September 12, 2016

Daniel 6:5 Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

Several years ago there was a program aimed at young people with the catch phrase, “Dare to be a Daniel,” with a song that included that line. The song itself was evidently very unmemorable, but the phrase has stuck with me. There is certainly a lot to admire and emulate in Daniel. Frankly, the contrast with the average person in government today, either elected or bureaucratic, is astounding! He lived such an upright life that no degree of “vetting” could turn up anything, and the reason was his complete devotion to God. As this verse makes clear, even his enemies had to acknowledge that. If we lived as he did, we would probably see far more of the miraculous in our own lives! Even Ezekiel, who was somewhat of a contemporary, put him up there with Moses and Job as an example of righteousness. (Ezekiel 14:14) New Testament writers, such as Peter in 1 Peter 4, wrote about living as Christians in contrast to the people around us. Paul famously wrote about not being “conformed” to the world in Romans 12:2. Daniel’s example is indeed applicable for every Christian.

I too have been tempted by what might be called “common sins.” The devil has used the line, “everybody’s doing it” from the dawn of history. That certainly doesn’t excuse my lapses! I indeed need to “be a Daniel” in every area of my life. Particularly as both a pastor and as a secular teacher, I am “under the magnifying glass” almost all the time. I’m not to resent that, but rather be careful that all anyone observing me would find would be Jesus. I have a better example than Daniel, and His Spirit is in me to conform me to His likeness. (Romans 8:29) I am to be an example to other believers that such a lifestyle is possible, because the devil and the world try to convince us it is not, and we might as well give up. I certainly can’t do it in my own strength and wisdom, but my Lord is more than able to accomplish it in and through me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I pray for those who are being greatly tried in this very area. Some are failing. I pray that they would understand and believe that Your forgiveness and cleansing are real and available, and renew their commitment to You so that they may receive Your very best for them, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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