Posted in Christian, Faith, Freedom, God, Legacy, Motivation, Vision

Dare to be a Daniel

Dare to be a Daniel

“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8 NASB

I am studying the book of Daniel in my quiet time and thought I would share something that jumped out at me.

Daniel was taken captive, along with his countrymen, when he was just a youth.  He was strong, good-looking and intelligent.  So he gained the attention of the king’s officials who were told to gather up youth of that caliber in order for them to be trained to serve on the king’s court.

Daniel was young.  He was faithfully serving Jehovah.  He was taken captive with everyone else in his nation.  But Daniel made up his mind. Daniel determined in his mind that he would be faithful to his God, Jehovah, Jesus Christ.

I once heard a preacher preach on the battlefield of the Christian life.  I was astounded.  He said the battlefield is between our ears.  It’s fought in our mind.  Did you get that?  It’s in our mind.  Just like Daniel, we must make up our mind.

Daniel decided BEFORE he was taken by the king’s officials that he would not defile himself.  He wasn’t mean or offensive.  He sought permission not to eat and drink the king’s food and wine.  He offered the official a solution that the official could agree to without harming himself.  And God granted Daniel favor.

You know the story, Daniel and his friends fared better that the other youth who did eat the king’s choice food.  God blessed Daniel. Being taken captive must have been terrifying. But Daniel made up his mind to serve our Lord.  Even in the midst of God’s blessing, Daniel was thrown to the lions and his friends were cast into a fiery furnace.

This is the heart of the matter.  Daniel and his friends made up their minds to stay faithful to God before hand.  So when they were faced with terrifying trials or terrifying consequences because of their faithfulness, they stayed true.  This was their heart;

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

Here is my take-away:

  1. Make up  your mind to serve Jesus faithfully, not matter what.
  2. Then do it.
  3. When, not if, trials and/or consequences of being faithful to Jesus come;
    • KNOW that the God we serve is ABLE to deliver you.
    • But if He chooses not to deliver you in the way you desire,
  4. Let it be known that you will NOT renounce your faith.

Even writing this is difficult, because we know that our brothers and sisters throughout the world are making this choice every day. Yet, here, where we still have freedom to worship our God, we wimp out in sharing the gospel because we’re afraid …

Dare to be a Daniel!

 

Advertisements
Posted in Christian, God, Legacy, Motivation, Values, Vision

In the Waiting

Dance in the Rain

Sometimes the hardest place to be is ‘in the waiting’.  You know the place.  It’s where you know that God had called you to something more but He hasn’t shown you yet. Or maybe it’s a storm that seems like it will not end. You know God is there but He’s quiet.

Those places are “in the waiting”.  We’ve all been there and, most likely, we’ll all visit there again.  It’s such a hard place to be…until you realized that God is still in control. Even when you’re waiting. Even when He’s quiet.  Even when… So what do we do when we’re ‘in the waiting’?

I believe we do what we know to do.  No reason to stall or quit. We are to keep doing what’s right, love kindness and walk humbly with God.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ Micah 6:8 NASB

Is this easy?  Not always, but we can do it.  After all, God is with us.

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10 NASB

I don’t know what you are waiting for, but God does.  I don’t know what’s ahead, but God does.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.  God does.

So while you’re ‘in the waiting’, waiting for the storm to pass – waiting to know what’s next, do what you know to do. Maybe God wants you to know you can still have joy ‘in the waiting’.  Perhaps we need to know, it’s okay to dance in the rain.

 

Posted in change, Christian, God, Legacy, Salvation, Values, Vision

Life – The Ultimate Journey

Journey

Every journey begins with a single step.  Simple yet profound.  How often are we unwilling to take the first step?  Most often, if we are truthful with ourselves.  Don’t most of us just hate change?  Yes, there are a few who think of change as an exciting adventure.  But the vast majority burrow down with no plans to accept change.  And yet, change is one constant we have in this world.  Things change.  If we are to go with the changes around us, we must take that first step.  Whether it’s learning a new method, doing an “old” thing with new tools or growing in who we are.

I’m not talking about accepting things that are morally wrong; accepting things that go totally against the Word of God.  I am talking about making changes that are congruent with the Word of God, but may not be the way we’ve always done it.  My pastor said it very well the other day.  He said we cannot change the message of the gospel, but we may need to change the delivery method.  Well, AMEN!  By the way, I’m not talking about church either.  I am talking about us individually.

In the last few years God had been changing me.  From my outlook on things to my service to Him.  I can tell you from experience, change is hard.  I am giving up some things I’ve held onto for a long time and I’m stepping out into new things that scare me to death.  That’s the change I mean.

I am learning that just like Esther, we are here in 2016 for such a time as this.  Not to be afraid.  Not to be silent.  But to be a change.  We are here to make a difference in the lives of those around us, in our world and in God’s kingdom.  It all starts with a single step.

And the Lord answered me, “Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.”  Habakkuk 2:2

Posted in Christian, Freedom, God, Legacy, Motivation, Salvation

Freedom

Break every chain

     Americans can’t help but to think about freedom when July 4th comes around every year. At least, that’s how it’s been in days gone by.  Today, is July 4th just a day for barbecue and fire works? Oh, I hope not!  Surely, we all know that freedom is NOT free.  Freedom comes with a very high price. What is freedom, anyway?  The dictionary says,

the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint  / exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. /                  power to determine action without restraint / political or national independence / personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery / the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
      Could this freedom possibly exist without effort?  Without force?  I think not.  My father fought in WWII as a naval airman.  He fought so our family and yours could have freedom today.  How sad that we are becoming so far removed from the struggle that we are GIVING our freedom away slowly but surely. With each passing generation, we are losing the understanding of the cost of freedom and the devastation that will come with the loss of our freedom.  I know his heart would break, as would our forefathers, to see what is becoming of their diligence and sacrifice.
      But there is another freedom that every human being must face and that is freedom of the soul.  Again, that freedom came with a high price.  The very Creator of the world became the Savior of the world to any and ALL who will accept the freedom for which He died.

John 8:36 (NASB)  “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

      This is the ultimate freedom!  It’s freedom from sin.  In other words, if Christ has made us free, we are no longer slaves to sin. So there goes our excuse that we couldn’t help it! Regardless of our circumstances, our soul can be free.

      But know this, Believer, there is coming a day when we will have to choose our spiritual freedom – faith in Jesus Christ- over the tyranny of this world.  When that day comes, it will come at a high cost.

      So today, as you think about July 4th and the good barbecue you will be enjoying, remember the men and women who have sacrificed to make our great nation free.  Think about the Savior of the world who died in our place so we can be free indeed. And CHOOSE. Choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me, I will serve the LORD!

Blessings to you~