lord proves true;
    You are a shield for all those who take refuge in You.

Father, surround Your people with Your power and bless Your people with Your mighty peace. In Jesus' powerful name, Amen!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 161: John 5:30-47 & Psalm 16 - What Witnesses Did Jesus Offer to Support His Claim to be the Son of God?

Today's Reading: John 5:30-47 & Psalm 16

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What Witnesses Did Jesus Offer to Support His Claim to be the Son of God?

"But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me." - John 5:36-37, ESV

It's no secret that many, many people over the centuries have claimed to be special prophets, messiahs, divine messengers, etc. So, why should we believe in Jesus, that He alone is the Christ, the Son of God? 

Well, one compelling reason that comes to mind from today's passage is the fact that Jesus did not ask anyone to simply trust Him blindly without any evidence or supporting testimony. False prophets and messiahs rely on their compelling, charismatic personalities to convince people to follow them. No outside verification of any of their claims is ever welcome. 

Though Jesus was the Son of God, He respected the need for those around Him to have some verification, confirmation and support of His claim to be sent by God into the world as the Messiah. In today's passage, He says "If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true." Then, He points to four witnesses that support Him:

1. John the Baptist: "You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth." - v. 33. John publicly bore witness to Jesus on different occasions, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God!" (John 1:29 & 36) 

2. His public miracles: "But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me." - v. 36. Jesus repeatedly did great works - miracles - for all to see His power and divine authority. This is something no false prophet or pretend Messiah could ever do.

3. God the Father: "And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. " - v. 37. Jesus said that His works were not just witnesses in and of themselves, but they also pointed to the witness of the Father, who had given Him the power to do the works.

4. The Scriptures (the Old Testament): "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me." - v. 39. Finally, and most powerfully, Jesus pointed to the witness of the Scriptures, written hundreds of years before His birth, which testified about Him: born of the line of David (2 Sam. 7) in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and doing all of the works specifically named in Isaiah.

God is the Creator of our reason, and faith is not contrary to reason. Jesus invites us to investigate, consider and then believe. Beware false prophets who ask for trust without verification! Jesus loves us too much to manipulate us in this way.

Prayer Based on Psalm 16:

Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.
I say to You, O Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from You.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
    in whom is all my delight.
Lord, let me love and rejoice in my brothers and sisters in Christ!

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names on my lips.
Let me not envy the world and its ways,
    but let me see how empty and vain are the world's idols.
Keep my heart from idols, O Lord!

You, O Lord, are my chosen portion and my cup;
    You hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
You have stored up in heaven for me,
    treasure which neither moth nor rust can destroy.

I bless You, O Lord, for You give me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me,
    as I meditate on Your word.
I have set Your Son always before me;
    because King Jesus is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure.
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
    just as You did not let Your Holy One see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
    in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.      

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Day 160: John 5:1-29 & Psalm 15 - What Will Happen at the Resurrection?

Today's Reading: John 5:1-29 & Psalm 15

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What Will Happen at the Resurrection?

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. - John 5:28-29, ESV

Today's passage is a sweeping picture of the authority of Jesus and His relationship to God the Father. From the healing of a man who had been an invalid for 38 years to Jesus' stirring words about judgment day, He is demonstrating and explaining His great authority as the Son of Man and the Son of God. 

One of Jesus' favorite books of the Bible for understanding and explaining Himself and His calling was the Book of Daniel. It is from Daniel 7 that Jesus got His favorite messianic title, the Son of Man:

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed. - Daniel 7:13-14, ESV 

Far from being a title which identified Him as a mere man like every other man, Jesus' use of the the title Son of Man indicated that He was the One who would be given "an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away." 

Daniel was obviously in Jesus' mind when He was teaching in today's passage. In verse 27, He is clearly referencing the son of man passage in Daniel 7. In verses 28-29, He is echoing language from Daniel 12:

But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. - Daniel 12:1-2, ESV

Jesus is picking up this language and making a few things clear:

1. The coming judgment will be universal: "All who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out."

2. The final separation will be absolute and eternal. Daniel uses the terms "everlasting life" and "everlasting contempt," which Jesus refers to as the "the resurrection of life" and "the resurrection of judgment."

3. Jesus Himself will be the judge. This is perhaps the biggest revelation Jesus makes about Daniel's prophecy: He Himself as the Messiah, the Son of Man, will be the One whose voice summons the dead to life.

So, who will be delivered in the hour of judgment? Jesus speaks of "those who have done good." He also knows that His audience would be familiar with Daniel, who speaks of "everyone whose name shall be found written in the book." This book is referenced again in Malachi 3:16-18 as "the book of remembrance" and has the names "of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name." In Revelation, it is the Lamb's Book of Life, containing the names of those who never worshiped the beast but only worshiped Jesus. 

So, now that we know what will happen on the final day, the Day of the Lord, the day of resurrection, the only question is this: Is your name in that book? Does your life show evidence of it? If so, you will be delivered and you will receive the resurrection of everlasting life, to be with your Lord forever!

Prayer Based on Psalm 15:

O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent?
    Who shall dwell on Your holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
    and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
    and does no evil to his neighbor,
    nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
    and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Lord, I know that only King Jesus perfectly fulfills the description of these verses.
   But I thank You that He fulfills them for me,
      that I am counted as righteous in Him.
Lord, may the righteousness of Jesus change my life,
   until I reflect His likeness in my life, too.