Summary: In a day when so many were reluctant to be faithful to their Lord, Daniel resolved that not matter what, he would be faithful. Why is it that so many who claim to be Christians lack the resolve that Daniel possessed? Why must we be resolved to never compr
TEXT: DANIEL 1:1-8
TITLE: FAITHFULNESS – RESOLVED or RELUCTANT?
AUTHOR: JACK WOODARD
Daniel Resolved To Be Faithful, Even Though He Knew He Would Be Thrown To The Lions For Doing So.
All of us are familiar with the story of Daniel, and how at a young age (probably 15 or 16 years of age) he was taken captive by the Babylonian Army and sent to Babylon along with hundreds of others. Upon arrival he was one of a select few young men chosen to be trained to help administrate Nebuchadnezzar’s Kingdom. As a young man, who was a Child of God, this immediately presented Daniel and his fellow captives with several challenges to their Faith and their Faithfulness to their God. The very same challenges every young Christian is facing today in our society. (See my sermon on Daniel; Point #1, under SERMON CATEGORY, at http://jackwoodard.wordpress.com)
1. The Challenge of a Secular Education [Daniel 1:4]
2. The Challenge of Sinful Enticements [Daniel 1:5-8]
3. The Challenge of Social Edicts [Daniel 6:4-5]
4. The Challenge of the Suffering Entailed [Daniel 6:1]
In the face of these severe challenges we are told in Daniel 1:8, that “Daniel purposed in his heart that he WOULD NOT defile himself…” The Word “PURPOSED” in Hebrew gives us the key to Daniel’s greatness. It means; *To Resolve, *To Determine, *To Make Up Your Mind, i.e. Daniel made a thoughtful decision, he made up his mind, he came to a decision in his heart that he was not going to compromise his faith and the revealed Word of God.
The problem with so many in our Churches today (young and old alike) is that, unlike Daniel, we are Reluctant to make any vows to anyone, to make any commitments to anyone. We are a non-committal society. We want to remain free and untied to anyone and anything.
For example, many young people today do not want to be tied to another by marriage vows, (except homosexuals, who want the right to marry another of the same sex) they do not want to be tied to a local church by joining it. They want to remain free and untied to anyone or any organization.
We see the Apostle Paul introducing himself in Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1, as “Paul, a SERVANT of Jesus Christ…” The Greek Word for Servant means; a slave, a bond slave. A Bond Slave was one, like Daniel, who had made a decision to serve his master for the rest of their lives. He chose not to have any rights, not to have any will but his master’s will. He had no plans, but to faithfully follow the orders and wishes of his master.
That is a description to a true disciple of Christ. That,we are told by Jesus in Matthew 16:24,25, is a decision every Christian is going to have to come to if they are really going to follow Jesus and find the full and abundant life, that can only be found in the will of God for us.
We all must be honest and admit to ourselves that there are not many Daniels and Paul’s among us. We must be brutally honest and admit that each of us are reluctant to make that kind of surrender of our lives to Jesus, and if we have done so, we find ourselves struggling daily to remain true to our vow to Jesus.