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Be Different

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
March 3, 2022 9:00 am

Be Different

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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March 3, 2022 9:00 am

We begin working our way through the Old Testament book of Daniel--and it’s about a lot more than just lions. This book is about how to shine, how to thrive, in a very dark and hostile world.

Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

Today on Summit life with Judy Greer sure different by living according to different values, in particular different values in relation to what I call the big three victory. St. Augustine said the followers of Jesus most distinguishable from the world and their attitude toward three things the big three money sex. I'm your host Molly that it's so glad you joined us today so excited to be kicking out a brand-new teaching series here on the program working our way through the Old Testament book of Daniel, and I promise you it is about a lot more than just liens. This book is about how to shine how to thrive very dark and hostile world. Unlike most of the other books in the Hebrew Bible. This one is not set in Israel, but in the heart of an enemy pagan empire where God's people have been taken captive will learn that the power to make a difference is found in the commitment to be different to grab your Bible find the book of Daniel, and let's begin with a message titled be different. We are starting a new series today called shining in Babylon. This is a study of the book of Daniel. All 12 chapters explain your getting, where the title shining in Babylon comes from is from a verse in the very last chapter, Daniel, a verse about since high school has been one of my favorite verses in the entire Old Testament is Daniel 12 three of this. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever. The book of Daniel is about how to be a faithful witness in a dark and hostile environment. You see, unlike other books of the Bible. This book is not written from inside Israel. Let me show you turn to chapter 1 verse one was to seal the book start chapter 1 verse one in the third year of the reign of King Joachim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it. The Lord handed King Joachim of Judah over to him along with treasures from the house of God. Nebuchadnezzar carried them to the land of Shinar.

By the way, that's an important detail were to come back to enter the house of his God, and put the vessels in the treasury of his God, King Jehovah, who was Judah's 19th king after King David continued to lead Israel and ate a downward spiral of unbelief, compromise and disobedience.

God had warned Israel all the way back in the book of Deuteronomy all about beginning of the Old Testament God warned Israel that they continued to walk in the path of unbelief and compromise.

He would send them into exile. Sure enough in 605 BC, God kept his promise and might I say before we go any farther, but I believe that God has a warning for some of you in this.

We are 40 minutes into this message and God is right now speaking to some of you through his work. You save you you really think you can continue on in your sin, you think I'm bluffing.

I kept my promise to Israel I'll keep it with you.

You think it's beyond him to send you into some kind exile some kind of suffering suffering because of persistent sand that you just don't want to deal with this and I have seen over two decades of being a pastor I have seen God destroy many a believer who just kept putting God off.

Who would not listen. Do not be deceived. The apostle Paul says God will not be mocked. Do not mistake his patients for his apathy. He is not kidding. God is not kidding. He is telling some of you today, you need to wake up and you get serious because I am not kidding.

Verse three verse three the king ordered King Nebuchadnezzar Ward Ashkenaz, the chief unit to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from an ability but from the lineage of David Young men without without any physical defect looking suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, capable of serving in the king's palace. The best of the best. Of course he was to teach them the Chaldean language and culture.

They were to become schooled in the waves of Babylon. Now, let's talk for a minute about Babylon because there is some deeply important symbolism at work here. Babylon refers to a specific kingdom headed by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC located in what is modern day Iraq, but in the Bible. Babylon also represents a spiritual power at work in every secular kingdom in every age on every continent on earth. In the New Testament. For example, the early Christians used Babylon as a code name for Rome even though Rome was miles away from the ancient city of Babylon and had no political or ethnic connection to Babylon whatsoever in the book of Revelation. Babylon becomes the apostle John's name for the whole world system in opposition to Jesus. Did you notice verse two that little detail that I highlighted for you where it said the city of Babylon was the land of Shinar. Shinar is a place in Genesis 11 to were all of mankind gathered together in order to build up a gigantic tower and the make a name for themselves and you remember the name of that tower. The tower of Babel Babel Babylon you like.

See what you did there.

God nicely played.

The point is in the Bible.

Babylon is the term for the spiritual kingdom at work in secular world powers. Since the Tower of Babel is the kingdom that is built in opposition to God. It is the kingdom that represents independence of God's kingdom where man is in charge and man is at the center. Satan has always used secular government, secular media, secular business and economics to make war against the people of the gospel. He is the ruler of this world. The Prince of the power of the air, and so there are two kingdoms on earth, only to.

There is the kingdom of Babylon and the kingdom of God.

You belong to one of the other night. Here's the thing. Most of you like Daniel are called to serve in Babylon there is a few of us that are called to serve in the church, but the majority of you are called to serve, to serve out in Babylon.

6/7 days of the week you're at work in Babylon.

The book of Daniel is a manual for how to survive and thrive and shine in Babylon.

The book of Daniel was written in a very interesting albeit confusing way.

Chapters 1 through seven organ to be all about Daniel's life in Babylon a lot of famous stories you can recognize her in their Daniel blinds. It cannot be said about to go in the fiery furnace, and many others. Chapters 8 to 12 or Daniel's prophecy about the restoration of Israel.

The coming of the Messiah and the end of the world get this. Chapter 1 is written in Hebrew, because it starts in the land of Israel. Chapters 2 through seven are written in Aramaic, the language of Babylon because all the Events Take Pl. in Babylon then. Chapters 8 to 12 which are the prophecies about the future. They revert back to Hebrew again because were back to prophecy about the end of time. The question the book of Daniel presents is this you know how to be faithful to God in the Hebrew chapters.

Can you do it in the Aramaic once, you may know what faithful Christian service looks like in your home turf on your home turf. But do you know what it looks like in Babylon, there is the question of the book of Daniel.

What this faithfulness to God look like in a secular realm controlled by secular powers that are at war with the gospel that your questionable today was get back to the story Daniel. Daniel is one out of four young men good-looking, smart, healthy athletic the best of the best who are conscripted into Nebuchadnezzar service but do not think of this like an episode of the bachelor Hebrew edition verse three tells you that they were put under the chief unit, which means that they would have been made eunuchs also which means their capacity to have kids was quite literally crushed an event confuses you see your campus pastor afterwards they are prepared to answer all your questions on Plato.

Plato said that that the young man and Ray enrolled in these training programs were usually between 14 and 17 years old so we can assume that all this happened when Daniel was about 15 Nebuchadnezzar then has the names changed. They had good Hebrew names which pointed to the glory of God. Nebuchadnezzar change their names to speak.

Praise to his false gods, Daniel, for example, Daniel means God is my judge that it's changed about the shots, all which means they'll protect the king Hannah Anaya. That means God is gracious like it's changed to Shadrach, which made under the command of Cuda moon God. Misael means there is none like God they could change the meet shack which means there is none like out to the moon God as a riot means God has help me that it's changed to Abednego which means the servant of Nebo, the Babylonian God of wisdom you pause for just a minute to think about what happened to the world of these 15-year-old high school students I keep in mind these are real people.

These are high school age boys just like boys that are in some of your homes. Right now you parents high school age boys in the ninth or 10th grade in our system.

Watch as their homeland is invaded, their families, or killed. Their temple was desecrated there. God is blaspheme their futures as husbands and fathers destroyed and their names are Stephen change to give praise to a foreign deity. Also, every time somebody called her name. Some of you feel like you've been put into a difficult environment to be a Christian in. I daresay Daniel and his friends got you beat Georgiana what this faithfulness in this kind of environment look like verse eight, but Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and the wine and he asked the chief official for permission not to define himself as white. The royal food and wine would have included a lot of things that were forbidden by the tour of the Jewish law permitting for Israelites to eat to see. Here's their first test of faith are they going to conform to the Scriptures are they going to came to the culture of Babylon to Daniel asked that he and his his friends be able to eat from a different menu. Not a pretty annoying request for a prisoner because nobody in charge of either group likes it when different people demand different things others moms out there who want to say amen. Nothing burns my wife Veronica up more than one of our kids demanding a different meal than what you compared for the family. When Daniel does this verse nine.

Now God had caused the official to show favorite bachelor, Daniel, but the principal Daniel is not. I'd like to do this. I'm afraid it Nebuchadnezzar was assigned to foodgrade the king take out your menu. Why would he see you looking worse than all the other young men your age the king wouldn't have my head because of you.

Daniel then said to him, please test your service for 10 days. Give us nothing but vegetables. Eat and water to drink. Now please, please, please do not be shortsighted and think that Daniel just gave you some kind of spiritually secret superior Jesus was Quito diet to me like oh I know it vegetables and water and I bet that means only whole grains of non-GMO stuff to that is not the point. These were evidently the only things they could eat that were not ritually to file. You are free to follow this Daniel died. If you want, but that's not the point of this chapter and so help me, if you use this job or find some kind of biblical mandate for essential oils are relationship is over. Okay Daniel said C vegetables and water their domains.

We need not ritually filed. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat of the royal food and treat your servants in accordance with what you see. So we agreed to this and tested them for 10 days. Test at the end of the 10 days they look healthier and better nurse to many of the young men who ate the royal food in every matter of wisdom and understanding about what you can question them he found them 10 times better and smarter than all the magicians and all the enchanters and resulting God bless them. God bless and there is a principal being taught here. That is when you commit to doing things God's way. God often glorifies himself by honoring and exalting you now.

Be very careful.

This is not some kind of magic formula sometimes is working to see in Daniel, you do the right thing and you suffer for it, but I'm telling you a consistent biblical testimony is that those who honor God.

God honors back.

Here's the first principle of the book of Daniel. I want you to master. You cannot make a difference in Babylon unless you were different. You cannot make a difference unless you are different.

If you want to make a difference. You have to be different. Not one caveat I feel compelled to put in here. I'm not talking about being weird. There is no excuse for Christian weirdness. We all know Christians who were to strange. Amen.

They tell complete stranger things like I'm in a Bayview in prayer and just weird people out.

Don't do that living the greatest witness they can have as few aggressive bumper stickers right you know this when you see somebody in the highway and you're coming up on them in the back of their cars was loaded up bumper stickers. You know it's you. What a far left liberal or evangelical Christian in our bumper sticker say things like, in case of rapture. This car will be unmanned, got makes everybody feel safe. Want to come to Jesus or do you follow Jesus.

This closely. I just just so that when the other day. I'm now in our day. The Internet has says it has come along given birth to a whole new level of Christian weirdness with phrases like God answers an email and tweet others how you would want to be tweeted and some of you at some of you right now to start is pretty good. I'm up with that on my Facebook today see your part of the problem okay don't do that.

Don't do that.

But what some of you met somewhere Christians, and that really turned you off to see this from uncle JD.

After two decades be a pastor.

Robert those people would have been weird. Whether or not they were Christians.

Okay there weirdness is not Jesus is fall they disclosed up there weirdness in Jesus language so don't blame Jesus for that okay or talking about here is been different. Not weird, distinct from Babylon in some very crucial weights for these Hebrew teenagers. The first application of that principle is to be faithfulness to God and what they eat and drink what they eat or drink is good be guided by the Bible, not Babylon. Now here we are 21st century America I and you and I because of the death and resurrection of Christ were no longer under Torah law. Okay so so the menu is not the issue for us. We gotta ask, what does that look like for us today.

How do we keep from defiling ourselves with the royal food and wine are Babylon, as always, I have three points okay because I did work for preachers of the work for the Trinity.

It works, or sermons right in the morning when we show different show different by living according to different values. In particular different values in relation to what I call the big three. The big three St. Augustine said the followers of Jesus are most distinguishable from the world and their attitude toward three things the big three money sex, power you want to know if you're distinct from the world don't look at how you talk often you go to church I address look in your relationship to money, sex and power money Babylon approaches money from the standpoint of acquisition get all you can keep all you can maybe give away a little to show that you're a good person to me pain favor with the community, but money is like blood. It's the key to the good life for the believer. For the follower of Jesus. Because God is their trust and their treasure within a different approach toward money.

Altogether, yes, we live off of money. It is the currency by which we buy things but we also recognize that money is something entrusted to us for the advancement of God's kingdom. So as God prospers us. We are not just thinking about how to advance our standard of living. We are also asking even asking prior to the standard of living question were asking how can I use this prosperity to increase my standard of giving for you. Here's your question is money for you is it primarily something that you acquire and enjoy and give a little bit away on the side or is money primarily for you a tool to bless and power and price for the kingdom of God, of which you enjoy a little bit on the side what's on the side for you.

Once the main course.

Here's always it runs on a church which is tribute to you give sufficiently and live extravagantly or do you live sufficiently and give extravagantly I would say the majority view because you're here and because church is a party like you give most of you I love you give sufficiently to me like a big big 10% number and so I thought that sufficient to give sufficiently but then you live extravagantly the follower of Jesus would reverse that and say I'm a live sufficiently but I'm going to give extravagantly. That's the quest that's what differs from Babylon everybody about wanting to get a little bit.

But what's the main thing for you is money a tool from God's kingdom entrusted viewers of something that you have the Jews, you don't over little faade rip second the big three sex sex Babylon Percocet from the standpoint of thought about me feel good can be wrong. Christian see sex as a gift of God to be used for God's purposes. According to his design within a covenant based lifelong marriage between a man and a woman said that that in the early church early Christians. They stood in stark contrast to other Roman citizens because they were and I quote promiscuous with their money. Promiscuous means you disperse it freely and widely there were promiscuous with her money and guarded with their beds, whereas other Romans were guarded with their money stingy with her money and promiscuous with their bets and so Christian scenes by Babylonian standards totally backwards. Strange, because they would not gorge on the royal foods and wines power.

That's 1/3 of the big three are Babylon, whatever power you have. You press it to your advantage, whatever you guys at your looks use that money. Use that picture talent majority culture status.

Your minority status. Use that whatever power you have is to be held onto and press for your advantage for the Christian is a totally different attitude toward power and literacy power. The way to Jesus and saw his power and privilege that is his power and privilege were something he used to serve in the lift up others to the follower of Jesus is always asking how can I use this position of power or privilege. To lift up those around me.

Christians are most distinct from Babylon in relation to these three. The question is what about you is your approach to be three things more characterized by Babylon or the Bible. If your life is shaped by the Bible you're going to be stranger and more offensive to those people around you then then was a Babylon use where Christian phrases or listen to Christian music all the time. Did you dress like a weirdo. It could be because you are opposite of the world in the thing. Three things are most important of it useful, strange and offensive than ever to describe my best.

Imagine you're watching a big marching band on on a football field and got a couple hundred people out there on that field. If you been in an marching band.

You watch one you know that that in in the band everybody.

The whole place is looking one place all the eyes are trained on the one guy or girl that conductor and are marching in petite beat with their baton so you you get your binoculars out your understanding. You look you will gather the middle that marching mail you notice that there's one guy who's not look of the conductor, he said, is there project and he's listening to Draco little Wayne on a radio station and he's marching that beat housing a look. Strange, chaotic, out-of-control sound because you don't have rhythm. It's not because he's actually chaotic at all because he's dialed in the music from another place.

The question is what are you dialed into what baton are you watching if you are marching.

According to heavens values you're going to look strange before I go on our second thing we see some really practical places will show up and I won't press this because I really thought this was, that the bread-and-butter of it all you college students and young professionals.

If you are living by the principles of Babylon. You will approach your career the way that every Babylonian approaches their career.

Every other Babylonian colleges I what careers go to make you feel the motion failed, what careers you get me the most money match that of your approach. If you're shaped by the Bible you will ask first what career which career can best serve the great commission.

When we are say to our students right here. The question is not if you're called.

The question is only where and how the call of Jesus to leverage your life for the great commission was not a special mystical thing that was given to you of his went to seminary the call of Jesus to leverage your life for the kingdom of God regulation that calls have never gotten developmental McCue Fisher of men are if someone were to meet you or observe you when they walk away thinking unique something different about you if you join Senate like a little late today you can hear this message again free of Pastor Janie in her new teaching series.

The book of Daniel shining in Babylon were looking very dark and hostile context. I love the book of Daniel. I love reading it. I love teaching. It was one about my favorite series of that of the summa church about to say that all the time. Ali McKay really mean about this one because the book is about how to shine how to thrive in a very dark and hostile world. Unlike most of the books in the Hebrew Bible. This book is not set in Israel that most of is not written in the Hebrew language. Imagine this set in the heart of an enemy pagan empire were God's people been taken captive in their living as exiles. What you can see in this book you will learn is that the power to make a difference is only found in the commitment to be different. Not all the weird ways that Christians like to be weird and different, but in the true ways that show your living for different kingdom on I'm excited to be able to offer to you along with this new Bible study that that will help as we often do here at summa life take you deeper into the teaching in the Scripture help you to reflect on it. Everything personally about it show you some exegetical insights that make you can't cover the sermon on I want to get that to you soon as you're going along with the series because I think it will help you press deeper and in and what this timely, timeless message is for the book of Daniel, how it applies to you. This brand-new Bible study helps to provide an overall understanding of any passage of Scripture when it says the intended meaning to the original finance and how it can be applied to today. It will help train you to make observation and then draw conclusions from the edge finding the big idea that this type of study can be used by both new and seasoned students alike as our way of saying thanks for your support.

We learn to give you a copy of the book of Daniel shining in Babylon nine part five for it when you make a one-time donation of $35 or more. When you become a monthly gospel partner today, three, 552 training easier.

You can sign up Your gift makes it around the world. Online resources ever getting in the way joining with my Molly had a vegan. I'm so glad you enjoyed sure to listen tomorrow and send it my

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