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Standing For Your Testimony - Example of Daniel

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
July 24, 2022 9:00 am

Standing For Your Testimony - Example of Daniel

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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July 24, 2022 9:00 am

June 20, 2022 – Messages from Interns Cam McFarland and Ty Cockman

            Main Scripture Passage:  Daniel 3:8-11; Daniel 6:3-23

            Topic:  Testimony

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Don Wilton

Tonight is a special service. You may not know it, but we're going to have a double-preaching contest tonight.

I don't want to say contest, but we are going to do a double-barrel shotgun tonight. You're going to have two preachers that are going to preach tonight to you, and they are our summer interns that have been with us this summer, Ty Cockman and Cam McFarland. And it's a great privilege just to be able to see their growth, young men spiritually mature. And so it says in Titus, let no man despise thy youth.

And these young men have a heart for the Lord and just encouraged by their walk with the Lord and where they're at. And we kind of wanted to do like rock, paper, scissors or an arm wrestling match to see who would win to go first. But Cam's like, I'm going first. He just said, I'm up first.

So Cam McFarland, if you'd make your way up here tonight and make him feel welcome as he comes this evening. Ty actually voluntarily told me I was going first, but regardless, if you would, if you stand with me for the word of God, we're going to be jumping into Daniel three, starting in verse eight, and we're going to read down to verse 11 tonight. Wherefore, at the time, certain Chaldeans came near and accused the Jews. They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever. Thou, O king, has made a decree that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbutt, sultry, and dulcimer and all kinds of music shall fall down and worship the golden image.

And whoso falleth not down and worship that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Let's pray. Dear Lord, I just thank you for tonight.

I thank you for the privilege and the honor of coming forward tonight and to preach in front of this, this crowd. Lord, I just pray that you hide me behind the cross. Give me the words to speak. Give me your wisdom. Give me your peace.

Give me your patience and let everybody see you through this message. In Jesus name. Amen.

So this is a little bit of the weird part. Like I'm still standing and everybody gets to sit down in the nice chairs, you know. It really makes me appreciate what pastor has to do.

You know, he's used to standing up here the whole time and you know, he's got that skinny leg so he has to like kind of stand up on it. But in all seriousness, I just want to say thank you to both Braden, to pastor, to the church for letting me come and speak tonight. It's kind of crazy to think that I used to walk through the corner door, sit in the corner, walk out the corner door four years ago and tonight I'm up here speaking in front of everybody.

So it's a little crazy. So tonight I've titled my message standing for your testimony. It's something that the Lord's laid on my heart to share with you.

So I'm just going to jump right into it. The most common definition of a testimony is a written or spoken statement. Usually it's used in the terms of a court of law. People will give their testimony, their eyewitness testimony to a crime or to a specific event to just give their account of what they saw went down. In Christian terms, a testimony is the story or the change that has occurred because of Jesus Christ coming into your life.

Which can really be broken down into three different parts or three questions. Those questions are what was your life like before you met Christ? How did you come to know Christ? And how has your life changed since you've met Christ? And here's the thing about a Christian testimony is it's not just the testimony that you tell, but it's the testimony that you live every single day. So I ask you tonight, what is your testimony?

That's something I want everybody in here to think about and question tonight. What is your testimony? Do you have a testimony of Jesus Christ in your life? If someone were to ask you what has changed in your life since you've met Jesus Christ, what would you say?

And then not only what would you say, but does your life and the way you live every single day reflect that? Does it reflect Jesus Christ in your heart and in your life? So tonight we're going to examine the testimony of three young men that decided to make a stand for God.

Before we get into the story, I just want to give a little bit of background, a little bit of context. Context is everything when you read the Bible. So we're in Daniel 3 tonight. Daniel 3 is centered around the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. He was the king of the Babylonian empire from about 605 to about 562 B.C. And at the time, this was and considered is one of the strongest empires in the history of the world. He was the king of everything.

He had so much power, so much wealth, and he knew it. And he used that to build a statue of himself. The Bible says that the statue was 60 cubits high, or about 90 feet, and about 6 cubits wide, or about 9 feet.

So to put that into perspective, 90 feet tall is about three telephone poles stacked on top of each other. So this was a massive statue made out of gold that reflected himself. It was a statue of himself. The purpose of this image was for people to worship it, to bow down at it. And the Bible says anyone who did not worship this image would be thrown into a fiery furnace and burned alive.

And so this is where we pick up the story here in verse 12 of Daniel 3. There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the providence of Babylon. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, have not regarded thee.

They serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego were three Hebrew boys whose actual names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. And these names were changed by King Nebuchadnezzar so they would fit what he wanted.

These men were teenagers at the time of this story. They were educated, raised up, and placed over providences in the kingdom of Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar himself. So this brings me to my first point tonight which is known by your testimony. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were known by their testimony. They were known throughout the entire kingdom for not bowing down to the golden image. They stood and knelt for the cross.

They didn't kneel for an image of a man. So I ask you tonight, what are you known for? Are you known for somebody that kneels at the foot of the cross or that falls and kneels for the temptations of the world? And here's the thing, as a Christian, people know if you're being authentic.

They know what you kneel for, what you stand for, and what you don't kneel for, and what you don't stand for. As Christians, our sermons have to match our life. We have to practice what we preach, right? We sit here Sundays and Wednesdays and we hear these messages, but if we just walk out and don't live them, then we're just church attenders. And to be honest, attending church does not make you a Christian. Living as a Christian makes you a Christian. Living out the Bible.

Looking like Jesus Christ. Pastor says this a lot, and maybe not as much as he used to, but he used to always ask, if I was to ask the ten closest people to you in your life, if you were a Christian, what would they say? And I used to think about that question all of the time. Ten people. Can I count who are the ten people in my life? And I would just sit there and think, okay, I think I have ten.

And that was years ago. Now I think I could maybe get to a hundred or something like that. But really think about that. Think about the ten closest people to you and think, would they know that I'm a Christian? The Bible says in Matthew 7 16, ye shall know them by their fruits. Not only will God know you by your fruits and see you, he'll know your heart too, but people see your fruits, whether you want them to or not. People are going to see what you're doing. They're going to see those fruits. So what do those fruits reveal about your heart? What do they reveal about your testimony?

Because that's what they're going to see you as, and that's where they're going to see you as you are. Moving along in this story, verse 13 says, Then Nebuchadnezzar and his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said unto them, It is true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up.

Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He knew that these men were not kneeling for his image. He's like, whoa, whoa, you guys, you guys aren't kneeling for my image. You're kneeling for a cross.

What is that? It makes no sense. And the point of this that ties into our lives, the applicable part of this, is that as Christians, people don't only know what we stand for. They know what we should stand against. How often do people of the world ask us, what do you mean you don't stand for LGBTQ?

That's huge these days. We get asked that all the time. What do you mean you don't stand for abortion?

What do you mean you're going to wait till marriage? That stuff doesn't make sense to them. And the thing about that is you can't expect non-Christians to act like Christians. So we have to act that way to show them what Christians really are. That's why our sermons have to match our lives because if not, we're just hypocrites.

And how often do you hear someone say, oh, I don't go to church because someone did this in the church one time or someone did this one time. That's why it's so important to live out our testimonies before men. And here's the thing about having a strong testimony that's founded on the Word of God.

It's going to face opposition. You're going to face opposition whether you like it or not. John 15 19 says, if ye were of the world, the world would love his own. But because you are not of the world, but have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. If you like the world, they'll love you. If you're different from the world, they'll hate you. Look at the way our Christian lives are now. We don't stand for certain things. People don't like that so they don't like us.

Right? Because we're different from them and we're supposed to be different. We're called to be different and that's okay. I heard a pastor say one time, if you're not bucking heads with the devil, it's because you're walking the same way that he is. It is okay to buck heads with the devil.

Okay? It is okay to buck heads with the devil. Continuing in the story, Daniel 3 15 says, now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbutt, sultry, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made. Well, but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

I really want to focus on the last piece of this verse. It says, who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? I don't know how often this happens to you.

It happens to me a lot. People say, what do you mean God? He has nothing to do with this. God's not in this. He's not a part of this.

It doesn't matter. He can't tell me how to live my life, what's right, what's wrong. He can't tell me what to do with my life. It's my body, my choice. But here's the thing about all of that is Genesis 1 1 says, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Because he created everything, God has a say in everything. And this moves me into my second point tonight. The spirit in your testimony. Picking up in Daniel 16, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of the hand, O king. But if not, be known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. These men truly believed in having faith over fear. They didn't just wear it on a t-shirt. They didn't just get it tattooed on their body.

They lived it. They said, we're not going to serve your God. We're going to serve our God. And if you throw us into a furnace, he's going to deliver us from that.

But even if he doesn't, we're still not going to bow for your image. They truly had faith over fear. The King James Version of the Bible, which is sometimes hard to read, I understand. I actually got this King James Bible today. So I get it.

I get it. But it tells us over a hundred times to fear not or be not afraid. If God says something one time in the Bible, it's probably pretty important. If he says it over a hundred times, how important is it?

Right? It's super important. And here's the thing about having fear as a Christian. We don't have that spirit. 2 Timothy 1 says, For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. But today, the truth is we have Christians that fear absolutely everything.

Fear of not being accepted. Genesis 1 27 says, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him. We're created in God's image. Therefore, we are accepted because he accepts himself. He created us and his image.

Fear of our futures. Jeremiah 29 11, which is one of my favorite verses. For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end. He has a plan for our future.

We can trust him with that. Fear of persecution. Matthew 5 10.

Pastor preached on this just a couple weeks ago. Blessed are thee which are persecuted for righteousness sake. For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We are blessed if we are persecuted. Like I said, we should buck heads with the devil.

It's OK if we face a little bit of opposition because it means we're standing on the right side. Fear of death. To lost people, sometimes I don't understand how this is not the scariest thing in the world. The fear of death. But for Christians, we're free from that. John 3 16. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Probably the most famous verse in the Bible.

Right there. We don't have to fear death. We already won. Jesus defeated death on the cross for us so we don't have to fear it. Now in the Bible it does say we should fear one thing.

Proverbs 9 10. The fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. We should fear God. We should not under any circumstance fear man. We should fear God. So I ask you to examine your life.

What do you fear? Do you fear the Lord? Do you respect him? Do you honor him?

Do you seek to glorify him? Because that's who we should fear. We should not fear man.

We should not feel failure and we definitely should not fear death. Back to Daniel 3. Verse 19 says, There was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Therefore he spake and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their shoes and their hats and their other garments and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent and the furnace was exceedingly hot the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And these three men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished and rose up in haste and spake and sent him to his counselors. Did not we cast three men into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, Truo king, there was only three men. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire and they have no hurt and the form of the fourth is like the son of God. A lot of people miss this in this part of scripture and I learned this this summer when I was away working a college camp. There's two sets of men in this story.

A lot of people miss it but there's two sets. One of them, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego whose names keep being repeated. The other men were not named but it was the group of men that bound them up, tied them up and threw them in the fire. According to verse 22, when these men bound them up and threw them into the fire, they were burned. They were burned up. The reason that they were burned up was because they were of the flesh. They lived in the flesh. Their fruits were of the flesh.

Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego were filled with the spirit so they were not touched by the flame. So I ask you tonight, what group are you in? Are you filled with the flesh? Are you living for fleshly things? Are you chasing the world or are you filled with the fruits of the spirit?

Are you filled with the spirit and are you chasing God? When you face the furnace in your daily life, your testimony should be refined and that is what this is talking about. That's what the spirit is.

It's like gold. When we go through the furnace, we're going to come out better on the other side. So do you stand for the rest of the world or do you stand out as a Christian? Is your testimony full of the flesh? Galatians 5 19 says, Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleansiness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, immolations, wrath, strife, sedations, or hearsies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings, and such things, of that which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. The King James kind of messed me up on that so I had to listen to it on the Bible app to get those words right so if I mess them up, I apologize.

The truth about Christian testimony is it takes a lifetime to build and only a few seconds to ruin. The opposite of that Galatians 5 19 through 21 is Galatians 5 22 and 23. Is your testimony filled with the fruits of the spirit? It says, But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and against such there is no law. That is a great verse to memorize. That should be something we examine our lives every single day by. Are we living by the fruits of the spirit? Because that's what we're called to live by.

We're called to live by the second group of words, not the first one. Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego's testimonies were like, like I said, they were like gold. They were refined when they went through the fire. It's a fire will purify metal and it should purify your testimony every single day. We all face a face a furnace in our lives, no matter where it is.

School, work, wherever. When we're in those places, our testimonies just should rise above the world. They should stand out. People should know what we stand for.

They should know that we are different than the rest of the world. One of my favorite pieces of scripture for the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says in Matthew 7 24 through 27. Therefore, whoever shall hear these sayings of mine and do them, I will liken to a wise man which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon the house and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that hear these sayings of mine and do with them not shall be likened to a foolish man which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon the house and it fell and great was the fall of it. People full of the flesh build their house on the sand.

People full of the spirit build their house on the rock. Pete Marovitch, who played ten years in the NBA from 1970 to 1980, said this while giving his testimony at a Billy Graham Crusade. And if you get a chance, this is just a small part of it, if you get a chance, look it up on YouTube. I've listened to it maybe ten times. It is one of the greatest testimonies I've ever heard.

And this is what he says, you may have never heard of me and it makes no difference. I'm just one man on this earth saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. And I want you to know that the change that came into my life was Jesus Christ. It was not winning. I won all my life, every trophy, everything you can think of, but every time I won, I wanted something more.

I had to win again. It wasn't money because money will buy you everything but happiness and pay your fare everywhere but heaven. It wasn't material things.

I've driven everything you strive for from Rolls Royces to BMWs and Mercedes to Porsches. It wasn't religion because it was in the name of religion that Jesus Christ was placed upon that cross. And the purest thing about Christianity is that it's your choice. You can't work, you can't earn and I knew that. What Pete did for the majority of his life was he built sand castles. He built in the sand, on the sand. And when the storms of life came, they were washed away.

This was, I think, a year before he passed away. It was at this point that he decided to build for himself a mansion in heaven that will never be washed away. Continuing in the story and moving into the final part and really the key part of my message tonight is the power in your testimony. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spake and said to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the Most High God, come forth and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth into the midst of the fire.

And the princes, governors, captains, and the king's counselors being gathered together saw these men upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an air of their head singed, neither were their coats changed nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel and delivered his servants that trust in him and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies that they might not serve nor worship any god except for their own god. Therefore I make a decree that every people, nation, and language which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall be made into a dunchel, because there is no other god that can deliver after this sort. Because of the testimony that Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego were able to have and stood for, they were able to bring the king, Nebuchadnezzar, who made a huge image of himself, to fear the Lord. A man that prideful, because of their testimony, was able to fear the Lord in the end. There is such a great power in a testimony. And the good thing about that is there is such great power in your testimony.

2 Corinthians 1.4 says, Who cometh forth us in all of our tribulation? That we may be able to comfort them which are in each other by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comfort of God. God gives each and every single one of us a testimony for a reason. This verse shows us what that reason is. It's to comfort others and to be able to bring others to a place that they too can fear the Lord. This is really shown in ministry. There's a reason that I work in team ministry, in college ministry, and for those who don't know, I work in sports ministry.

There's a reason I work in those fields. My testimony, the tools that God's given me, it's built for that. I've lived that life, I've walked that walk, and that's why I go back because I don't want young people to make the same mistakes that I did. There's a reason I don't work in recovery ministry or prison ministry or other types of ministry. It's not because I don't believe in the fruit there. It's not because I don't believe that it can work. I don't have that testimony. But I know some of the people in this room do. So I just want to ask, are you using the tools and the testimony that God gave you to bring others to the Lord?

I just want to take a second. How many people in this room have been impacted by the testimony of somebody else, whether the one they shared with you or the one that they lived? By show of hands.

Basically everybody. And in that, reverse it and you can affect someone else's life. Are you using your testimony as a tool and as a vessel for God? 2 Timothy 2 21 says, if a man therefore purges himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the master's use and prepared unto every good work. Your story of repentance and turning from sin is glorifying to God. Let that story be used as a vessel for God. Let the way that you live your life be a vessel for God. I heard someone say from this pulpit, he's no longer in this church anymore because he moved away, but he said, you may be the only Bible that somebody ever reads. They may never pick this up, but they may spend a year with you at a job or at school or wherever it may be. And you might be the only Bible, the only Christian they cross paths with.

Let them see Christ in you and through you. For the sake of time, I'm not going to go there, but Paul gives his testimony in Acts 22. His testimony is in the Bible for a reason.

God wanted it there. Paul was Saul and he was a Christian killer. Then he met Jesus and he became a Christian lover.

He wrote half the New Testament. God wants us to learn from his testimony and he wants others to be able to learn from our testimony. So don't be afraid to share it. Don't be afraid to use it and definitely do not be afraid to live it. So as I come to the end of my time, every single person in this room has a sphere of influence.

Even you young people have one of the greatest circles of influence that you will ever have in your life right now in high school. Your testimony, what people see in you and out of you is one of the greatest gifts and tools that God has and will ever give you. Your testimony impacts your family, your friends, your co-workers and your fellow Christians. Let Christ be the center of that testimony.

Let others see Christ in you. If you're here tonight and you feel like, I don't know my testimony, I encourage you to take the time this week. Sit down, think about everything that God has done in you, through you and for you and write it down.

Take the time to sit down and write it down. You'll be amazed by how much God has done for you. I'll never forget when I wrote my baptism testimony, it was like four lines, the whole thing. I mean it was right after I got saved, I got baptized and I'm like, this doesn't feel like a whole lot but I guess I'll go up there and read it. I had to write my testimony for a camp I worked a couple months ago and it's probably about four pages now.

And it could probably be longer, I just can't remember everything. If you're here tonight and you feel like Christ is not the center of your testimony or that you don't have one, I encourage you to come and make that decision tonight. Make a decision to hand the pen of your life over to Christ. Through Jesus Christ, he can take a mess and turn it into a message. And he can take a test and he can turn it into a testimony.

But you have to be willing to give him the pen to do that. John 14, 12 says, verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father. There are great things ahead of you. No matter where you're at in life, there are greater things ahead of you. That's what the Bible says. But in order to see those, you have to come through the Father.

Let God show you those greater things. Once again, I know I talked really fast. I'm a little nervous. So just thank you to the church, you guys, for letting me come tonight and to speak. Ty, Tag, you're in.

Awesome. Thanks, Brother Cam. That's encouraging to look at the testimony of the Shadrach, Meshach, and the Bendigo. Something that has always stood out in my life. I'm going to go ahead and say a word of prayer before I get started and before I dive into the word of God. Let's go ahead and bow and pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. I thank you for this opportunity, Lord.

What a weighty time this is, God. I don't take it lightly of this opportunity to present your word. And I pray that you would just speak through me. Lord, help me to be your vessel. Lord, don't let my words come out, but help them to all be yours. I pray that you would help me to just present what you have and nothing else.

I pray all this in Christ's name, Amen. Alright, so it's pretty simple. Kind of planned it this way, but if you're in Daniel 3, if you'll flip over to Daniel 6, I'm going to be looking at some of the examples of Daniel. Another way you can put it, like Brother Cam said, was the testimony of Daniel is another good way of putting it. For time's sake, with the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den, I know it's one that many of us have heard and it's real basic.

I know a lot of us have heard it. So for time's sake, I'm not going to read the entire chapter. To go through the entire chapter of Daniel 6 would be quite a feat.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to do a summarized version of the story and then we'll hop into some scripture as I hit different points. So like Cam said, the empire that Nebuchadnezzar had established was the most dominant one of the time. His son had just taken over and it was his son Belshazzar. Where Artex picks up in Daniel 6, King Darius had just overthrown the kingdom from them. He had taken away the empire of Babylon and established the Medo-Persian empire that is now the most influential and most dominant empire in the world. Darius was a smart man.

He knew that with all of these different providences and all these different areas that he was in that he couldn't run it on his own. So the scripture tells us that he appointed 120 princes over the different provinces and appointed three presidents over the princes for the princes to report back to. This is where we find Daniel. The scripture says that he was the first of the presidents and that he was preferred above the presidents. Daniel was Darius' right hand guy.

He was his number one, right? The king even desired to put Daniel over the entire kingdom. So with this favoritism, naturally some jealousy and envy came up.

Some jealousy comes with favoritism always, right? The other presidents and princes were envious of Daniel and his position to the king. So in response they began to plot against him as the scripture tells us. They went through all of the different areas that he was responsible for. They went through all of his work, all of his life, kind of went through kind of what we would call like a rap sheet, like what he's responsible for.

But when they went through it all, they found out that there's nothing they could hold against him, right? Daniel was a clean man. He had everything was cleaned up in his life. He wasn't being unfaithful to his king.

He was an honest, integral man. But the only thing that they had against him, the only thing that they could point out against Daniel, was he was faithful to his God. The Bible says that all they had against him that he was loyal to his God. So Daniel's testimony, right, was that he worshiped God and that he did so consistently.

His testimony was the only thing that they could hold against him was God. So the presidents and princes began to make a plan, right? So what if we present King Darius with a new decree, right? What if we say, King Darius, what if we make a decree where no one can ask anything of any God or any man for 30 days except you, right?

And if they do, we'll cast them into the den of lions. They knew that Daniel was consistent in his prayer life and that he was unable to go 30 days without talking to his God, right? Well, King Darius, when he heard this, didn't think it through and goes, you know what, that sounds good.

I'd like people to only ask of me and no one else. I kind of boosted his pride a little bit. So he signed it into law without thinking anything of it. When Daniel heard this new law, he did what he always did. He went to his home and prayed three times a day. But his consistency showed the princes and presidents were waiting outside his home and heard him pray because they knew where he would be at that time of day. With that, they ran back to King Darius, said, King Darius, King Darius, someone's broken your new law.

He goes, okay, who is it, right? It's Daniel. King Darius instantly was upset with himself. Why would I sign into a law that I know would convict my right hand man?

But I signed into law and I can't change it. So he commanded that Daniel be thrown into the lion's den. Daniel spent a full night in the lion's den, but he walked out in the morning, right? God preserved him through because of his faith in God.

And this is where we're going to pick up. This is a true story that happened thousands of years ago. Many preachers and teachers have looked at it from all types of angles. Some people like to look at the princes and presidents and what they had against Daniel. Some people like to look at the den of lions and the challenge that that led. But I want to look tonight at the example that Daniel set. I want to look at Daniel's testimony, like Cam said, and pull some truths out of it. Daniel's example of boldness and resolve is one that I have always tried to mimic in my own life, right?

The first example that we're going to look at tonight is Daniel's character. So I'm going to read Daniel 6 verses 3 and 5. It said, Then this Daniel was referred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king plot to set him over the whole realm.

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom. They could find none occasion nor fault, for as much as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. The first thing the Bible says about Daniel in chapter 6 in our text, right, is commending Daniel's character.

The Bible goes as far as to say that there was an excellent spirit and Daniel. There could be no fault in him concerning the kingdom. There was no fault in his work. He wasn't inconsistent in his work. He was dedicated and there was no fault in him at all. There was no fault in him keeping the laws of the kingdom. Daniel didn't even have a speeding ticket on his record, right? He was clean. He obeyed the law. He did what he was told. So Daniel lived a life of resolving conviction even from a very young age.

Like Kim was speaking about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were taken captive out of Babylon, but so was Daniel. From that we're going to flip back over to Daniel 1 if you don't mind. I'm going to read Daniel 1 8. You don't have to flip it if you don't want.

They'll have it on the screen for you. It says, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor the wine which he drank. Therefore, he requested to the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. Right? So when you read this the first time you're like, Dude, why aren't you going to eat the meat and drink the wine? Right? You're with the king.

If it's the king's you know it's the best in the country. Right? He's the most powerful dude in the world. So of course he's going to have the best food.

Right? And without thinking that through you're like, you're just being stubborn. But a lot of Bible scholars have looked into this and tried to determine why. Some people believe that it was food and wine that had been sacrificed into idols. And that Daniel didn't want to condone that sinful action by eating the food.

Another idea or thought process of why he didn't eat it is that it might have been deemed unclean by the Lord in the law that he had given the Jews. Either way, Daniel knew that he couldn't eat this and stay in a right standing with the Lord. So Daniel took a stand. Daniel was a man of God that stood for his convictions from a very young age. From the time that he was a teenager he had his convictions and he stood. He didn't care what anybody else thought but he stood in what he believed. Daniel's character also reflected integrity and honesty. Verse 4 tells us that the presidents and princes could find no fault in all that he was faithful in.

Think about this. Daniel was the right hand man of the king. High up.

Right? He's the top of the three presidents that report to the king. He's number three.

Or number two to the king. How often, and don't even look at America. Look at history. Times past. How often are high ups in government clean?

How often are they not corrupt? Right? That's pretty easy. Right? You just look at history. Almost any big government is corrupt. Sorry.

That's just how it is. But the people that he worked with could find no fault in him. Right? They had nothing against him. Nothing they could hold against him.

How often does that happen? It doesn't. But Daniel obeyed all the laws of the land until they contradicted what God had told him to do. He refused to do anything that was against God's law. So Daniel's character was something he was known for. He made a name for himself because of his character. Because of his testimony. Because Daniel had resolve and conviction, he built himself that testimony.

Our testimony is what people know to be true about us. What did Daniel's peers know to be true about him? What was something they knew to be true about him? Daniel's testimony speaks louder than his words.

It goes before him. What did Daniel's peers know about him? Let's look in verse 5 here. And then said these men, we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Verse 5 tells us that the people that Daniel worked with knew that the only thing they could hold against him was his loyalty to God. Daniel's co-workers knew where he would be three times a day. They knew where he would be three times a day. And we know this because verse 11 says that they assembled and found him praying.

And verse 11 says these men assembled and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. They knew where he would be. They knew where he would be because he always did it. He was consistent in his faith and it stood true. Everyone knew that about Daniel.

They knew where to look all the time. I don't believe that Daniel was both full in this way at all, right? Anytime you look at Daniel in the scripture, I've never, correct me if I'm wrong, I've never found one time where Daniel is an up in your face type of guy. He doesn't throw the scripture at anybody. Actually, in verse 8 of chapter 1, it said that he requested to the princes, right?

Prince of the eunuchs. He asked them politely. Daniel was a well-mannered and polite man. The key here is that Daniel was going to do what was right no matter if people were watching or not. He only cared about what God thought. He doesn't care about people. He doesn't care about anybody else. If I'm right with God, I don't care about anybody else. I'm right with God.

That's all that matters. So, that's another thing that's cool about Daniel is his testimony didn't fold under pressure. Let's look at Daniel 6 and verse 10. It says now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, Daniel knew it was signed, right? That's what he did. He went into his house, his windows being opened in his chambers toward Jerusalem.

He kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as he did a fourth time. Just like before, right? Think about it like this, guys. This is crazy.

Crazy to think about. He did the same thing he always did. But what's insane is with a lion's den in front of him, he knew. The Bible says Daniel knew that the writing had been signed. He knew what the punishment was.

With a lion's den in front of him, which is one of the most terrible and gruesome punishments of that time, right? Daniel didn't even close his windows. He left his windows open. He doesn't care what anybody else thinks.

He left his windows open like he did before. I don't care what anybody else thinks. I'm going to do what's right with God and no one cares. I don't care what anybody else says because I'm right with God.

The dude left his windows open knowing that he was going to get thrown in a lion's den. He didn't care. Why would Daniel change the way he worshiped and prayed to the Lord just because the law changed? Did God's law change?

No. God's law was the same. He still had to pray. He still had to be consistent in his faith.

That's what he did. The Bible says that Daniel even knew the law was placed but his relationship with God was more important to him than his own life. He doesn't care about his own life. He cares about his relationship with God. Daniel wouldn't go 30 days without talking to God and his peers knew it, right? Do your peers know that you won't miss a week of church? Or do they know that you won't miss a week of church until it inconveniences you, right? They know what you do. They know where you're at, right? So, what do they know about you?

Your testimony goes further than you realize it does. Is being at the Lord's house one of your priorities or is it one that sits on the backseat? Do your co-workers know that you'll be in church this weekend? Or do they have to wonder, I wonder if they're going to church, right? They know.

How about this, teens? Do your classmates know that you're going to be in church this weekend because it's most important? Or do they know that you'll be in church until ball season rolls around?

And then you don't show up for a month because you've got practice. Let's be honest, guys. Daniel couldn't go a 30-day period without prayer with a death sentence on the line, but you'll miss church because you don't want to sit on the bench. That's sad, guys.

That's something that's always kind of bugged me a little bit and just kind of hurt my heart. If Daniel can't go 30 days, how can we go a ball season without going to church? Your peers know what your priority is by your testimony, not what you say.

What they see is what they know to be true because actions speak louder than words. Daniel was the only one that stood up and refused to eat of the king's meat and drink of the king's wine. Out of all the children taken captive to Babylon, only one stood up from the Lord. We don't see that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood up. The Bible says that Daniel stood up and said, I'm not doing it, right? But if you think that you'll get judged if you don't take part in whatever one else is doing, but you won't even, I'm sorry, let me rephrase that. Out of all the children taken captive in Babylon, only one stood up for the Lord, but you're afraid you might get judged if you don't take part in whatever one else is doing. Stand up and stop folding under pressure, right?

We don't even understand what true pressure is unless we kind of, I mean, we don't even understand pressure in America. Stop being a coward and stand up for God. If you think you have pure pressure to cuss, drink, or any other sin, then you don't really understand what Daniel even went through. Let's look at Daniel 1.10 real quick. I know I'm flipping back and forth a little bit, guys.

I'm sorry. Daniel 1.10 says, And the prince of the eunuch said unto Daniel, I fear my lord the king who hath appointed your meat and your drink, for why should he see your faces worse than the liking of the children which are of your sort? Then shall he make me endanger my head to the king.

Right? He literally asked someone to risk their own life. He goes, you're endangering my head to the king.

Daniel went up and asked that dude, hey, can I not eat of this? Like, it's not right with the Lord. Right? And he asked that dude to risk his own life so that he could be in right standing with the Lord. That's pure pressure. You ever had to ask somebody, hey, can you kind of risk your life so I don't have to sin?

No. Right? That's silly. That's not something we see here in America. But Daniel said that he would rather eat the vegetables and honor God than to eat some of the best food in the country. Right? It's not even like it was gross. It's the king's food.

It's the best in the country. But Daniel stood up even when it made him the outcast. His testimony paved the way for Hanani, Mishael, and Azariah.

Right? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Let's look at verses 11 through 14 of Daniel 1 again. And it says, Then Daniel said unto Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hanani, Mishael, and Azariah, Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days, and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink.

Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee and the countenances of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat, and as thou seest, deal with thy servants. So he sent it to them in this matter and proved them ten days. Because Daniel stood up, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego gained from it. Him standing up helped others. Because they were under the law of God too, because they were Jewish boys too. But because he stood up, he helped them not sin.

That might not happen all the time, but it happens here. He stood up and helped others. When our testimony goes further, our words do. So be a Daniel. Be the one that stands up and be the one that says sin is wrong. Be the one that honors God no matter what everyone else is doing.

Be the one that God preserves through the lion's den. Daniel was the one that was preserved because he stood up for God. My final point that we're going to look at tonight is Daniel's faith. Which we see in Daniel 6 23 that says, Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accursed Daniel. And they cast them into the den of the lions, them and their children and their wives. And the lions had the mastery of them and break all their bones in pieces wherever they came out of the bottom of the den.

Right? So why was Daniel unhurt after spending a night in with starving lions? Why was he able to make it through the night? The Bible tells us. It says in the end of verse 23. It says, because he believed in his God.

Right? No manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. The Bible tells us that, because he believed in his God, God got him through. He fully believed that God would preserve him, because he was innocent before God and the king. Like we see in verse 22. It says, God has sent his angel and has shut the lion's mouth, that they have not hurt me. For as much as before him, talking about God, before God, innocency was found in me. And before thee also, O king, have I done no hurt.

Right? He was innocent before God and he knew that he hadn't hurt the king in any way. Daniel was right with the Lord and did what he was supposed to do.

He fully believed that God would preserve him. The world has no hope when they're in the lion's den. They have no hope. But we have hope through our Savior. Right? We have hope through our God that will preserve us through the lion's den if we believe in him.

Right? Believe that he will get us through. That's something I struggle with personally. I see God. I see it my way. I know how I can make this work. But a lot of times God says, no, I don't want you to do it your way.

I want you to do it my way. Right? And that's something I struggle with myself is having faith that God has it and knows how to do it better than I know how to do it. So, I'm a fixer.

Right? That's the way my parents raised me is fix the problem. But that's not always the way I'm supposed to do it. I'm not always supposed to fix it. Sometimes I'm supposed to wait on the Lord and let the Lord fix it. So, what do you need to believe in God for?

What do you need to give to the Lord? Daniel didn't try to fight the lions off. Right? He wasn't in there like fighting the lions trying to like get them back.

No. But he believed in the Lord and the Lord shut the mouths of the lions. The Lord gave him a guardian angel.

Right? We can't fix our problems on our own but we can believe God will do his will in us. So, what are you holding back from the Lord? Maybe tonight God is working on your heart.

Maybe he's convicting you of some sin that you have in your life. Do you have a Godly testimony? Right? I wasn't always the best at that. I'll be honest. Sometimes through high school I wouldn't always join in the sin but I never stood up for what was right.

I just went with the flow, tucked my head and kept rolling. Right? Do you have that Godly testimony that this guy is not going to fold?

Right? He's got what God has and he's going to stand up for what God has. Are you consistent with the things of God?

That's what God, Daniel, like that's what the people knew about Daniel. He was consistent. Are you consistently reading your Bible? Are you consistently praying? Are you consistently in the house of the Lord like we're commanded to be? Because if not, you're going to go with the world.

You're just going to wishwash. But if you're solid and consistent in the things of the Lord, that's when you can stand. Whatever the case is, God's already showed you in your heart.

Right? God's already convicted you because he's faithful and just to do so. So, if the Lord is working on you tonight, be faithful in him in responding. Let's go ahead and stand and bow for a word of prayer.

And we'll wrap up this evening's service. Lord, thank you for this opportunity to open your word. God, I know I'm not worthy of this opportunity, but through you I'm capable. God, I pray that you would call up some Daniel's, Lord.

Call up some Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's, Lord. Help us to be more like you daily. Lord, make our testimony strong. Lord, help us to be more committed to you.

Help us to always want your will above our own. God, I pray that we'll stand. Give us faith in you that you'll get us through. Lord, like Daniel, believed in you that you would get him through because he was innocent.

God, if we're not innocent, then we're not in right standing with you. So, I pray that we would be right with you tonight. Give us faith in you. And Lord, above all else, make us consistent because that's what made Daniel stand out. Make us consistent and help us to stand for you above all else. I pray all this in Christ's name.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-27 03:39:14 / 2023-02-27 04:01:26 / 22

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