Thursday, August 13, 2009
Are We Relevant?
I am LOVING this "Daniel" Bible study. I can't wait to share with you the excellent thoughts that Beth Moore shared today in Daniel 6.
I was praying yesterday, feeling like my world of influence is so small. How do I win souls to Jesus, when I am home with my children and have very limited contact with others? What in my life will start a conversation with a cynical person who might thing the Bible is a bunch of hog-wash?
Philippians 4:4 says "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" God has really been working with me on "joy". I mean, He seems to be hammering this thing in my head, relentlessly!!!! OK, God, I'm getting it!
Beth says, "The word can't help but notice those accosted by joy. The world also can't help noticing a life that seems to work. Our lives can become flesh-and-blood felt boards of the great and glorious paradox: life is found by losing it for the sake of Christ. A vessel is filled by pouring out. The key to receiving is giving. The key to living is dying to self. The greatest in the kingdom is the servant of all. God has been right all along. His upside-down path is the only way to true contentment and satisfaction. The world's claim of happiness is betrayed by an ever-increasing lust for more. Nothing ever suffices. Nothing ever will. Christ alone satisfies the ailing human soul.
Cyrus the Great freed the captives of Babylon, but until further notice, you and I are still here (in our own Babylon culture). WE remain exiles, chosen like Daniel to influence our overindulged, self-absorbed culture for the kingdom of God. We-believers in Christ in a post-modern, increasingly profane western culture-may feel like a small handful amid a scorning populous; but Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four in the midst of thousands. Our path to success is theirs: uncompromising resolve in a big and small things alike. This quote offers some thought:
'It's highly probable that if Daniel had compromised by eating the king's food, he would have compromised about other things too, like bowing to his image. "Oh, I'll still pray to God, but I'll just bow to this thing to spare my life, because, after all, I can do a lot of ministry for God if I survive." That wasn't Daniel or his uncompromising buddies Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego. When you obey God in the small things, it becomes a lot easier to obey Him in the big things. That's when God shows up. He can shut the mouths of lions and protect you from the flames."-Janet Folger (The Criminalization of Christianity)
We cannot seclude ourselves indefinitely in Christian hideouts. Our lives must be poured out like healing ointment on this injured land. We must not forsake meeting together and jealously holding one another accountable to walk in truth and remain fortified. For now, we live in this Babylon-like culture, but we can proactively guard ourselves from being corrupted by it. Otherwise, like the masses in Daniel's day, we too, will be absorbed into virtual irrelevance."
I know that was a long post, but I hope that it was worth the read! I'm just loving this study and want to share the nuggets He is giving me.