Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Week Forty-Six - Dare to be a Daniel

There is a post that keeps popping up on Facebook, saying, "In a world where Nebuchadnezzar is king; be a Daniel."  Do you know the story? Daniel, along with other Hebrew children, became captives of the Persian Empire. They were young men of integrity and grit who refused to eat the king's meat and purposed to remain loyal to the God of their fathers. Go with me to 1 Peter 4:7-11, and let's explore what being a Daniel might look like for us today.

In 1 Peter 4:7, we read, "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." We are in the end times, the Lord is coming soon, so, we need to be sober. It means to be in the right state of mind, self-controlled, or have good judgment instead of being out of control and overwhelmed. This was Daniel's manner, no matter what he faced. Is it ours?

Watching in prayer. Daniel prayed three times a day, looking east from his window. I don't know there is any significance for us to pray eastward, but Daniel was praying with his face toward his homeland and Jerusalem, the City of God. I guess there would be nothing wrong with us taking the same position, but the key thing is Daniel prayed with regularity. We could all adopt that habit.

1 Peter 4:8 says, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves." Do we love our family or social bubble with the warmth needed to carry them through the pandemic and politics? Are we acting in love, speaking in love, and allowing love to be our motivation?

1 Peter 4:9 says, "Use hospitality one to another without grudging." Are we hospitable? It means to be friendly and welcoming, especially to strangers. To be inclusive, as we would say. Do we open our lives to strangers? Do we show friendliness and put others at ease? It creates a much happier and healthier community.

1 Peter 4:10 tells us, "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards." If you have the gift of mercy, use it.  If you have the gift of giving, give.  Whatever God-given gift you have, you are to be a wise steward using that gift to minister to others.

1 Peter 4:11reads, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." Tell about the Lord, share your testimony. People need to hear.

Verse 11 goes on to say, "If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth." So, minister to others, meet their needs, encourage, and lift them up. Hurting people need the Great Physician. Point them to Him!

Daniel's character and behavior made a difference in the Persian Empire and brought both King Nebuchadnezzar and King Darius to publish decrees stating Daniel's God was supreme. (Daniel 6:26)

So, with the end of all things at hand, let's stand out as those whose behavior exalts the God of Heaven through integrity, purpose, as we lovingly minister to the needs of others, and share all God has given for His glory. Let's make a difference. Dare to be a Daniel.

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