Summary: A look at the life of Daniel; loving God.
Series: When Cultures Collide
July 14, 2002
"Then Daniel answered before the king, "Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty; and because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him; whom he would he slew, and whom he would he kept alive; whom he would he raised up, and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him; he was driven from among men, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild asses; he was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of men, and sets over it whom he will. And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored." Daniel 5:17-23, RSV
Lessons that need to be learned and remembered from generation to generation
truth that dates back farther than Jesus
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." (RSV)
Leviticus 19:18 "You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD." (RSV)
This morning we discuss the first part of this: Love the Lord your God, and the four ways to express this love.
1. Love God
Deuteronomy 6:1-2 "These are the commands, decrees, and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life." (NIV)
Ill. Vladi, Had trouble with this concept.
Means to show "reverence" and "respect"
Ill. Fire. I respect fire. I’m not "afraid" of it. It is useful, but can become deadly in overabundance.
Exodus 20: 2-3 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me." (RSV)
Show honor by [putting God first]-traditionally told this, but... Even if we have a list of things with God at the top, they can still get in the way and our loyalty or dedication to these things can detract us from loving God. We are called to make God the "everything" of our lives. "Have no other gods before me."
Deuteronomy 11:1 "Love the LORD your God and always obey all his laws." (GN)
John 14:15, 21 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. . .He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." (RSV)
Ill. How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word. With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, "I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it."