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SOMEONE OBSERVED,

ONLY MEDIOCRE PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS AT THEIR BEST.

THE FINE LINE BETWEEN SUCCESS AND FAILURE IS REALLY QUITE BROAD AND

WELL DEFINED. IT IS NOT COINCIDENTAL THAT SOME PEOPLE EXCEL AT WHAT THEY DO WHILE OTHERS BARELY GET BY. THERE ARE REASONS WHY WE ACHIEVE AND THERE ARE REASONS WHY WE FAIL. DANIEL BROKE THE MOLD OF MEDIOCRE LIVING. HE EXCELLED IN A SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT WHERE THE MAJORITY OF HIS COUNTRYMEN WERE CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO. WHEN EXAMINING DANIEL'S LIFE, YOU'LL QUICKLY DISCOVER THAT HIS FAME DID NOT HAPPEN BY CHANCE. INSTEAD, YOU'LL FIND THAT HIS RISE TO POWER CAN BE TRACED TO THREE IMPORTANT DECISIONS.

FIRST, DANIEL CHOSE CHARACTER OVER COMFORT. IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, DANIEL DEVELOPED A REPUTATION. HE WAS KNOWN TO BE HONORABLE AND ETHICAL

HIS CLOSET WAS CLEAN ... THERE WERE NO SKELETONS WAITING TO HAUNT HIM. EVEN DANIEL'S ENEMIES FOUND HIM TRUSTWORTHY. UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE LIVING IN A TIME WHEN IT IS EXTREMELY EASY TO COMPROMISE OUR INTEGRITY. SO WHAT IF I TAKE SOME SUPPLIES HOME FROM THE FACTORY OR HAVE SOMEONE ELSE PUNCH MY TIME CARD? WHO IS GOING TO SAY ANYTHING IF YOU STRETCH THE TRUTH OR SNEAK AN ANSWER ON AN EXAM OR CHEAT ON YOUR INCOME TAX

A LETTER WAS SENT TO THE IRS. IT STATED: "DEAR SIRS, LAST YEAR WHEN I FILED MY INCOME TAX RETURN, I DELIBERATELY MISREPRESENTED MY INCOME. NOW I CANNOT SLEEP. ENCLOSED IS A CHECK FOR $150 FOR TAXES. IF I STILL CAN'T SLEEP, I WILL GLADLY SEND YOU THE REST."

IT IS EASY TO COMPROMISE OUR VIRTUE ESPECIALLY WHEN THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR HAS BECOME THE ACCEPTED NORM. BUT SUCH COMPROMISE WILL COST YOU THE JOY OF UNHINDERED FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD. IN YOUR LIFE, STRIVE FOR ETHICAL AND MORAL PURITY ... LIKE DANIEL, BE WILLING TO BE DIFFERENT. THE APOSTLE PETER DECLARED:

. . . MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ADD TO YOUR FAITH GOODNESS; AND TO

GOODNESS, KNOWLEDGE; AND TO KNOWLEDGE, SELF-CONTROL; AND TO

SELF-CONTROL, PERSEVERANCE; AND TO PERSEVERANCE, GODLINESS; AND TO

GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS; AND TO BROTHERLY KINDNESS, LOVE. FOR

IF YOU POSSESS THESE QUALITIES IN INCREASING MEASURE, THEY WILL KEEP

YOU FROM BEING INEFFECTIVE AND UNPRODUCTIVE IN YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. BUT IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE THEM, HE IS

NEARSIGHTED AND BLIND, AND HAS FORGOTTEN THAT HE HAS BEEN CLEANSED

FROM HIS PAST SINS. -2PE 1:5-9

AT TIMES, THE MODERN CHURCH MORE OFTEN COMPLIMENTS RATHER THAN CONTRASTS THE BEHAVIOR OF THE WORLD. UNLIKE MANY OF HIS CONTEMPORARIES, DANIEL CHOSE CHARACTER OVER COMFORT. HE HAD THE COURAGE TO BE DIFFERENT.

SECONDLY, DANIEL EXCELLED BECAUSE HE CHOSE DISCIPLINE OVER DISORDER. AMONG OTHER THINGS, DANIEL HAD A DISCIPLINED PRAYER LIFE. IN V.10 WE READ:

THREE TIMES A DAY HE GOT DOWN ON HIS KNEES AND PRAYED, GIVING THANKS TO HIS GOD.

THE REASON WHY SOME PEOPLE SUCCEED WHILE OTHERS FAIL HAS LITTLE TO DO

WITH ABILITIES. MOST OF OUR FAILURES CAN BE TRACED TO AN ABSENCE OF DISCIPLINE. I DON'T BELIEVE THE CHICAGO BULLS WOULD HAVE WON THE NBA TITLE IF THE INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS WERE NOT DISCIPLINED IN THEIR PRACTICE SESSIONS. IT TAKES DISCIPLINE IN ORDER TO EXCEL. YOU CAN'T SOW WILD OATS AND THEN PRAY FOR A CROP FAILURE.


Talk about it...

Leasa Postell

commented on Sep 30, 2006

I truly needed to read this sermon today. I am faced with major decisions in my life right now. This sermon revealed to me areas of my life where I need to repent. It also made me aware as to why certain situations have occured and how I need to resolve them. Thank you for this DIVINE REVELATION!

Gene Beezer

commented on Dec 28, 2008

Exellent message extremely well put.

Jeffrey Wildrick

commented on Jan 31, 2011

Good message, but I could hardly get through it because of being in all caps.

Rolando G. Lendio

commented on Apr 21, 2011

It''s a very good sermon, but the problem is that you write your sermon in ALL CAPITAL LETTER. It can affect our eye concentration. Anyway, then you very much.

John E Miller

commented on May 21, 2011

Apt alliterations artful aid!!!!

John E Miller

commented on May 21, 2011

Scant mention of our Lord Jesus Christ. No mention of the cross. Heavy reliance on "apt alliteration''s artful aid".

John E Miller

commented on May 21, 2011

Few mentions of our Lord Jesus Christ. No mention of the cross. No mention of the resurrection, Christianity''s cornerstone. Heavy reliance on the "Chicago Bulls" and "apt alliteration''s artful aid".

Manuel Mapa

commented on May 27, 2011

I was only able to scan the 3 points because this was difficult to read as it was in all caps. The points were excellent. But why was this written in all caps?

Dan Steadman

commented on May 27, 2011

I like that: only mediocre people are always at their best. Guess we have lots of those around. Any call to more discipline is going to bother our current, laid back society, but it''s right out of the Book. A challenge to me, personally. Thanks, David.

Dan Steadman

commented on May 27, 2011

I like that: only mediocre people are always at their best. Guess we have lots of those around. Any call to more discipline is going to bother our current, laid back society, but it''s right out of the Book. A challenge to me, personally. Thanks, David. (ps. The capitals help us guys with poorer vision.)

Waylon Ingle

commented on May 28, 2011

I am disheartened by the criticism this brother has received. Most comments centered on capitols and alliteration. By the way, even Jesus didn''t mention the cross and resurection everytime he spoke! This is a good message that will bless you if you will allow it to.

Waylon Ingle

commented on May 28, 2011

I am disheartened by the criticism this brother has received. Most comments centered on capitols and alliteration. By the way, even Jesus didn''t mention the cross and resurection everytime he spoke! This is a good message that will bless you if you will allow it to.

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