Summary: Daniel demonstrates how we can maintain our faith in a compromising environment.
“A NON-NEGOTIABLE FAITH”
INTRO: 1. Sometimes our faith can become an inconvenience. It will place us in inconvenient
a. It can put us at odds with those around us. If not, it’s time you take a look at your relationship with God.
b. ILL. When the boss man suggests that you lie to keep your job – your faith can be an inconvenience.
c. ILL. When the guys at work start telling filthy jokes while you’re standing there – your faith can be an inconvenience.
d. ILL. When the cashier gives you more money back than was due you – your faith can be an inconvenience.
e. How we respond to such times, will determine the quality of our walk with God.
2. Jesus best describes our state in His prayer to the Father:
John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
a. We are aliens to this world because we are not of this world.
b. We are strangers to this world because they do not understand our values or our world view.
c. ILL. George Shultz, when Secretary of State during the Reagan administration, kept a large globe in his office. When newly appointed ambassadors had an interview with him and when ambassadors returning from their posts for their first visit with him were leaving his office, Shultz would test them. He would say, "You have to go over the globe and prove to me that you can identify your country." They would go over, spin the globe, and put their finger on the country to which sent--unerringly. When Shultz’s old friend and former Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield was appointed ambassador to Japan, even he was put to the test. This time, however, Ambassador Mansfield spun the globe and put his hand on the United States. He said: "That’s my country." On June 27, 1993, Shultz related this to Brian Lamb on C-Span’s "Booknotes." Said the secretary: "I’ve told that story, subsequently, to all the ambassadors going out. ’Never forget you’re over there in that country, but your country is the United States. You’re there to represent us. Take care of our interests and never forget it, and you’re representing the best country in the world.’ "
c. We must never forget where our home and our allegiance is – Heaven.
3. Daniel worked in a land that was hostile to the faith he held.
a. His bosses were some of the most powerful, most ruthless, and egotistical kings in all ancient history.
b. To contradict these men could mean death.
c. The book of Daniel is a record of the many times Daniel’s faith placed him in inconvenient and uncomfortable circumstances where the odds were the highest.
4. It was this atmosphere that Daniel stood firm with a “Non-negotiable Faith”.
5. He knew what it meant to have his faith put him in some inconvenient places.
a. His faith would put Him in front of one king that wanted an interpretation of His dream or Daniels head.
b. His faith would put Him in a den of Lion’s
c. His faith would put Him in the middle of One King’s wildest parties reading God’s judgment for him off the wall.
d. The three Hebrew children’s faith would put them in a fiery furnace.
6. Daniel teaches us that living with a non-negotiable faith was a matter of the seriousness of subtle, small choices.
a. No one would have blamed him for eating the King’s food - it was out of his hands, right?
b. No one would have blamed him for putting his prayer life on hold - faithfulness to this devotion would mean the lion’s den.
c. No one would have blamed the three hebrew children in chapter 3 of bowing just this one time.
d. What many believers see as an exception to the rules, these faithful men saw as non-negotiable.
e. It’s not the big decisions that determine the quality of your faith, it’s the little ones.
I. A NON-NEGOTIABLE FAITH MEANS THAT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED
NON-NEGOTIABLES IN OUR LIVES.
a. Even as young boys, Daniel and the three hebrew children had established non-negotiables in their lives.
b. Non-negotiables are more than just a set of religious beliefs, it is a commitment to risk everything we have or we are for the faith we hold.
c. Non-negotiables refuses to submit to the lie of ‘situation ethics’— it holds to truth as absolute and practical in every situation.