As Always

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Monday, March 31, 2014, 4:10 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put the song “Fully Ready” in mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Daniel 6 (quoting selected verses NIV).

Fully Ready! / An Original Work / June 19, 2013

Based off Acts 20-22, 26; Mt. 28:18-20; Ac. 1:8

Why are you weeping and breaking my heart?
I’m fully ready to suffer for Christ.
If I must die for the sake of His name,
I am convinced it will not be in vain.
Glory to God and to His Son Jesus,
Who has redeemed us; bought with His blood.

May I speak to you? Jesus came to me;
Asked of me, “Why do you persecute me?”
He said, “Now get up and stand on your feet.
Go, and you’ll be told all I have for you.
I have appointed you as a servant,
And as a witness; you have been sent.”

“Go into the world and preach the gospel.
Open the blind eyes. They will receive sight.
Turn them from darkness to the light of Christ;
From power of the evil one to God,
So they may receive forgiveness of sins,
And a place among those who’re in heav’n.”

False Charges

It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel... Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king. They tricked the king into issuing a binding decree, which could not be altered, which said that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next 30 days, except to the king, should be thrown into a den of lions. So King Darius put the decree in writing.

It appears to me here that these other administrators and satraps were jealous of Daniel and/or that they were threatened by him in some way, perhaps because of his honesty and integrity and/or their lack thereof. When people walk in the darkness of sin and rebellion against God, they hate the light of Christ and his gospel, and so many of them put forth a concerted effort to try to discredit the Lord’s servants and/or the word of God and/or to bring Christ’s followers under some type of persecution so as to silence them and/or to lessen their realm of influence in other people’s lives. The Pharisees in the New Testament were notorious for this, as they often tried to discredit Jesus and his followers and to bring false accusations against them, even arresting, falsely accusing, beating and killing some of them. And, we should expect to be treated similarly if we are standing strong in our faith in Christ, and if we are being the Lord’s witnesses in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As He Had Done

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Awesome! Is that not the kind of response each one of us should have? We should never fear humans and what they might and can do to us, but we should continue in our faith, doing what we have always done, even in the face of severe persecution and the threat of death for the sake of the name of Christ and his gospel. Nothing should shake us or make us retreat, but we should stand strong in our faith and commitment to Christ despite any and all persecution raised up against us, because God is greater than all, and he is able to rescue us, either to rescue us from the threat of danger itself, or from the fear of man; or to rescue us spiritually through giving us increased strength, courage and perseverance, or to rescue us through death in taking us home to be with him.

The Trickery

Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

Then the men informed the king that Daniel didn’t pay any attention to the king’s decree, but that he still prayed three times a day to his God. This greatly distressed the king, because Daniel was highly favored with him, so he tried to rescue Daniel, but to no avail. So, he was forced to give the order to have Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. Yet, he said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

The Miraculous Rescue

The king couldn’t sleep that night. At dawn he got up and hurried to the lion’s den. He called out to Daniel, inquiring of him to see if his God had indeed rescued him. Daniel replied that God had sent his angel to shut the mouths of the lions, and that he was not harmed. So, the king ordered that Daniel be lifted out of the den and that his accusers and their wives and children be thrown into the lion’s den instead. Then, the king issued a decree that the people in every part of his kingdom must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
from the power of the lions.”

This is awesome how God worked in Daniel’s life and in his circumstances to show that God himself is the one and only true God. Yet, we know from the life of Jesus, and from the lives of his followers since Jesus’ death and resurrection, and from the teachings of Christ and of his gospel, that God does not always rescue us miraculously from our difficult circumstances, though he may. Yet, he will always deliver us through them, if we are willing, and if we will place our trust in him and not give way to the fear of man. God works in many ways, some of which may not make sense to us at the time they are happening, yet he always has a plan and a purpose, and he will work all things out for good for those of us who love him and who have been called according to his purpose. We just need to keep on keeping on doing what he has called us to do and to never ever give up!

Wait! / An Original Work / February 8, 2014

Wait for your Lord. Be of courage.
Be strong, and take heart today.
God is always watching o’er you.
Trust Him with your life always.

Sing of your Lord. Praise His blessings.
Believe in His sovereignty.
He delivered you from your sin;
Gave you life eternally.

Rest in your Lord. Know His promise.
Beneath His wings rest secure.
Your God has a plan and purpose.
Let your faith in Him endure.

Trust in your Lord. He’ll not leave you,
Because He is faithfulness.
He will lead and guide; protect you.
In His love you can find rest.