When Peter saw the glory of Jesus’ transfiguration and the wonder of Moses and Elijah appearing, his reaction was to preserve the moment. He desired to remain and dwell in what he was currently experiencing, not realizing there were greater things to come
Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Matthew 17:4).
Peter didn’t realize at the time that the height of Jesus’ glory on earth was not Him meeting with Moses and Elijah on the mountain, but rather His coming crucifixion and resurrection.
Just as Peter didn’t have the full scope of God’s plan yet, you also do not have the full picture of what God is still doing during your time on earth. However, you can take comfort in the magnificence of God’s glory and the fact that He has incredible things planned for your life. What you must do is trust in Him to help you discern which moments deserve that you dwell in them and which moments require you to keep moving forward.
Prayer Suggestion: Worship Jesus for His glory.Quicklook: Matthew 17:1–8
Darkness everywhere—it seems people turn further and further from God’s law. As evil mounts in such great measure, fear begins to set in for many. Looking at such a dark world, some begin to lose hope and start yielding to that fear. Jesus wanted His followers to understand a better way to view things.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Following Jesus brought extreme danger and even death to most of the Twelve and to many who followed Jesus through the years. Even today, Christians give their lives for their faith in various parts of the world. Such danger could result in fear. However, Jesus wants His people to understand that God alone deserves our fear, or respect. When Christians understand the promise of eternal life, they begin to lose their fear of death. Satan then loses one of his most effective tools against believers who discover the greater hope God offers.
Thought for Today: Surrendering one’s life to the Lord and His leadership removes the fear that Satan would love to bring.Quicklook: Matthew 10:26–31
The last three chapters in Daniel describe a God-given vision of future events. Today’s reading discusses the eternity that godly and ungodly people will face.
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:2–3).
Some popular teachings focus only on God’s blessings and God’s reward, but tend to neglect the reality of His judgment. Daniel’s vision makes it clear that not only does God give a glorious eternity to those who serve Him, but He also brings those who reject Him to eternal judgment.
Notice the factors listed for those receiving eternal life. These people demonstrate God’s wisdom in their lives and lead many to a personal relationship with Christ. God desires for His people to proclaim the good news of Christ’s salvation to all.
Challenge for Today: God wants His people to walk in His wisdom and testify of His goodness to as many people as possible.
Quicklook: Daniel 12:1–4
Gayle loved calling her dad. His soothing voice and calm manner helped her deal with the stress of raising two foster children. These children needed special attention, and Gayle sometimes felt alone, especially after her dad passed away. A friend reminded Gayle that the Lord was always with her, no matter the circumstance. David also knew this truth.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Psalm 139:7).
David realized God’s presence remained no matter his location or circumstance. The darkest of circumstances create no difficulty for God’s presence. David saw this truth in times when his life faced various threats.
God wants people to understand that His presence remains no matter the situation. In times of severe discouragement, people can lose sight of God and think that He has abandoned them. Those stressful times provide great opportunities to discover the incredible help and comfort God offers those who love Him. God never abandons His children, and He wants them to learn to look to His presence.
Prayer Suggestion: Ask God to provide reminders of His presence.Quicklook: Psalm 139:7–12
He who dies with the most toys . . . still dies. While the world might worship wealth, esteem education, favor fame, and praise possessions, the author of this psalm clearly teaches that none of those things can ultimately save a person from death. Rather, they eventually fade and pass away, just like one’s physical body. The only thing that can transcend and redeem someone from death is a relationship with Jesus Christ. For it is only those whose sins have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus who can stand upright before God and hold to the promise of the passage for today.
But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself (Psalms 49:15).
The temporary nature of everything physical, even one’s own body, is a poignant reminder of the futility of searching for salvation in the physical realm. But those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior have a hope that is both exceedingly greater and will outlast anything the physical world has to offer!
Prayer Suggestion: Lord, help me to value my relationship with You above the things of this world and remember that only You can save me.
Quicklook: Psalm 49:10–15
“I feel like I’ve run out of options. I see no way forward.”
This statement reflects a state of hopelessness that some feel when faced with overwhelming problems. During those times, some people develop a form of tunnel vision that only allows them to see what is directly ahead. Yet, during those times, God wants them to look up and see their situation falls well within God’s control. David affirmed this truth in his times of danger.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6).
David understood what shepherds did to protect their flocks. No good shepherd would allow dangers to come to their flocks. Rather, they would guard those sheep. In the same way, God, the greatest Shepherd, never abandons His sheep. No outside threat can overpower the Good Shepherd’s protection of His sheep. Even when this life ends, God’s sheep look toward eternal joy in His presence.
Thought for Today: The Good Shepherd stays with His people now and through eternity.Quicklook: Psalm 23:1–6