Daniel 1:8 Choosing To Not Be Defiled

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8

When King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had taken over Jerusalem and all Judah, he carried many people into captivity. Out of these people, he chose some who were the best and brightest to work for him. They were brought into the palace courts to work and given the best food and drink, along with all other needed provisions. Daniel was among those given that favor.

The food being provided was food that the Israelites were not supposed to eat according to God’s law. Daniel set it in his heart that he would not defile his body with the food being offered. Regardless of what may happen, he refused to eat that food. He asked the officials to not eat it. He was given favor, because God was on his side.

In this world there are many things that are out there that can defile a believer. No matter what store or location a person walks into things are available to cause one to sin. Pictures, thoughts, and actions are everywhere being done that are filled with sin and can lead a believer down the wrong path. Even other people can lead a person wrong.

As a believer, you must make a commitment to the Lord prior to walking into any place. You must commit to not allowing yourself to be led into sin. You have to choose not to walk down certain paths that the world offers.

In the process of doing this, there will be many times that you will go against the flow of society, even some in the church. Some may be doing it in good will, not meaning to harm you, but still be against God’s ways. It may also be painful. As with Daniel choosing not to eat certain foods, it runs the risk of creating severe pain and suffering. God is with you, and if you choose to follow Him and His ways, He will take care of you.

Before you walk out of your house today, or even your bedroom, resolve in your heart to not allow yourself to be defiled by sin. Refuse to walk down that path as you walk in this world.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will choose to follow God alone; that you will choose to not walk in sin against God; and that you will not allow yourself to be defiled by this world.

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Jeremiah 33:20-21 God’s Faithfulness

“This is what the LORD says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, then my covenant with David my servant–and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me–can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.'” Jeremiah 33:21-21

God had made a covenant promise to David that he would always have an heir on the throne forever. During the time God judged Judah and cast them into exile in Babylon, God had restated this promise to the people. His promise is so strong that God said that if anyone could break the occurrence of day and night, then, and only then, would God’s covenant with David be broken.

As a believer and a non-Jewish person, one may wonder about how this is with him. As a whole, most people all over the world are not an Israelite or of the Levitical priesthood.

God’s promise to David was fulfilled through Jesus. Jesus came through the line of David and is a King, and He will live forever.

When you had chosen to repent of your sins and accept what Jesus had done for you on the cross, you came into a covenant with God. You agreed to follow His ways and trust Him. You agreed to become a changed person and leave your life of sin. As you did this, Jesus also came into a covenant with you to remove your sins, to save you for eternity, and to change your heart.

No person can change the order of day and night, no matter how hard they try. In the same way, you cannot change God’s covenant. You may be able to break your side of the covenant, thus voiding the covenant, but you cannot break God’s side of it.

God has promised forgiveness and life to you. This was made to the Israelites while they were going into captivity, but God upheld His side of the agreement and restored them. In the same way God made the agreement with you, while you lived in sin and death–captivity. He is giving you life and will continue to do so.

Trust God’s promise to give you life today, even when going through captivity of this world. He is faithful.

I pray today that you will know the covenant God has given you; that you will know the life Jesus is offering you; that you will be the changed person God wants you to be; and that you will trust the promises of God.

Isaiah 61:1 God’s Spirit Is Upon You

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, Isaiah 61:1

At the time Isaiah made this statement, He was prophesying about Jesus. Several hundred years later, Jesus would again speak these words and then tell the people that they were talking about Himself. Jesus came to the earth to bring good news to the people. That good news was that God was going to redeem them and bring them the much desired salvation, release from captivity in darkness.

Many people think that only a pastor, evangelist or a missionary can be anointed to proclaim the good news. It is often thought of the proclamation being a form of preaching, and only those certified to preach can do that. Others feel as if they need a bible college degree in order to proclaim the good news.

When Jesus spoke, while on this earth, He did not have a college degree. There is no record of Him getting any formal training as a preacher. Yet, He spoke with authority and correctly. This occurred because He was anointed by God to do that.

As Jesus left the earth, He said that everyone would be filled with the Holy Spirit, who He would send once He left. This includes every believer who believes in Jesus, which also includes you.

Every believer is anointed by God to proclaim the good news. It is to release people from captivity of sin and darkness.

Telling the good news is not something you need a college degree for, or even need to know New Testament Greek. It is telling others what you know. It is telling others why you chose to believe in and follow Jesus. It is telling others what Jesus has done for you, in  you and through you. It is giving them a chance to see the light and be released from the darkness of this world.

God’s Spirit is on you at all times, because He has anointed you to proclaim the good news.

What are you saying today?

Who are you telling today?

Who can you tell this news to today?

I pray today that you will know God’s anointing in your life; that God will give you the words to speak; that you will proclaim the salvation Jesus provides; and that through you God will release many from captivity and darkness.

2 Chronicles 36:22 Favor In Tragedy

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ” ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’ ” 2 Chronicles 36:22

The last four kings of Judah refused to follow God and led the people in greater sins. God then allowed Cyrus, king of Persia (modern Iran), to take over Judah and put everyone into captivity. Once he had the land, he allowed some of the people to go back and rebuild the temple for God.

Often when tragedy strikes a person or a nation, people are scared and mad at God. Very seldom do they understand the purpose of the tragedy, asking why it happened. It can look like God is angry with the person and just out to destroy them.

God is a god of love. He does not hate anyone, but wants everyone to come to Him in repentance and follow His Son Jesus. With this in mind, everything that happens is for the good of the person it is happening to.  God allows things to happen in a person’s life to build him up, not to tear him down or destroy him.

In the Old Testament, God had been sending prophets to turn the people back to God and warned them of captivity. When they did not listen, He allowed them to be sent into captivity. However, while there, they were given extreme favor by their captor to be allowed to go and build God’s temple again. They were allowed to go back and worship God in the correct way. God used the tragedy to get their attention back on Him.

Whatever situation you may have gone through or are currently going through, it is for a purpose. God is not out to destroy you. He wants a relationship with you more than you can ever imagine.

As you go through a tragedy look for God’s favor in the midst of it. See what God wants you to do through it. Find ways to worship God in and through the situation. You do have God’s favor in your life, if you will follow Jesus.

I pray today that you will find ways to worship God at all times; that you will see God’s hand of favor on your life; that you will not be angry at God for any tragedy in your life; and that you will know the love God has for you.

Revelation 13:9-10 Patient Endurance Needed

“Whoever has ears, let them hear. ‘If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.’ This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” Revelation 13:9-10

John tells everyone if you have ears they need to hear this. This is saying that what he is about to say is very important and needs more than just hearing the words but applying them. He says that if you are to go into captivity or be killed, it will happen. Then he says you must be patient and endure it all.

One thing that is very difficult for most people to accept is when a person who is a believer is either put in prison or killed. In the USA, the first thing they want to do is go to the government officials and get the law changed to protect the person. Or they want to file a lawsuit against someone else.

Yet, God’s Word says that if it must happen, then it must happen. God has a purpose behind someone being put in prison or being killed.

Think about Paul when he was traveling. He knew he had to go to Jerusalem. He also knew that they would capture him there. Many did not want him to go. Yet, Paul knew that through this he would be able to get to Rome and preach the gospel message there. That trip to Rome would be paid at the expense of the Roman government. While in prison he was able to continue to preach the gospel to a new group of people.

You have to trust God and wait patiently for Him to bring you through whatever situation you may be in. As the world continues to turn away from God, things will get harder for believers. There will come a time when all believers will be captured or killed. God knows which will happen to you or if something else.

Patiently wait for God and remain faithful to Him. Do not let the threats and hardships of this world detour you from following Jesus. Stay true to Him and you will win in the end with Him.

I pray today that you will trust God’s plan for your life; that you will not try to fight against what God has for you; that God will fill you with His patience; that you will remain faithful to God; and that you will hear what God is telling you.

Revelation 13:10 Endurance and Faithfulness

“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.” Revelation 13:10

John had just revealed some disturbing information. At some point there will be a beast that will rise up in power and conquer the entire world. This is bad in itself, but he will also be given power to conquer God’s people.

As this beast gains this power and wages this war, everyone who does not believe in Jesus will worship him. In a simple way of putting it: it will be the entire world against a few believers.

Now John tells you that any person destined for captivity or death by the sword will go into captivity or die by the sword. No person really knows who is the one to go into captivity or to die by the sword. Not knowing this information each believer must now have patient endurance and faithfulness to God.

Patient endurance is quietly waiting on the Lord. Times will be hard. The danger will be extremely high. Evil will be everywhere at a level never before seen. Yet, the believer must not complain and endure it all.

Along with the patient endurance, the believer must be faithful to God. He must continue to worship God and God alone. He must continue to be His witness and do everything God directs him to do. This will put him at odds with the world, making him a target.

As a believer is put into captivity, he must remember that it was God who allowed it. If a believer is killed, again, he must remember that God allowed it. God is in control. Other believers must also watch and trust God through it all.

Although today, in America, the risk of going to jail or being killed for your belief in God is very slim, other dangers are still around. Being an open witness for God can bring opposition from the world. You may not get that job promotion; you may lose your job; you may be ridiculed; you may be falsely lied about; or may even be physically harmed some.

Today you must still have patient endurance and faithfulness. Do not allow the struggles of the day discourage you or change you. The devil and the world will not like you and will try to stop you from being His witness. Hang in there and be true to God. Doing this today will also strengthen you for tomorrow when things will get worse. Remember: God is in control.

I pray today that God will strengthen you for the battles coming in your life; that you will be patient; that you will endure the hardships; that you will be faithful to God; that God will make Himself more real to you; and that you will stay in the center of God’s will.