Faith & Reason ... a mystery

Monday, March 31, 2014

I am resolved to be devoted!


In the first chapter of Daniel, Judah had fallen and the Jewish Kingdoms had come to an end. The Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, took Hebrew children as captives and prisoners to live in a foreign land as slaves. These children had been taken from their homes as well as everything they knew as safe. It would have been a very frightening time. Guards separated the strongest and handsome of the captives in preparation for them to serve in the royal courts. A select group was to be the chosen few to serve the king and the palace. The selected captives would be treated with the best that royal life could offer. The guards offered the hungry, hurting, grieving, and lonely young men the choice life of fine foods, drinks, and pleasure. Daniel was one of the chosen few and he refused to defile himself with the pagan culture. He resolved to abstain from the any pagan pleasures that were offered in order to maintain his loyalty to his God.

Daniel witnesses several trials through his captivity. Yet, decades later his resolve would see him through a visit to a den of hungry lions. In Daniel 6, Daniel would pray three times a day. His time with God was precious and was his lifeline to the Creator. King Darius and the Medes conquer the Babylonians. The new governors request a decree, which requires everyone to pray to the pagan king. Daniel responds by remaining faithful to his resolve and goes home. Three times a day he looks toward Jerusalem and bows in prayer to give God thanks. The result is a trip to a den of hungry lions, where God would save Daniel. King Darius praises God and elevates Daniel as the leader of the entire country. 

            Daniel’s devotion is not unique throughout scripture. God responds favorably to a devoted nature by granting blessing and grace. Moses’ devotion to God would energize his ability to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. King David’s devotion to God would grant him courage to face a giant. Mary’s devotion to God prepared her to carry God’s son. Stephen’s devotion would empower him to preach the message of the cross, endure being martyrdom and see Jesus standing in heaven. Peter’s devotion would break through cultural barriers so as to extend the gospel message to Gentiles. Saul would be blinded and experience a personal encounter with Jesus, which would result in a devoted life. Saul, renamed Paul, would travel the Roman Empire preaching, teaching, and establishing new churches throughout the region. Repeatedly, one’s encounter with God results in a devoted life. 

 I wan to be known as devoted. You know I love ya - Don 

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