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FUR2 - Daniel's Faithfulness

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Daniel 6:6–16 KJV 1900
Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellers, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
Daniel 6:10 KJV 1900
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Daniel 6:12 KJV 1900
Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king’s decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not.
We know the story
Daniel 6:16 KJV 1900
Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
We know the story
King Darius was convinced to make a foolish and wicked law that appealed to his pride and ego
“Whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be case into the den of lions.”
When Daniel went and prayed, his enemies saw and reported it to the king.
Da
As Daniel was cast into the lion’s den at the king’s command, he made this statement:
“Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.”
**There’s a lesson here about unjust laws… but that’s for another time
The king recognized that this wasn’t some temporary show of rebellion
This wasn’t a phase of life Daniel was going through
This wasn’t a short-lived emotional act - incited by a 2 hour camp-meeting invitation
This was faithfulness!
This was Daniel’s continual habit
This was every day for Daniel.
Daniel 6:10 KJV 1900
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
“As
“…as he did aforetime.”
This... was faithfulness!
In the book of Daniel we repeatedly see the contrast
of faithfulness and pride
We see
Nebuchadnezzar - Fiery furnace/image of Gold
Belshazzar - Defile temple vessels
Darius - Sole provider
Neb demanded the worship that belonged to God
Bow and worship my idol that I have made!
Belshazzar took and used the the things of God for himself
I will use the sacred temple vessels for my party. For my pleasure!
Darius wanted the position and power
I am the sole provider of all things for all men!
But in each of these situations, we see God using and blessing and protecting
His faithful servants: Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel
I want to take a quick look at faithfulness as we see it here in the book of Daniel.
----------------------------------------------------------

Faithfulness says no to exc

Pray
Read Bible
Come to church
Go soulwinning
Do devotions with family
Give a tract
Share the gospel
I’m too busy
I’m not feeling well
That person might make fun of me
When the devil finds out what will keep you from obeying the Lord
He’ll work hard to make sure that more of it comes!

Consistency

Luke 16:10 KJV 1900
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Faithfulness knows no service too base nor obedience too petty.
Too often, we divide the commands of God
into the important commands and the not-so-important
“If I get the top 10, it will make up for the rest”
Sexual sin, murder, and cussing
Little things:
Show up for all the services and soulwinning
God won’t complain about my
Gossip, Complaining, pride
Complaining
Lack of prayer
The devil is always looking for excuses to feed Christians
This has long been his tactic
If he can get Christians to find and excuse for disobedience, he wins
If he can get Christians to find and excuse for disobedience, he wins
Any excuse will do!
Pastor can surely tell you some crazy excuses that he has encountered!
There are always excuses not to
Pray
Read Bible
Come to church
Go soulwinning
Do devotions with family
Give a tract
Share the gospel
I’m too busy
I’m not feeling well
That person might make fun of me
When the devil finds out what will keep you from obeying the Lord
He’ll work hard to make sure that more of it comes!
-Think about that for a while...
But one of the oldest excuses is:
It’s too boring
It’s too small
Be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
It’s not a big deal
It doesn’t really matter
Who made you the arbiter of which of God’s commands is and isn’t important?
Who
If you are always doing the right thing, you’ll always be in the right place at the right time.
2 Timothy 3:16 KJV 1900
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3:16 KJV 1900
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Every word, every command, every principle, every doctrine,
Is necessary and profitable
But we divide the commands of God
into the important commands and the not-so-important
God’s will doesn’t start in a specific place at at specific time
“If I cover the top 10, it will make up for the rest”
It begins with obedience and faithfulness right where you are
Avoid sexual sin, murder, and cussing
Show up for all the services and soulwinning
That isn’t the way it works!
God won’t complain about my
Gossip, Complaining, pride
Lack of prayer
That isn’t the way it works!
Some of the greatest punishments in the Bible
were meted out for what many people consider to be acceptable or “small” sins
God took the kingdom from Saul because of his impatience and pride
God killed Ananias and Saphira because they didn’t keep their giving commitment
God killed 70,000 men because David numbered the people and didn’t trust the Lord
God sent fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah and when he listed their sin,
God started the list with pride, fullness of bread, and idleness
never specifically mentioned sexual sins
Ezekiel 16:48–50 KJV 1900
As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
Proverbs 6:16–19 KJV 1900
These six things doth the Lord hate: Yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, Feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren.
48-50
When you look throughout the scriptures, you’ll see lots of things that make you scratch your head
Proverbs 6:16–18 KJV 1900
These six things doth the Lord hate: Yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, Feet that be swift in running to mischief,
You look throughout the scriptures and you will see lots of things that make you scratch your head?
“That didn’t seem like such a big deal! Why did God do that?”
Because God expects our obedience in every area
He expects us to be faithful in the big and the small
This powerful story of the protection and power of God
Started with the simplest and smallest act of obedience
Daniel got on his knees and prayed!
It wasn’t new
It wasn’t exciting
It wasn’t flashy
It wasn’t standing in front of a big crowd
He didn’t have theme music or fog machines
It was the same thing he did the day before!
But today, his prayer happened to be in extraordinary circumstances
Ate what the Lord told them to eat
We won’t eat the king’s meat and wine
Only worshipped God - Not bowing(Muslims in Cambodia)

Humility

We won’t bow down to the 90 ft idol
Prayed
I won’t stop because of
They just happened to be in extraordinary circumstances
----------------------------------------------------------
In the book of Daniel we repeatedly see the contrast
of faithfulness and pride
We see
Nebuchadnezzar - Fiery furnace/image of Gold
Belshazzar - Defile temple vessels
Darius - Sole provider
Neb demanded the worship that belonged to God
Bow and worship my idol that I have made!
Belshazzar took and used the the things of God for himself
I will use the sacred temple vessels for my party. For my pleasure!
Darius wanted the position and power
I am the sole provider of all things for all men!
But in each of these situations, we see God using and blessing and protecting
His faithful servants: Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel
I want to take a quick look at faithfulness as we see it here in the book of Daniel.
----------------------------------------------------------

Patience

You never know when your simple act of faithfulness will be performed in and extra-ordinary set of circumstances
You never know when your faithfulness will bear fruit
It may be the first time, it may be years later
Timelines and history tell us that Daniel was an old man at the time of this story!
How many years did Daniel lament that his prayers seemed to have no impact
Despite his faithfulness, he still served at the bidding of a heathen ruler
His homeland still lay in ruins
But in his old age, God used the testimony of his faithfulness!
You may not see the fruit of your faithfulness today
You may not see it tomorrow
Or this week
Or this month
Or this year
Or this decade!
You may not see it this side of eternity!
You never know when that tract will
You never know when
But we have to see that these patterns were set up long before those circumstances showed up on the horizon
You don’t start obeying in the most difficult circumstances
If you don’t believe that sexual purity is important enough to stay away from pornography now in the privacy of your own home,
Why would you expect to stand firm when you are put into a more difficult temptation?
If you aren’t reading your Bible now, or praying now, or soulwinning now,
Why would you start when the government outlaws it?
If you aren’t obeying right now
Why would you start when things get difficult?
Don’t go to stupid places at stupid times with stupid people and do stupid things.
Translate that from the negative to the positive and you get:
Be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
“Always be in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.”
But you can make that even simpler:
I would argue that if you are always doing the right thing,
You’ll always be in the right place at the right time with the right people
God’s will doesn’t start in a specific place at at specific time
It begins with obedience and faithfulness right where you are
No matter how small the task
No matter how mundane or seemingly unimportant
Faithfulness sees the mundane as important

Faithfulness begets boldness!

Because I know He will bless my obedience
It may not be today!
It may not be tomorrow
But I know that his reward is better than whatever
Ease, temporary peace that compromise can provide
I know my God has the answer to your dream(before God told Daniel)
I will not bow to the 90 foot golden idol(Shiva on the mountain)
God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace
“but if not… we will not serve thy gods.”
When you get used to feeding on the words of God
When you get used to talking with God every day, all day long
When you get used to seeing his hand at work
When you get used to saying “yes” to the Holy Spirit whenever he prompts
When you get used to the cycle of obedience and blessing
It breeds a special sort of confidence!
It breeds a special sort of confidence!
Not self-confidence, but the opposite
Confidence in the one who is actually worthy of our confidence!
It breeds a special sort of courage and boldness
That often makes people step back and ask “Where did that come from?”
Because it’s not borne of blustering
It’s not borne of pride
It’s not borne of swagger, boasting, or bragging
It’s not borne of strength,
It comes from faithfulness!
From the foundational knowledge
and the deep-seated conviction that God “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6 KJV 1900
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
That’s what helped Daniel get to his knees when he knew that prayer would send him to the lion’s den
That’s what kept Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego on their feet when the music played and they knew
That’s what gave Daniel the confidence to tell the king that was ready kill him: The Lord’s going to
I have seen the most timid of people...
Why do people fail in the area of faithfulness
Why do people turn from the Lord in difficulty
Why do they turn from His will in hard times
Why do they turn from in trouble?
Because they have more faith in the devil’s reward right now than they do in the goodness of our heavenly father to come

Faithfulness works

No, I’m not advocating pragmatism
You may not see it work
It may be after your lifetime
It may be outside your view or scope of knowledge
But I want to remind you
I just want to remind you
That God rewards faithfulness!
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