February 4, 2019: Who is in charge here?

Daniel 1:2 (NIV)
2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.

When your enemy is pressing in around you, and you cannot see your way there is a tendency to think that God is no longer in charge. This is the furthest thing from Daniel’s mind when he is taken away into captivity at a young age sixteen.
Daniel had listened to the inspired preaching of Jeremiah that said God was directing all the people of Judah to go willingly to Babylon. It was God correcting them to keep them from ruining their lives ultimately.
When the time came for the Babylonian king to take him into captivity, he went willingly because he saw the hand of God in the whole event. How did Daniel know it was God? He had been taught by his parents at a young age to look to God through the words of the prophets.
This discipline of looking to God and His Word would keep Daniel in a good way during the captivity. Are you facing some difficulty or hardship presently? Go to the Word of God and ask him to show you what he intends for your life. I think you just might be surprised t what you will hear.
Remember, God’s got this.

February 5, 2019: Whose glory are you living for?
Daniel 2:11-12 (NIV)
11 What the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.”
12 This made the king so angry and furious that he ordered the execution of all the wise men of Babylon.

The magicians and philosophers that lived in the presence of the king and made the fatal mistake of thinking wrongly about God. They assumed that God did not live among men; therefore they were unable to know the dream of the king or its interpretation. Wrong theology always leads to wrong philosophy.
Their wrong theology almost cost them their lives. Just when they thought they were without ope, there was a young man named Daniel who knew God, and he was able to put their fears to rest.
There was a marked difference between the magicians and soothe sayers of this world and Daniel. He sought to make much of his God, they tried to make much of themselves. Now see the difference.

Daniel 2:26-28 (NIV)
The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”

Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.”

Daniel went on to tell the king what his dream was and what it meant. When the king received Daniel’s word, he praised Daniel’s God not Daniel. Do you see the difference? We live for God’s glory, not our own and when we do God chooses to reveal himself to us as we seek to make much of him.
Now go out today and seek to make much of Christ and watch what happens.

February 6, 2019: What Does Living for the Glory of God accomplish?
Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Three young Hebrew college-age men were put to the test, and they stood their ground. They refused to bow to false gods, even if it would mean their death. The stakes were just too high. Standing their ground got them tossed into a fiery furnace, seven times hotter than anyone had ever heated it.
Where did the king finally see the real presence of these young men’s God? In the midst of the furnace. We often times will have to be willing to be tossed into the fire for others to see that our God is the one true God.
When we are determined to live for God’s glory alone, he will reveal himself to those around us in huge ways. Why not ask God to help you live for his glory no matter what. And stand back and be amazed at what God will do.

February 7, 2019: The danger of not living for God’s Glory
Daniel 4:28-32 (NIV)
28 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.
29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,
30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.
32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

The king had been warned by Daniel to give up his self-centered ways, and he would be kept from looking like a mad man. God even demonstrated his long-suffering toward King Nebuchadnezzar when he gave him an entire year to repent.
The King refused, grew even more proud, then just as God decreed, his mind left him and went to live in the fields like ordinary cows for seven years. This account has been given to us so that we might examine our hearts to see if we are living for our self or for the glory of God.
If you are living for yourself you will get upset quickly, you will lose patience with those who mistreat you or do not notice you. You will be bothered because you are living for the praise of men instead of the praise that comes from the only God.
Which would you most like to hear at the end of your day today? We really like you, We think you are just the best! You really amaze us with your wisdom and ability!”
Or, “Well done good and faithful servant. I am proud of you. Now enter into the joy of your Lord.”
How about we select the second option and watch what happens.

February 8, 2019: For those who refuse to Repent and trust in God.
Daniel 5:5-6 (NIV)
5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote.
6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his knees knocked together and his legs gave way.

Belshazzar had all the evidence from his own family history that Israel’s God was the one true God. But once more the boastful pride of life takes down another one in his prime. Belshazzar was boasting of his power and might so he decided it would be a good thing to have the holy vessels from God’s temple in Jerusalem brought out so they could drink wine out of them.

When they did so, they boasted in their false gods of gold and silver and wood and stone. How senseless this act was. Belshazzar did not believe because he lacked evidence, he did not believe because he loved his sin and the pleasure that it brought him.
Then the hand appeared, and everything changed. A party that was a drunken orgy suddenly became cold stone sober. All it took to take the wind out of their sails was a small hand appearing on the wall.
Behold how tenuous the pleasures of this life.
There was a man who had been seasoned by decades of looking to God and setting his affections on things no in this world. He would be the one that would deliver the message of the very soon demise of the Babylonian nation.
Daniel would be given a reign of over one-third of the now Persian empire. Once again we see how living for the glory of God and not for yourself can lead a person to find great joy in this life and the next.
Whose life are you living for?

February 9, 23019: What does a life of spiritual resolve look like?
Daniel 6:10 (NIV)
10 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.
For well over six decades Daniel had set aside three times a day when he got alone with God and sought his counsel and strength. It was so firmly fixed as a discipline that nothing would move him from those times, nothing.
The decree had come down from the king that no one could pray to any other god but the king. If they were caught, they would be thrown into the lion’s den and be eaten for supper. Daniel knew the cost of going about his life of seeking God, but he went anyway.
No threat of a lion’s den was going to keep him from meeting with his God. O how much we could learn from Daniel about living with righteous resolve.
How quick are you to let anything interrupt your walk with God? Do you lose the battle with the covers daily or do you say instead, “Covers out of my way I have a great God to whom I must pray!”
Where do you need more spiritual resolved in your life presently? It is never too late to start again.
February 10, 2019: The Closer to the End the more terrifying the vision.
Daniel 7:7 (NIV)
7 “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

Daniel was in the midst of God revealing to him the sequence of events that would lead to the end of all history. One would think he would count this a great privilege, but we read otherwise. This vision was most terrifying. With each succeeding beast that represented the four different world powers that would e succeeding one another as the end of history approached, Daniel said the fourth one was most terrifying.
Consider this for a moment, Daniel was the most righteous man we read of in the Old, yet even he is terrified of this vision. Many think if you really walk with God, you will have no fears and nothing will by any means terrify you, but nothing is further from the truth.
When you do walk with God sin will become more terrifying than you once thought. The judgment of the lost will be tough to consider or understand.
Daniel has had many times through his life when he is given a vision of the end of history, and it almost always leaves him breathless and quaking in his shoes.
How shall we stay the course as the end approaches if we do not have a close walk with Christ? If Daniel was terrified, then what will happen to those who do not know God?
This is the most terrifying to me. May God open our eyes to see the terror of the coming judgment and compel us to tell as many as possible how to avoid what is really terrifying.

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