Sunday, 23 September

Luke 21: 5-6 – “Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.”

Congratulations on successfully finishing the Daniel Fast 2018!  I am sure that God has done some wonderful things in your life, as He has in mine.

Before the coming of Nehemiah to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and repopulate the city, Ezra had already rebuilt the temple.  After the foundations of that temple were laid, the people came together and worshipped the Lord (see Ezra 3). The young people, who had been born in Babylon, rejoiced in the fulfillment of the promise of the Lord.  But the elders, who had been born in Israel and deported to Babylon, remembered the greatest of the Temple of Solomon and they wept over how small and modest this new Temple would be in comparison.

This very small temple built in the time of Ezra, was modified and enlarged many times over the centuries.  However, it was king Herod the Great who undertook one of the greatest building projects of his day and built the structure that Jesus would have known.  It was considered one of the wonders of the world. It was built with white stone, overlaid with gold.  Pilgrims coming to the city would literally see the Temple, like a light on a hill. The disciples even talked about how magnificent the temple was. (Luke 21:5)  You can imagine the sense of shock when Jesus suggested that he would rebuild the temple in three days! (Of course, he spoke of his bodily resurrection.)

The times surrounding the ministry of Ezra and Nehemiah were difficult for the children of Israel.  They went through many deprivations that their Jewish brethren who remained in Babylon didn’t go through. Nevertheless, they persevered in their calling because they sincerely believed that their sacrifices would make a positive difference in the future.  And this is indeed what happened.

As we bring the Daniel Fast 2018 to a close, I want to ask you a simple question: What will you build today that will make a difference tomorrow? Whether you build something in your character, or something in your family, or something in your local church, will it become something much greater in generations to come?  It may look small and insignificant right now. But perhaps, someone will come after you who will build upon the foundation that you sacrificed to build.

Never despise the days of small beginnings. Build with a view to the future.  Even if you are part of the next generation of leaders who will soon rise up and lead the Church of God, cultivate now a vision for the generation after you. You may inherit a foundation; so be careful how you build upon it. And make sure that the generation which follows you will be able to build upon what you have added to what you inherited.

I want to encourage you to take a moment, before you put this prayer guide aside, and write down your vision for how your life will make a difference in the generations to come.

Thank you for following this Daniel Fast 2018.  

Now, Arise and Build!

Robert BAXTER

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