If Daniel had just been examining the facts, they would have looked something like this:
* Fact: He was far from home, facing the temptation to do things he knew were wrong.
* Fact: His parents would never find out if he gave in to temptation.
* Fact: Most of his friends were sinning and encouraging him to join them anyway.
* Fact: The most powerful king on earth wanted him to give up his beliefs in return for wealth and power. That would be a welcome change from his current status as a foreigner in a hostile land.
The facts seemed to indicate that it was in Daniel’s best interest to abandon his faith and take up this foreign religion. But Daniel had made a commitment and a relationship in his heart not to compromise his faith in God, no matter how tempting it was, no matter what price he would have to pay for his obedience. It’s something to think about, isn’t it? “Everybody seems to be doing whatever they please… Mom and Dad, my wife, my church…will never find out… There appear to be rewards for following the crowd. But… I’ve got a relationship with God, not to compromise my Christianity no matter what others do.” God will bless you for faithfulness like that. When do you find this kind of against-the-flow courage the hardest to muster? How can you be obedient to God even in the face of obstacles?
PRAYER – I hereby surrender everything that I am, and have, and ever will be. I take my hands off of my life and release every relationship to You: every habit, every goal, my health, my wealth, and everything that means anything. I surrender it ALL to You. By faith I take my place at the Cross, believing that when the Lord Jesus was crucified, according to Your Word, I was crucified with Him; when He was buried, I was buried; when He was raised from the dead, I was raised with Him. I deny myself the right to rule and reign in my own life and I take up the Cross believing that You are in my and I in You. I thank You for saving me from my sins and myself. From this moment on I am trusting You to live Your life in me and through me, instead of me, to do what I can’t do, quit what I can’t quit, start what I can’t start, and–most of all–to be what I can’t be. I am trusting you to renew my mind and heal damaged emotions in Your time. I thank You now by faith for accepting me in the Lord Jesus, for giving me Your grace, Your freedom, Your joy, Your victory and Your righteousness as my inheritance. Even if I don’t feel anything, I know that Your Word is true; I am counting on Your Spirit to do what Your Word says– to set me free from myself, that Your resurrection life may be lived out through me, and that You may receive all the glory. I thank You and praise You for victory right now in Jesus’ name, Amen.
It is only as we have fellowship with God that we can experience fellowship with ourselves and others. Isn’t it sad that so many philosophers and scientists come so close to seeing the reality that lies behind the universe and yet, for some reason, sidestep the great issue of entering into a personal relationship with God? They struggle to know the secrets of the cosmos, and yet miss the “open secret” of God’s revelation through Christ which He laid bare at Calvary. Instead, they try to achieve fellowship through psychological processes that leave the heart estranged.
The astonishing rise in our day of the “group therapy movement” testifies to the need of the human heart for fellowship. Almost every country in the world reports a rapid rise of small groups meeting together to encourage, confront, and stimulate one another toward good emotional health and maturity. The world is waking up to the fact that we are made for fellowship. Oh, if only they could see that fellowship which does not begin with God, does not begin.
PRAYER – Father, I am so thankful for understanding, fellowship cannot be produced by trying but by trusting. It begins and ends with You. Take me deeper into Your heart that I might take others deeper into mine. Amen.
David asked for one thing—that he might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life. Like David, we find refuge in God’s house. Singing songs of praise, bowing our heads in prayer, and enjoying the loving fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ provides peace and comfort not found anywhere else.
David knew what it was to have enemies, but he also knew the blessed assurance that came from trusting God. Even when we are struggling with problems, we can joyfully take part in worship. We can raise our voices in song, and we have assurance God will hear our prayers. He will lift our heads and our hearts. We are truly blessed because we are His and He is faithful.
PRAYER – Father, thank You for the many ways You bless me. Thank You for the pleasure of being Your child. Thank You for loving me even when I have been unfaithful. In Jesus name, Amen.
In this passage, our Lord is asked: “What can we do to perform the works of God?” (v. 28). His answer was entirely different from that which you would receive if you posed the question to adherents of different religious systems today. A Buddhist would answer: “We must follow the eightfold path of Buddhism.” A Muslim would answer: “We must fast and pray and make a trip to Mecca.” Some followers of the Christian way might answer: “We must engage in regular Bible study, prayer, tithing, and Christian fellowship.” But the answer Jesus gave was: “This is the work of God—that you believe…”
Understanding that God is utterly trustworthy will deliver us from such incapacitating emotions as worry, anxiety, and fear. This is not abundant life. To be overwhelmed by the concerns of this life reflects poorly upon the faithfulness of God. Even when we are not faithful, He is always faithful. Place your trust in Him. God is faithful.
PRAYER – Father, help us to come to a place where we completely place our trust in You. This should be a no brainer because You are God. If I cannot trust You in my walk, who can I trust. In Jesus name, Amen.
It is a rare Christian who truly knows how to appreciate God, especially in their prayer life. Yet, the book of Psalms and the Gospels are full of this. Christ did it often in the presence of His disciples, and the apostles modeled it throughout their ministry. Nothing moves the heart more joyously than singing of the holiness of the God we serve.
Does our admiration and love to God depend on who He is or what He can do and does for us? We are grateful to God for all the gifts He has given us, and we should be grateful. It is right and proper that we should be, but this is a lower, elementary kind of love. As a Christian, we need to push beyond this and come into the presence of God, enjoying the infinite holiness and excellence of God and admiring Him for who He truly is. This is the love of God’s excellence where we want to stay in the presence of the Most High God. God is faithful to us no matter how unfaithful we are or have been.
PRAYER – Jesus, in this situation I have nothing to offer of my own ingenuity or strength; I need your wisdom and power as badly as I need the air that I breathe. As I move forward may I do so in desperate dependence on You every second. I joyfully and unreservedly confess that I am inadequate to answer Your call, in fact, I can do absolutely nothing without You. I’m not able to handle this situation on my own and any good that results must come solely through You. I simply ask You right now to flow through me, Lord Jesus, and cause me to stay out of Your way. In Your name, Amen