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A Healthy Spiritual Life

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A Healthy Spiritual Life 

Daniel 1:3-1:15
The Introduction
Erma Bombeck’s advice is to never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.
1. Daniel and his three friends are going through a lot that could make them compromise
  A. They have been selected for special service in the court of a heathen king (flattery) – 3-4
  B. They are given a special diet and training for this service (brainwashing) – 4-5
  C. Their names are changed (re-identification) – 7
      i. Daniel (God is my judge) – Belteshazzar (the treasure of Bel)
      ii. Hananiah (the Lord has been gracious to me) – Sharach (The inspiration of the sun)
      iii. Mishael (He who comes from God) – Meshach (he who belongs to the goddess

          Sheshach)
      iv. Azariah (The Lord is my Helper) – Abed-Nego (the servant of Nego or Nebo)
2. Daniel and company had to make a determination what they were going to do
3. They had to decide how far they were going to cave in
4. What was best for their spiritual health and well-being?

Transitional Statement: We, too, are faced with decisions in life that can affect our spiritual well-being. What can Daniel teach about keeping or making our spiritual life healthy and satisfying?

Body
1. The Essential of a Healthy Spiritual Life
    A. Sense of Belonging – (verse 3 - certain of the children of Israel)
       i. Belonging to the Lord (closeness to the Lord)
          a. Intimate fellowship with God
          b. Assurance of salvation
      ii. Belonging to the church
          a. A place we can serve
          b. A haven of rest
          c. A sanctuary of acceptance
      iii. Belonging to each other (a spiritual family and a closeness with each other) – S.A.I.L.
          a. Strength
          b. Accountability
          c. Interdependence
          d. Love
   B. Strength for Living – (verse 8 – he [Daniel] would not defile himself)
       i. Ability to obey
       ii. Ability to overcome
   C. Stability in Serving – (verse 9 – brought Daniel into favor and tender love)
        i. Unwavering service (does not topple over and fall down)
       ii. Unbiased service (everyone is equally treated as we would treat the Lord)
       iii. Undeterred service (steadfastness even in the midst of mountainous obstacles)
   D. Success in Testing – (verse 15 – at the end of ten days their countenances were more

        fairer)
        i. Some men think they have made a success of life when all they have made is money.
        ii. Race car driver Bill Vukovich won the famed Indianapolis 500 race in 1953 and 1954, a

            record of

               Success few other drivers had enjoyed.                                                                                          
              Asked the secret of his success in Indianapolis, Vukovich replied, ’There’s no secret.   

             You just press the accelerator to the floor and steer left."  
        iii. Trials of faith
             a. Satan will try to discourage your faith
             b. The World will try and destroy your faith
             c. The flesh will try and derail your faith
        iv. Trials of service
             a. Disillusionment
             b. Loneliness
             c. Fatigue
             d. Nobody seems to be listening
        v. Trials of health
             a. Injuries
             b. Sickness
             c. Disease
        vi. Trials of a personal nature
            a. Family
            b. Finances
            c. Fears

Transitional Statement: Now that we understand why we need to have a healthy spiritual life we need to understand how to have a healthy spiritual life.

2. The Elements of a Healthy Spiritual Life
     A. Exercise to Stay Spiritually Fit – (8 - purposed in His heart)
         i. Exercise means to actively pursue God and His Word and determine to live for Him
         ii. Exercise to improve testimony (Paul) – Acts 24:16 – And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.
        iii. Exercise to instill godliness – 1 Timothy 4:7-8 – 7But refuse profane and old wives’

             fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8For bodily exercise profiteth little:

             but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of

             that which is to come.
        iv. Exercise to improve discernment – Hebrews 5:14 - But strong meat belongeth to them

             that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to

             discern both good and evil.
    B. Eat Right to Stay Spiritually Well – (12 - let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink)
         i. To eat right is to take in what nourishes us and helps our life to work right
        ii. The food of God’s Word – Jeremiah 15:16 - 16Thy words were found, and I did eat

            them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by

            thy name, O LORD God of hosts. and Psalms 19:10 - More to be desired are they than

            gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
       iii. The daily drink of Living Water – John 4:14 - But whosoever drinketh of the water that I

            shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well

            of water springing up into everlasting life. – and John 7:38 - He that believeth on me, as

            the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
        iv. The vitamins of good instruction (teaching and preaching)
             a. The pastor is to preach the Word – 2 Timothy 4:2 - 4Preach the word; be instant in

                 season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

                 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their

                 own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall

                 turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
           b. Preaching the Word is the primary task of the church, not programs
           c. Teaching
               • It is how we disciple believers - Matthew 28:19-20  Go ye therefore, and teach all

                  nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy

                  Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and,

                   lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
                • It is how wisdom is gained - Colossians 1:28 - Whom we preach, warning every man,

                    and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in

                    Christ Jesus:
   C. Examine Yourself to Stay Spiritually Aware – (13 - let our countenances be looked upon)
       i. Self-examination – 1 Corinthians 11:28 - But let a man examine himself, and so let him

          eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
       ii. Savior examination – Psalms 26:2 - Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins

           and my heart.
   D. Eliminate Junk to Stay Spiritually Energetic – (15) - countenances appeared fairer and

       fatter)
        i. Purge (remove)– 2 Timothy 2:19-21 - Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth

           sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that

           nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not

           only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour,

           and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel

           unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good

           work
       ii. Purify (cleanse)– James 4:8 - Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse

           your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Conclusion:
              Are you spiritually healthy?
              Can you honestly say that you are in peak, spiritual condition?

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