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.
Why is it that we have so many that are Reluctant to make such a surrender to our Precious Savior? Let’s look at a few reasons for such Reluctance, and see if we too are guilty of being part of the Rebellious Generation, the Non-Committal Generation.
I. THE REASONS SO MANY ARE RELUCTANT and NOT RESOLVED
A. A Lack of Education:
The Great Commission commands the Church not only to Win Souls to Christ and Baptize them and bring them into the fellowship of a local church, but we are to follow on and TEACH them to “…observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” [Matthew 28:20]
Many read that as to mean that we are to teach them the Doctrines of the Faith, and it surely does mean that, but first of all, it means that the Church is to teach a new convert that they are to OBEY the Lord’s Word, no matter what He tells you to do. OBEDIENCE is the very first lesson a new convert is to be taught.
Old timers used say of young people who were constantly misbehaving that, “They had not had any raising”; meaning that their parents had failed to teach them have to live properly. That is no doubt the reason for so much of the misbehaving in today’s Church.
The Church today seems to be teaching their members to PRAY for whatever they want, instead of OBEYING whatever Jesus wants. Most preachers are preaching more FEEL GOOD Sermons than DO GOOD SERMONS. The result of this foolishness is that we have produced a Church that is purely self centered instead of Christ centered. A church that knows little about being surrendered to Jesus, and very reluctant to do so if they ever hear a call to do so.