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Summary: Has your loyalty ever been tested. You will never know the strength of your loyalty, until it has been tested. Just Remember, God is Faithful.

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LIVING LOYALLY

DANIEL 3

TODAY IS LOYALTY DAY. LOYALTY IS MORE THAN JUST BEING ACQUAINTED OR SIMPLY DOING BUSINESS WITH EACH OTHER. IN ORDER FOR STRONG RELATIONSHIPS TO BE BUILT THAT LEAD TO A CONSTANT STREAM OF TRUST, ONE HAS TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO BE LOYAL. LOYALTY MEANS FAITHFULNESS TO A GIVEN TASK, PERSON OR INSTITUTION..

LOYALTY MEANS CONSISTENT PARTICIPATING.

LOYALTY MEANS NEVER ACTING IN A MANNER THAT EMBARRASSES OR DEMEANS THOSE TO WHOM ONE IS LOYAL.

LOYALTY MEANS BEING HONEST- EVEN WHEN ITS HARD TO DO SO.

LOYALTY MEANS SEEKING ONE’S HIGHEST GOOD BY BEING A PART OF THE SOLUTION NOT A PART OF THE PROBLEM. PERHAPS THE RELEVANT QUESTION COULD WELL BE……..WHAT OR WHO ARE YOU LOYAL TO? JOSIAH ROYCE WROTE IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN THOUGHT FOUND IN THE HARVARD ARCHIVES SUGGESTS THAT “BUT THE HIGHEST GOOD, THE MOST BLESSED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS FOR A GIVEN CLASS OF BEINGS, MIGHT CONCEIVABLY BE DIFFERENT FROM THE HIGHEST GOOD FOR ANOTHER CLASS OF BEINGS. FOR THE MATHEMATICIAN AND FOR THE POET, FOR THE LABORING MAN AND FOR THE STUDENT, FOR THE STATESMAN AND FOR THE HERMIT, THE HIGHEST GOOD SEEMS TO VARY. IF IT BE ACTUALLY THE SAME FOR ALL, YOU CAN PROVE IT TO BE THE SAME ONLY BY SOME KNOWLEDGE OF THE PHYSICAL OR METAPHYSICAL LAWS OF THE WORLD. BUT DUTY, WHEN YOU HAVE ONCE CLEARLY DEFINED DUTY, IS ABSOLUTELY THE SAME FOR ALL MEN AND FOR ALL CONCEIVABLE MORAL AGENTS, THE SAME FOR ALL BEINGS THAT CAN UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF DUTY. IN OTHER WORDS, “ONE MAN’S MEAT, MAY WELL BE ANOTHER MAN’S POISON.” TO BOW DOWN WOULD BE MEAT TO THE WORSHIPPERS OF BAAL, BUT TO THE HEBREW BOYS,..IT WOULD BE POISON.

THE SETTING:

SOON AFTER THEIR CAPTURE, DANIEL AND OTHER SELECTED ISRAELITE CAPTIVES WERE GIVEN NEW NAMES WHICH WOULD IDENTIFY THEM AS CITIZENS OF BABYLON. THIS WAS AN ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THEIR IDENTITIES AS CHILDREN OF GOD. IT IS ALWAYS THE ENEMY’S DESIRE TO REMOVE OUR GODLY IDENTITIES. THE KING’S THE PSYCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF STRIPPING THEM OF THEIR OLD IDENTITIES. HIS INTENT WAS THAT THESE SELECT MEN BE TAUGHT TO THINK AND LIVE LIKE THE BABYLONIANS. AND NOT LIKE HEBREWS. (AS A MAN THINKETH, SO IS HE). THEIR NEW NAMES WOULD BE A CONSTANT REMINDER OF THE BABYLONIAN GODS. DANIEL MEANS "GOD IS MY JUDGE," BUT HIS BABYLONIAN NAME BELTESHAZZAR MEANS "PRINCE OF BAAL." AS DANIEL HEARD HIS NAME CALLED DAY AFTER DAY, IT WAS INTENDED TO REMIND HIM THAT THE GOOD TIMES, COMFORT, AND HIGH POSITION HE ENJOYED IN HIS NEW SOCIETY WERE ALL THE RESULTS OF HIS BEING "THE PRINCE OF BAAL." IT WAS THEIR INTENT TO ERASE THEIR COGNITIVE AND ENCULTURATED TRAITS. BUT GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO RETURN TO THE EGYPTS IN OUR LIVES! GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO EXIST WITH A SLAVE MENTALITY TOWARDS THE WORLD!

THESE SELECT ISRAELITES WERE SEPARATED FROM FELLOWSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD AND GIVEN A THREE-YEAR TRAINING COURSE IN THE CUSTOMS AND LANGUAGE OF THEIR NEW COUNTRY. THUS, SATAN ATTEMPTED TO SEDUCE THEM INTO THE LIFESTYLE OF THE WORLD BEFORE THEY WOULD EVENTUALLY SERVE IN THE KING’S PALACE (DANIEL 1:4).

BUT, THE PEOPLE OF GOD THINK DIFFERENTLY THAN THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD BECAUSE THEIR LIVES ARE GOD-CENTERED. THE FOUR YOUNG ISRAELITES REMAINED LOYAL TO THE GOD OF ABRAHAM. THEIR FIRST CONCERN WAS TO PLEASE THE LORD. THEY WERE DETERMINED TO LIVE ON A HIGHER LEVEL.

SIX OBSERVATIONS ABOUT LIVING LOYALLY TO GOD:

1. LIVING LOYAL TO GOD WILL GO AGAINST POPULAR BELIEFS – VS. 6

THE POPULAR THING TO DO WAS TO GO ALONG WITH WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WAS DOING. BEING LOYAL IN OUR WALK WITH GOD WILL OFTENTIMES GO AGAINST POPULAR BELIEFS.

AS BELIEVERS, AS SPIRIT FILLED BELIEVERS, WE ACTUALLY DARE TO BELIEVE THE WORD, WE STILL BELIEVE IN MIRACLES, WE STILL BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE STILL BELIEVE THAT GOD WORKS MIRACLES TODAY. WE BELIEVE THAT IF GOD DID THOSE THINGS THEN THAT HE IS THE SAME TODAY AND CAN STILL DO THEM TODAY.WE STILL BELIEVE THAT GOD IS NOT A MAN, AND THAT HE CANNOT LIE. AS A MATTER OF FACT, HEBREWS 6:18 SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD TO LIE. WAS GOD WILLING TO ALLOW THE ENEMY TO MAKE HIS WORD ANY LESS THAN TRUSTWORTHY? THEIR VERY LIVES WERE AT STAKE. THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM WAS CHALLENGED. THEIR VALUES WERE ON THE LINE AS THE THREAT OF DEATH LOOMED ABOVE THEM.

LIVING LOYALLY WILL AT TIMES DEFY EVEN OTHER “CHRISTIAN’ THOUGHTS SIMPLY BECAUSE IT GOES AGAINST “TRADITION”. GOD HAS NOT PROMISED US “TRADITION” BUT HE HAS PROMISED “SALVATION”.. IT WILL GO AGAINST “TRADITION”.

LIVING LOYALLY TO GOD IS NOT ABOUT CONFORMING TO THE TRADITIONS OF MAN BUT TO THE STANDARD OF THE WORD OF ALMIGHTY GOD. THERE IS ALWAYS A COST OF OUR DISCIPLESHIP AND FROM TIME TO TIME, THAT “COST” AND OUR DEFIANCE OF WORLDLY STANDARDS MOVES US OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES. CAN WE BE BOLD ENOUGH IN HIM NOT TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK ABOUT US AND OUR GOD NO MATTER WHAT THE COST? REMEMBER, WE ARE IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT “OF” THE WORLD.

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Doran Womack

commented on Aug 14, 2008

Great message

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