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Art by Brittany Beltran

DECEMBER 16

The Protector

Daniel 6:4-27 & Hebrews 10:19-20

Cattle, shepherds, a man, and a woman: thousands of years ago they stood in the presence of God. They were the first people since Adam who were allowed that privilege without complicated rituals and priestly sacrifice.

Before you get started today, pray. Remember that your words are not meaningless sounds evaporating into the air, but that you stand in the presence of God. You get to go before Him, speak to the Almighty, and be heard because of the miracle of Christmas.

Read Daniel 6:4-27

What were the conditions of the petition and the consequences if not obeyed? What did Daniel do when he knew that the document had been signed by the king?

In what ways do you hide your worship of God out of fear of the consequences? Or are you kept from prayer and meeting with God, not through threats of dens filled with lions, but through distractions and gifts? What does it take to keep you from spending time in His presence? TV? Time with loved ones? Sleep? The demands of your children or your job? Are you finding it hard to be faithful in the seemingly small?

Read Hebrews 10:19-20

Why do we have confidence to enter the holy places, or the presence of God? What is the way we enter into His presence?

This Christmas, remember that we don’t just thank God for the gift of Christ, but that Christ gives us the gift of thanking God. When you kneel and pray like Daniel, remember that there was once a time that communion with God was impossible because of sin.

No earthly government was able to secure that right for you, so no government can take it from you. No suffering can undo the truth that God is with you.

No amount of discipline could make it possible for you to sit in His presence, so no amount of distractions can take that great gift away from you. You can go to God right now, with nothing between you. In all the smallest things, God is with you.

Spend some time praying to God now, entering His presence and thanking Him that you have the right and ability to do that because of Jesus. Feel free to write out your prayers.