Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Value of a Converted Heart

Daniel chapter four is the exciting conclusion to God’s relentless pursuit of Nebechadnezzar. First we meet him as the conqueror, bringing the strongest of the captives back to serve him. Next we meet him as the confused, turning to Daniel’s God for an answer to his lost dream. And now we finally meet him as the converted.

You and I both know that that paragraph barely captures the lengths God went to in order to reach Nebechadnezzar. But it isn’t until chapter four that God finally gets all of Nebechadnezzar’s attention. And it took the loss of his mind to acknowledge the living God as the one true God.

At the close of the chapter Nebechadnezzar regains his sanity when he looks up turns his life over to God. It is the act of putting God on the throne of his heart, displacing all other gods, that puts his mind back together.

Isn’t it the same with us? When our hearts are converted, we put God as first in our priority list. And after that, other things slip into their proper place. The whirl of news and terror and political staging dims as we remember that God is in control over all of this. The mess of this world takes its proper perspective when we realize that God will see us through. When our hearts recall, that God will set everything back in their proper order. And that until that day of the second coming, He will walk with us through this mess.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Courage of Daniel

Two words spring to mind to describe Daniel: committed and courageous. Committed to His God, and courageous in the face of challenges. Case in point: Taken before the king Daniel is confronted with the question, can you do what this man says? Can you tell the dream and its interpretation?

What does Daniel do? You can find it in Daniel 2:27-28. In essence Daniel says, “No one can.” What a dangerous answer to a homicidal king. Then he goes on, “But the God of heaven can!” So deep is his commitment to God that Daniel must remind the king, even before they begin delving into the dream, that this comes from the one true God. He doesn’t want Nebuchadnezzar to attribute this wisdom to his training, to an idol or to an earthly advisor. This is something only the God of heaven can reveal.

How will you courageously point people to God this week? Choose to pray over your meal before you partake. Choose to offer to pray with a co-worker experiencing a difficult challenge in life. Choose to honor the Sabbath in spite of the many other demands on your time. Courageously point people to the God you worship and know personally.