DANIEL – Thriving in Babylon – Jean Symons – 28 July 2019

We live our lives with the solid conviction that there is a God!

We ask ourselves ‘what is the purpose of God’s Kingdom?’

When we look at Daniel and his friends, we see that they did not pray for judgement on the Kingdom of Babylon, but for God’s grace and love to saturate the city. They had the godly attitude that God desires from each of us. Due to this attitude God was able to use them to reach the hearts of the king and the people of the city with His love and desire to adopt them as His own.

Daniel 3:28-29 – Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and rescued His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! They violated the king’s command and surrendered their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego shall be cut into pieces and their houses be made a heap of rubbish, for there is no other god who is able to save in this way!”

From the above Scripture we can see that Nebuchadnezzar’s heart had not changed yet, but that he started grasping the reality of God.

We conclude therefore that the purpose of God’s Kingdom is that people will experience and discover His grace and love and know Him.

Daniel 6:26-27 – I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to [reverently] fear and tremble before the God of Daniel, For He is the living God, enduring and steadfast forever,
And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever.27 “He rescues and saves and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth— He who has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

From this verse we observe that king Darius progressed even further into the reality of God than King Nebuchadnezzar!

FAITH – credibility is even more important than the faith of the believer. There needs to be fruit on the tree for others to taste and see that God is good. Our reputation and reliability is important.

We need to ask ourselves ‘who am I truly?’ The New Testament is like a mirror which reflects our true colours. Who do I think I am? Your mind is the first place where God’s Kingdom can start reflecting His glory and existence to others.

Daniel 1:12-13 –  “Please, test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance and the appearance of the young men who eat the king’s finest food be observed and compared by you, and deal with your servants in accordance with what you see.”

We cannot change who we are, but we can act with confidence and in humility…without ego! The above Scripture indicates how Daniel addressed others with respect, in humility and yet with confidence.

God needs each one of us. We are unique and there is no-one else like us. We have what God needs in situations where He wants to change the hearts of people. I need to live with the realization that God created me for a specific time and purpose and need to trust Him fully to use me to establish His Kingdom in the hearts and lives of others.

We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The world will not improve if we remain in the shadows. Salt changes the taste of the meat…the meat does not change the character of the salt.

RESPECT – we need to be confident while affording others respect. There should not be double standards in our conduct.

Daniel 4:24 – this is the interpretation, O king: It is the decree of the Most High [God], which has come upon my lord the king: (emphasis added to verse)

If you live disrespectfully towards others, you are not true to your calling. Healthy respect opens the hearts of people for participation. How did Daniel succeed? His desire was the best for the king.

Homework: Read the entire chapter of Jeremiah 29.

Are we sharing the heart of God with those around us, bringing life and hope?

VALUABLE – I serve God. Usefulness and service is the power of God’s Kingdom. We do not ask God to remove us from our Babylon, but rather that God will give us the ability to influence. To achieve this we need to give our best in what we do so that our service is one of excellence.

John 1:14 (MSG) – The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

We need to merge into the culture of our society so that we can have influence and make an impact for God’s Kingdom. We cannot be salt and remain safely on the shelf.

The outcome for Daniel was great influence!

Our prayer needs to be for God to show us what He wants us to bring into society.

“That’s the kind of humility Daniel had. He served his captors and wicked masters so well and loyally that he kept getting promoted.”

May we allow the Lord to use us where we are planted presently to enable change and restoration to our communities.

 

 

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