Summary: This sermon deals with standing firm in a world that’s shaky and looks at the lessons we can learn from Daniel.
Unshakable in a Shaky World
An elderly man lay dying in his bed. Near death, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, he leaned against the doorframe, gazing into the kitchen. Were it not for death’s agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven. There, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.
Was it heaven or was it one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table, landing on his knees in a rumpled posture. His lips parted; the wondrous taste of the cookie was already in his mouth; seemingly bringing him back to life. The aged and withered hand, shakingly, made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when it was suddenly smacked with a spatula by his wife. “Stay out of those”, she said. “They’re for the funeral”.
You know things are shaky when you’re still alive and the cookies are already being made for your funeral. That’s shaky! Today, we’re going to talk about what it means to be unshakable in a shaky world. Lets Pray!
We must first look at the word unshakable. When I use the word unshakable, I am not talking about a person who is perfect and without error or someone that doesn’t have trials and weaknesses. But I am talking about a person who is consistent in character, persistent through trials, and who stands for what is right.(REPEAT)!
What do I mean by a shaky world? Listen to these headlines: Man found guilty of murder will spend life in prison – Man cleared of murder after 17 years in prison – Simpson road rage trial set for June in Florida – Suspect charged with store clerk’s death – police say school shooting could have been worse – Toddler who nearly froze to death is awake – Cops think mom tossed baby out to a grisly end – Nursing home sued for negligence – Worker dies in set accident – 3 year old thrown from jeep in accident – Crane collapses at school construction site – Suspected shooter is described as troubled – Ex-worker shoots and kills former co-workers – Children killed in yet another school shooting. Depressing! Did you watch the news last night? I didn’t!! I know it’s just one tragic incident after another. This doesn’t lessen the fact that positive news isn’t shown on TV nearly as much as negative. Nevertheless, we do live in a shaky world and many of these incidents could or have impacted our lives.
If you are still not convinced we are living in a shaky world, look at the family today. More than half of the children will grow up in a broken home where there is no father at all. That’s shaky! What about our jobs. There is not one week where I don’t hear of down sizing or people being laid off. That’s shaky! How about politics. The chaos that went on in the past Presidential election only highlighted the fact that we should be called the Divided States of America rather than the United States of America. That’s shaky! And the church, sadly to say, has just as high of a divorce rate as society at large. That’s shaky!
However, in the midst of this shaky world, there is hope. Thank God for the Bible because not only does it show the pain, anguish and ugliness of this world, but it offers hope as we face this world. There are many in the Bible who can be examples of an unshakeable life, but one to me stands out very strong – Daniel. Since Daniel couldn’t be here today – busy feeding his lions – I will step in for him. We can look at his life and get encouragement to be unshakable. Daniel was an Israelite from Judah. In chapter 1 we see that Daniel and the other Israelites were taken from Judah to Babylon as King Nebuchadnezzar had taken over Judah. He took articles from the temple of God, but he also took some of the Israelites captive – one of which was Daniel. Neb ordered that the Israelites be trained in the language and literature of the Babylonians so that after 3 years, they could enter the king’s service. At this point in Daniel’s life his whole world is turned upside down as he is taken from all that is familiar to him and put in a situation that would rock any of our worlds.