Summary: This sermon is part of the "A Christian's Heart" series and deals with having a purposeful heart. It's taken from the life of Daniel. A purposeful heart is a sincere heart, a committed heart, and a heart of self-denial.
A Christian’s Heart
“A Purposeful Heart”
The year is 605 B.C. and Jerusalem has just been taken by the Babylonian army, and Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, gave instructions to one of his top recruiters, Ashpenaz, master of his eunuchs, to bring the best and brightest young Jewish men to Babylon to be trained where they could be top advisors in Nebuchadnezzar’s court.
Daniel, along with three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were chosen with many others and deported to Babylon to train in the top college for Babylon wise guys, the Chaldeans, magicians, and astrologers.
Uprooted from his home and everything he knew, Daniel had every right to be discouraged. He was a captive in an unfriendly and foreign land, and to Daniel’s mind, the kingdom of darkness, a place where God was completely absent from people’s thoughts.
Ashpenaz immediately enrolled them in the College where everything was provided for their physical comfort. They were even given food that the king himself ate. This presented a problem to Daniel and his three friends. It was food that was forbidden by God’s law and unlawful to eat.
What would they do, to refuse was to insult the king and put them in potential danger, even the potential of losing their lives. But to partake would put them directly against God and His word.
A choice had to be made, and so it says that Daniel purposed in his heart not to go against God’s word and defile himself with the king’s offerings.
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8 NKJV)
Throughout this year we’ve been looking at a Christian’s heart, that is, those qualities that every Christian needs to possess. We’ve looked at a servant’s and wounded healers heart, a courageous and forgiving heart, a grace-filled, spirit-filled, faith-filled, hope-filled, praise-filled and an heart that is filled with integrity
And actually I thought I was done, that is, until this week when I was reading Daniel and I realized that there is another quality, one that is often overlooked, but one that is definitely needed if we truly want to be fully devoted followers of Christ.
It is a heart that is dedicated to God, His word, and His way, or as it says in our text, a purpose-filled heart, or a purposeful heart.
Our study will not only look at the life of Daniel, but will also look at what the Apostle Paul said about Jesus in his letter to the Philippians.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV)