Summary: A Confirmation sermon encouraging God’s people to let their faith be seen in deeds to God’s glory.
Sermon: “Steadfast in God’s Word” Rev. David Anderson
Daniel 6:26 Rev. 2:10
At both of our services today, we are looking at saints who are taking steps into a more steadfast walk with the Lord. To become confirmed members within a congregation leads to a deeper commitment within one’s Christian faith. Martin Luther’s commitment resulted in a massive reformation of the Church.
This morning, however, I want to look way back into history for another example of outstanding steadfastness and commitment to God and His Word. I want us to consider a man of God who put his life on the line and no doubt no wears a crown in glory.
We are going to look at Daniel. Listen to the decree that the king issued because of Daniel’s outstanding witness as recorded in Daniel 6:26: “I make a decree, that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for He is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and His kingdom.... shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure unto the end.”
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A shift in the great subterranean plates of our planet takes place beneath the ocean floor. Suddenly a massive shock wave hits the water. The mammoth vibration travels out in concentric circles until it moves up gradual slopes towards islands and continents. Waves 50 feet to 100 feet high began smashing inland along coastlines.
On one tropical Island a small girl sees the first great wave coming toward her as she plays along the beach. It seems far away, but even at a distance it looks like a massive wall. She starts running inland but the first wave breaks into the land, strikes her hard, and throws her into its roaring belly.
Somehow she survives the first wave, but another wave,
even larger then the first, is heading for the beach. She runs to a tree, but cannot get her small arms around its trunk. Just as she begins to slump hopelessly to the ground, strong arms come from behind her and latch her to the tree.
“Take a deep breath,” says a seasoned voice, “Trust my
word, I will hold you fast. You will not die. Here it comes!”
Have you ever faced a problem so large that you felt that it would sweep you under... that you could not possibly handle it by yourself?
Martin Luther, whose catechism we have studied, stood
before a great political wave that declared open season on Luther’s life. He could be hunted down and killed without any questions asked and with the blessing of the church of his day.
His crime? He stood steadfast upon God’s Word when
forces were at work to damage that Word.
Refusing to compromise the meaning of Jesus and the
power of the Gospel, Luther wrote: “Lord, keep us
steadfast in Your Word; curb those who be deceit of sword, would wrest the kingdom from Your Son, and bring to nought all He has done.”
Daniel was another individual who stood before a great
wave that had the power to ruin his name and destroy him. Advisors close to King Darius had become jealous of Daniel. They devised a plan to get him away from the king’s ear and have him put to death.
Their plan was simply and ingenious, they tricked the king into passing an edict that mandated a 30 day period in which only King Darius was to be worshiped as god– no other gods were to be worshiped or sought out. The penalty for disobedience was death.
The evil advisors who hatched this plot had correctly
assumed that Daniel would not honor this decree. The
Bible clearly tells us that Daniel knew that the document had been put into effect. Still, he “got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before God...”
Now I thought about Daniel’s decision, and I wondered
what I might do... or you might do, in this situation. I mean, “come on Daniel, let’s be creative here! There’s got to be come kind of compromise that could spare your life.”
OPTION ONE: Thirty days is only a short period of time. Some people stop their daily devotions for months and are still saved within God’s gigantic grace. Couldn’t Daniel just let things slide for 30 days and then get back to his usual devotional practice– maybe even double it to make up the
Some people will confirm their faith and then drop out of worship and Christian service for years, misapplying the meaning and intention of God’s gigantic grace.
OPTION TWO: God is gracious, slow to anger and
abounding in steadfast love. Daniel could change his
devotional habits, God would understand. After all, we have to live in the real world. Daniel can’t control the decrees made by Darius.