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How's Your Response?

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In his book, Your Reactions Are Showing, J. Peterson states, “You may be surprised to learn that your reactions to the situations you face daily may say a great deal more about you than your actions say.”
When you open up God’s Word - Do you open up God’s Word? - how do you respond? How do you react?

Daniel faithfully walked with God.

The date for the events of this chapter are about 537 B.C., a year before Cyrus permitted the Jews to return from exile, and sixty-nine years after Daniel had been carried captive at the beginning of the captivity in 606 B.C.
Daniel was a young man in Daniel chapter one, likely a young teenager, when we read of him:
Daniel 1:8 KJV 1900
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Teenagers and young people, make a decision, when you are young to serve the Lord.
1 Timothy 4:12 KJV 1900
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Teenagers, there are adults in this room who, if given the opportunity, would testify that they “wish”
they could go back in time and get saved at an earlier age,
they could go back in time and surrender their life to God sooner,
they could get back some of the years of their life that they “wasted” in living for themselves, living for the things of this world, in living for the devil.
Adults, please understand, though, that it is never too late to make a decision for Christ: to accept Him as your Savior or to surrender your life to Him.
2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV 1900
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Romans 12:1–2 KJV 1900
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
So, here in Daniel chapter 9 we see a godly man who had faithfully walked with the Lord for the vast majority of his life.
Hebrews 11:32–33 KJV 1900
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Although Daniel had his share of challenges and difficulties, I’m sure that he would have testified, “It was worth it all!
Sometimes the day seems long, Our trials hard to bear. We´re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair. But Christ will soon appear to catch his bride away! All tears forever over in God’s eternal day!
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus! Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ. One glimpse of his dear face, all sorrow will erase. So, bravely run the race till we see Christ.
Daniel’s life certainly was an example of...
Hebrews 12:1–2 KJV 1900
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Through the years Daniel had kept his eyes on the Lord and ran his life with patience!

Daniel faithfully walked in God’s Word.

Daniel 9:2 KJV 1900
In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
In this verse we see Daniel, still as an old man, digging into the Word of God that had been given to Jeremiah the prophet. I believe that it is possible that the book of Jeremiah may have been Daniel’s favorite book of the Bible and that, throughout his 69+ years in Babylon, that time and time again, Daniel would open up the pages of Jeremiah’s prophecy and would feast upon God’s Word.
I believe that, from Daniel 9:2, we can see Daniel’s desire toward the Word of God:

Daniel had a desire to read God’s Word.

Congregation, do you have a desire to read God’s Word?

Daniel had a desire to pay attention to God’s Word.

The word, “understood,” in vs. 2 literally has the meaning, “pay attention.”
I know what it is like to pay attention. When I am driving between Los Angeles and Lancaster, CA, on the freeway, I pay attention. I don’t want to get into an accident.
I know what it is like to not pay attention. I see that often, amongst the seventh grade students, when I begin to talk about adverbs and adjectives in English class. They don’t see adverbs and adjectives as very important.
Congregation, when we open up God’s Word, do we pay attention?

Daniel had a desire to know and understand God’s Word.

Daniel 9:2 says, “…that he [God] would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
Daniel had likely read that passage of Scripture on countless times but he kept digging into it until he had the “Aha!” moment.
Congregation, when we open up God’s Word, is there a desire, in our heart to truly know and understand God’s Word? Do you keep digging until you finally get it?
Proverbs 2:1–6 KJV 1900
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, And hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, And apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, And liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, And searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: Out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
I believe that Daniel is a perfect example of...
Psalm 1:1–3 KJV 1900
Blessed is the man That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor standeth in the way of sinners, Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That bringeth forth his fruit in his season; His leaf also shall not wither; And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Daniel rightly responded to God’s Word.

God’s Word demands a response. Daniel 9:3-4 show us how Daniel responded.
Daniel 9:3–4 KJV 1900
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
Daniel turned his attention to the Lord. “I set my face unto the Lord, to seek...”
Daniel made a conscious decision to turn his attention to the Lord.
What has your attention today? I am reminded of...
Genesis 13:10–11 KJV 1900
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.
I believe most of us know how that turned out for Lot!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
Daniel prayed. “…by prayer and supplications...”
Daniel’s usual response was prayer.
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.
Prayer is always a wonderful response to any situation we find ourselves in. Prayer is a wonderful response because it means we have found ourselves helpless and we have come to the end our ourselves. Usually, when we pray when we have exhausted every other available means to handle the situation and have come up short.
That was the response of the woman in Mark 5...
Mark 5:25–28 KJV 1900
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Reaching out to God in prayer is always an appropriate response.
Philippians 4:6–7 KJV 1900
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Daniel humbled himself. “…with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes...”
Matthew 23:12 KJV 1900
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
James 4:6 KJV 1900
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
As we have seen throughout the book of Daniel, God is very able to humble individuals if it is necessary. Just ask Nebuchadnezzar. However, God would much rather we humble ourselves and Daniel demonstrated time and time again that he truly was a humble individual.
James 4:10 KJV 1900
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Daniel exalted God. (vs. 4) “…O Lord, the great and dreadful God...”
Moses said...
Exodus 15:11 KJV 1900
Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
David said...
1 Chronicles 16:25 KJV 1900
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: He also is to be feared above all gods.
Nehemiah said...
Nehemiah 1:5 KJV 1900
And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
When you spend time in God’s Word, does it cause you to exalt God? Does your time in God’s Word cause you see the greatness of God? Does your time in God’s Word cause you to fear Him with reverence and awe?
Be Thou exalted forever and ever, God of eternity, the Ancient of Days! Wondrous in wisdom, majestic in glory, Perfect in holiness, and worthy of praise. Be Thou exalted by seraphs and angels, Be Thou exalted with harp and with song. Saints in their anthems of rapture adore Thee, Thine be the glory forever, Amen!
As we close this morning, I would ask you to turn to Jeremiah chapter 25. (Turn to and read Jeremiah 25:3-8.)
May I ask you, when you open God’s Word, do you respond in this fashion or do you respond in the way in which Daniel did?
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