Old Testament reading: Daniel 11-12
If your Bible is like mine, it has topical headings above the various chapters and/or paragraphs. My Bible publisher (Nelson publishes the NKJV) provides the following header at the beginning of chapter 12: “Prophecy of the End Time.” This is likely the most popular view of this chapter, but it is wrong! Without regard to determining the meaning of the 1290 days of verse 11 or the 1335 days of verse 12, verse 11’s “abomination of desolation” is the key. In Matthew 24:15, Jesus told those who were standing there that they would be witness to “the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet.” Thus, this event must have been fulfilled in the first century, not the end of the world as so many have been led to believe. Knowing this, we also understand that “the end” of Daniel 12:8-9 refers to the end of the physical nation of Israel, and not the end of the world. This coincides with “the end” that Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:14. Finally, Jesus said that all “these things” of Matthew 24:4-33 would take place during the days of that specific generation (Matt 24:34).
New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 1-5
“Though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16). As one who has entered middle age, I have grown to appreciate this text. Though I do my best to follow a healthy lifestyle and exercise, it is evident that my body cannot do what it once did, neither does it recover as quickly (or completely) as in my younger years. On the other hand, without any intent to boast, I believe my inward, spiritual man is as strong as ever. Not only so, I believe this is exactly what God expects! Additionally, I know that even though my physical body will continue to deteriorate, my spiritual man can continue to grow, mature, and strengthen for many years to come. So true is Paul’s statement to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”