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Daniel in the Lion’s Den | Living to Please God, Not Culture

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2022 3:00 am

Daniel in the Lion’s Den | Living to Please God, Not Culture

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 30, 2022 3:00 am

Remember the Sunday School song, “Dare to be a Daniel”? Daniel was a prophet of God, and a man who lived a godly life in the midst of an ungodly culture. Did he cloister himself away in monastic secrecy? No. He lived boldly, even risking his very life to do so. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie says dare to be a Daniel. Our culture doesn’t revere those who are committed to their faith. But we’re not living to please culture, we’re living to serve our Savior.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you.

So just send an email to me at greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org as believers we want to walk to Waterloo for crime master Greg Laurie says we can also overreact. Think sometimes we may think I need to get away from all nonbelievers want to only hang out with Christians. And then I go to church to be with more Christians and the reality is sometimes more help their culture. We can make an impact and often the most favorable circumstances are the most favorable road to becoming more like Jesus and Daniel. Daniel was a prophet of God and men who live a godly life in the midst of an ungodly culture cloister himself away in monastic secrecy, no Boldly risking his very life to do so today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie says dear to be a Daniel. Our culture doesn't revere those who are committed not living to please culture serve our safe Daniel was a man of prayer he would open the windows of his house every day to get down and is the three times a day and pray to the Lord because of that he was sewn into a den of hungry lions the story so familiar, we can almost dismiss it as a fable of some kind. But this is a real story that actually took place.

So let's get to get the historical backdrop of Babylon is fallen of the prophet's appeared before King Belshazzar told of his days are numbered and they were right outside of the gates of the city or the Medo Persian forces led by Cyrus and they came and conquered Babylon and Belshazzar the wicked, disobedient king died that night while Darius is now put in charge of this new Persian kingdom and Daniel immediately comes on his radar screen because Daniel stood out from other people. That's because he had integrity, yet honesty and he heard about how bold Daniel was Daniel brought the heat and he brought the message to Nebuchadnezzar, which resulted in Nebuchadnezzar's conversion. He also brought it to Nebuchadnezzar's grandson Belshazzar Zoe.this is a man I can respect. This is a man who will tell me the truth. I don't believe in his God, but I can see is personal integrity. So, Daniel, at this point what he's a seasoned saint. Not quite ready for retirement is around 80 years old. So our story begins as the king, the new King now. Darius wants to make Daniel's second in command. He wants to elevate him over his other advisors I would make Daniel the most powerful man in the kingdom next to the king himself and why was he put in that position because of his hard work is excellences integrity and Christian should always do the best work we should be the best at whatever we do.

We need Christians in the Senate.

We need Christians in Congress. We need Christians in the White House. We need Christians at the waffle house. We need Christians and restaurants we need them. As teachers we need them. As doctors we need them as nurses, we need them as musicians and sports figures, and of course preachers on the list just goes on and on.

Believers need to be every where. Because we need believers to let their light shine everywhere will, in effect, Daniel had a ministry in politics influence world leaders and he did not compromise that truth so let's try to determine what qualities were in Daniel's life that we can emulate MRs if you're taking notes peers point number one Daniel was a spiritual man.

Daniel was a spiritual man verse three you King James says Daniel distinguished himself above the other governors because an excellent spirit was in him.

But does that mean the phrase excellent spirit can be translated spirit dominated another word for Daniel. The spiritual life is not merely an afterthought. It was at something.

He simply found time for this busy schedule, Daniel made time for what matter. That was his relationship with God's whole life revolved around his relationship with God. Now when you say that about a person you might be well that that's impractical and I think sometimes we may hear that someone is spiritual and that means there probably kind of weird right will turn on the television and some preacher will say this. Just build them and then do weird things will think mad about the spirit.

I don't want to be filled with the spirit that is in this spirit, I just word preachers doing weird things with all that is because the Bible says we should be filled with the spirit in Ephesians 5, speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and by the way, that is nothing to do with an emotional experience, you can be filled with the spirit and feel it you can be filled with the spirit and feel nothing human emotional experience.

When you put gas in your car or maybe you do one of anger. When you see the gas prices going up right.

It's a function I need gas in my car so I can drive my car so we say Lord told me what is it mean it means to be empowered by, but it also means to be permeated by because the word is there in Ephesians 5 for building full of the spirit needs to permeate and in that culture. It was when Saul permeated me to preserve it and then it's also a board that is used to describe when filling the sales of his ship at sea. So when we say be filled with the spirit, were saying let the Holy Spirit fill your sales and guide you through life. Let the Holy Spirit permeate every aspect of your life.

Daniel was a spirit filled man and by the way you're never more clearheaded than when you're being directed by the Holy Spirit because second Timothy 17 says God is not given us a spirit of fear but of power club and a sound mind. A sound mind and that phrase can be translated a sound well balanced, disciplined mind and I might add that Daniel did this in the most ungodly of circumstances will get a culture was eliminated while he was living in the lap of luxury being in the palace of the king, but he also was in the epicenter of rampant idolatry. There was incredible cruelty.

There was sexual immorality all around him. But despite this, Daniel remained a righteous man in even flourished spiritually. I think sometimes we may think I need to get away from all nonbelievers. I want to only hang out with Christiansen only listen to Christian radio and drive a car that I bought from a Christian and live in the neighborhood surrounded by Christians and then I go to church and be with more Christians and I even my food. It has to be Christian everything at the request I'm all for supporting Christian businesses and hanging out with believers that think you know that. But the reality is sometimes somewhere out there in culture we can make an impact and often the most unfavorable circumstances are the most favorable for spiritual growth in becoming more like Jesus.

See Daniel had to make a stand and begin to see why. It just a moment, but he was going to shine his light in a very dark place. It was a spiritual man this point number one. Point number two. Daniel was a man of purpose. Daniel was a man of purpose. We saw this in chapter 1 we read that Daniel purposed. It is hard to not eat of the food from the Kings table. He purposed in his heart.

So basically he made a stand in this seemingly small area when just the boy probably a teenager. He and his buddies Shedrick the second, Abednego were taken as captives from Israel to Babylon brought into the Kings palaces are to be groomed in the Babylonian ways. Daniel made a principled stand to not eat the food at the table of the king.

We don't even know why he made that stand.

The Bible doesn't say maybe it's because the food was offered to idols.

I think that's probably the case that so he made a deal with the guy in charge. He says let us eat vegetables for a period of time you all eat the food from the Kings table will see how we bear it in the end he was healthier than anybody else. So the point was God honored the stand that wasn't a big thing but it was to Daniel that given the strength to make a stand in a much bigger thing later on in his life received the fact of the matter is, is that we make the standard small areas later will be able to make the standard stronger areas. He was a teenager, then put on the story before Z probably 80 years old and you know what they say when you get old you get set in your ways you like routine you like to do it the same way. Will that can be better. Good can be bad in this bar is maybe you're not open any kind of change, but it can be good if your set in your spiritual ways and you hardened in your spiritual disciplines and I was Daniel he knew what he believed he was not going to compromise one bit. He was going to blend into the woodwork.

You know, we have a choice in life. We can be a thermostat or we can be a thermometer up thermostat set that to determine the temperature in the room and I don't know about you, but in my house.

My wife always wants it warmer and I always want to colder my the only one and it becomes problematic when you're in a car right yet so but a thermostat controls the surroundings. A thermometer just tells you what the temperature is are you a thermometer or are you a thermostat that would you go to a room and you just sort of adapting whatever's happening in the room are you the one changing the room when the man of God of the woman of God walks into that room. They still give the Christians are conversations change people to.

That's a good thing that was Daniel a spiritual man, a purposeful man, Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment or so encouraged when we hear the pastor Greeks teachings are making an impact on people's lives and relationships dear Pastor Greg message. He recently gave about going to seminar casting forgetting that my flesh didn't want to do and I know that obedience brings a blessing and we are to be obedient to God and not our flash. I don't know how your message came to me today. It came at the right time God is never late right what we need when we need it and I needed your message today. Pastor Greg May God bless you and your family. It's a blessing to know that God is using his word to touch hearts, pastor, Greeks studies impacted your life would you let him know drop an email to grading@harvest.org studying the life of Daniel today. Pastor Greg is pointing out what set him apart.

He was a spiritual man and a purposeful man.

Let's continue and number three, probably because he was a spiritual man in a purposeful man.

He also was a persecuted man. Let's read about it. Daniel six starting a verse by reading from the new international version at this the administrators and the satraps trying to find grounds or charges against Daniel and his conduct of government affairs but they were unable to do so they could find no corruption in him because he was trustworthy, and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally, these men said we will never find any basis or charges against this man. Daniel, unless it has something to do with the law of his God, while we gotta bring this guy down. Problem is there's no scandals in his life. There's no skeletons in his closet. Becky prays in his closet.

How we gotta get ready him is only one way they realized we have to have something that concerns him and his God, what we know about Daniel. We know this one thing about him every day he goes home and he opens up his windows and he gets down in his knees and he prays openly to God. We've got to do something that will stop him, or at least will have him arrested for doing that very thing. So they go to the king and they can't wait to get to the king. Verse six says the wrong, the king, that's the new King James version they thronged the king, King Z 12 talk about this any gotta do this. Everyone's an agreement, including Daniel, you need to pass a law that no one can pray that any gotta accept you. Verse eight. They said your Majesty issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed and official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked. So Darius the king signed the law so maybe Darius I will. This could be a good way to unify the people know the render version control. We want them to have something that they all believe in and they can all believe in me.

I'll be there God in a probably really appealed to his ego and I like that idea that people would regard me as a God.

But here's what backfired. He just signed the death warrant for his friend Daniel the prophet, and he couldn't revoke it because if, in theory, you're a God, how can God make a mistake, so he couldn't revoke his own law that the sign now he realizes Daniel is going to be arrested and thrown into a den of lions that didn't matter to Daniel because point number four Daniel was a praying man. Yes, it was a spiritual man. Yes, he was a purposeful man. Yes, he was a persecuted man. The let's not mess this he was a praying man. Maybe nothing stands out in the story of Daniel more than this one simple fact is was a man of prayer. Look at verse 10 would Daniel learned a lot been signed. He went home and freaked out know that some will be read as it he went home and he knelt down as usual in his upstairs room with its windows open toward Jerusalem and pray three times a day, just as he had always done giving things to his God, to love the verse justice.

He had always done. He had done this from his youth he was still doing it in his later years, no doubt on his knees. He received his fearless current reminding us of this simple truth if you'll kneel before God. You can stand before any man, let me say that again if you kneel before God. You can stand before any man would've been tempting for old Daniel to maybe shut the windows this was up 30 day period a month so for one month. You had to pray to the king, and no one else think it is that you know what I was shut the windows and I'll pray silently.

Besides, you know them to pray out loud to pray so I'll pray with a Scene he forget is that you know what I do for a little R&R, the skip town and take some time off. Want to come on this crazy law will be over with, or he might've said well what good is it a fine dead you know it's all just go ahead and onto the floor beside them and praying so much comfort he prayed up by the guy have the bases covered. He could've done a lot of things, but he would've known that would've been a violation of what was right again. He was a principal many that don't know I'm not changing anything I want to go and pray, as I always have done, and we will face similar challenges just not as dramatic, necessarily like that prayer for a meal in a restaurant to pray when you got to eat in restaurants before you do prayer Beaufort company to do that strategy was to know some don't do it well is the want to do that you can weird.

I think it's a great thing to do.

I think it's a good witness. I've seen families all bow their heads and pray over a meal and I think Craig testimony just enough to do it though. Leave it to Maxie dead serious about that because if you go and do your little prayer and all hallelujah glory to God.

It is only the tip the waitress is not to be impressed at all that you know so leave a gratuity, but having said that, I think it's a good testimony to disabled and offer this friend just a little tip about prayer for meals when you're in a restaurant and the food is arrived and the food is hot go ahead and pray, give thanks and keep your prayers sure we don't need to hear your hour-long prayer were not impressed were hungry.

Okay, then it might be a family gathering you know and you're the token Christian in your family and and it's Thanksgiving and you know and then uncle Harry Doherty passed out drunk right then it is just a mess and it hears everyone and now here's the Nilo would begin a doing about the prayer. No one wants to say anything and it that awkward moment in and then you know are you the step up to the plate and say let's give thanks to God right now that's all hold hands and pray why not you know what most people will pray when you initiated. I found even though believers are my talk to someone or government no mention something like well I I'm having to get a test on the hospital sake, I'll remember to pray for you without you. Yes please do pray for me.

Sometimes they'll pray for your writer, please do. I would love that. So people are very open to this.

Take advantage of those opportunities listen to this. Jesus said if you will confess me before men, I'll confession before the father. We all know that verse I quoted a lot done.

I if you deny me before men, all deniable for the father and the Angels listen to this. Sometimes one way to deny them is to not confess know it's it's unsafe. I don't believe in Jesus, ad infinitum, for sure, but another way to deny them is when you're given an opportunity to, and you don't take it so.

In my walk up to the ceiling, I noticed something different about you. You work extra hard. You're very cheerful. You have a great family. There seems to be like this. Peace and serenity in you. What is it about you that makes you different from everyone else and you say wow it its traditional values and and you even your voice.

Even changes in wow I just talk like this occasionally and what is wrong with you.

This untraditional value. If Jesus Christ say it's Jesus Christ is my faith in Christ you believe in the Bible see by not taking that opportunity. That's kind of a form of denying him his so Daniel done denying my faith. I'm not going to hide my faith, in the hold the cores that I've always held up to this point, it will continue to hold that course so we need to point people to Christ to get even a step further and use it as an opportunity to share your faith. That's what we need to do will have to wait till next time to finish the story just as spoiler alert, God preserves him in the line stand on enough you know the story going for the movie. Read the book writer what I have made a movie about this, but the yes of course alert preserved and will get to that in our next part of this message, but let me just say we will be persecuted for our faith will be harassed will be insulted. So what should we do when people do that answer, we should keep doing what we are to we should keep praying we should keep preaching. We should keep living the Christian life. Why should we do that because people are watching us this like even his enemies are watching Kim, Daniel and talking about more even than that God is watching us and we want to have them say it was not final day. Well done good and faithful servant wanted to yield the Lord to just stand up for me in front of people all stand up for you in heaven before the father and the Angels how what I have to do again to stand there for me to speak up for me.

Look for opportunities to tell others about it.

That's what you need to do. That's the deal of the century as let me close by saying this to you. Maybe some of you have joined us today who don't have this relationship with God you don't know if Jesus Christ is living inside of you. You don't know if you'll go to heaven when you die but you like to know that I don't want to leave today without knowing that there is a God in heaven who loves you, Lord. I'm such a disappointment. Trust me, I've seen worse, but I love you and I put the judgment that should've come upon you for your sin in your wickedness upon my own beloved son, Jesus died on the cross in your place because Jesus suffered and died in your place, and rose again from the dead, you don't have to face the penalty for your sin. I love you and I want to forgive you if you like to be forgiven of all of your sin. Is there anyone here today that needs a second chance in life there someone here that is even said there Christian, but maybe in a sense you've denied him. Or maybe there someone here was never heard this before.

It's all news to you, and you know you get out of this relationship with God when you can.

Just a prayer away Jesus as he stands at the door of our life and he knocks it will hear his voice and open the door he will come in and I'm in to give you an opportunity to pray and ask him and so let's all bow our heads for word of prayer everybody praying father, thank you for loving us so much. You sent Jesus to the cross to die in our place.

Lord Jesus, thank you for coming and making that great sacrifice and then rising again in the Lord. I pray for every person here who does not know you are. Pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their sin and bring them to yourself. Even now in Jesus name I pray to make a change today relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg Laurie will lead you in doing just that in a moment, please don't turn away.

This could be the most important decision you've ever made. Will Pastor Greg were so excited about your new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus. It's a look at the lives of dozens and dozens of well-known music icons and the way their lives rose to the top and then often crashed to the bottom of the reasons for that. Now some of the people you talk about in the book obviously are passed on which one of them would be at the top of the list of those you'd like to meet and have a conversation with. If that were possible. Yeah, that's a really good question. I wish all my there's so many so many I think of Janis Joplin very talented young lady, harassed, made fun of when she was a young girl extraordinarily talented died so young.

27. I wish it could've sat down with her and said Janice God loves you. And even if others don't love you, as they are to you are loved by the Lord, and he has a plan and a purpose for your life. I was to get us sat down with John Lennon it's a John you need to just follow Jesus, you made a profession of faith in him.

Now you need to just grow in your faith spiritually and continue on to discover all that God has in store for you. I wish it could've sat down with Jimi Hendrix my opinion the greatest guitar player who ever lived by accounts of people that knew him. He was a kind person. He was a humble person but he was a man he was searching as well and I just wish I could've told these people that there is a God in heaven who love them and that a plan for their life. I wish I could tell them that their life matters and so many people care so deeply about them and I can't tell them that unfortunately but I can talk to people who are alive today who maybe are despondent, who maybe have thought about taking their lives. Some would've even attempted to take their lives and say, look, this is not the way you want to go.

Here's the way you want to go you want to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ and discover his plan for your life and get to know him and then you'll have that happiness and that peace that you've longed for throughout your entire life trying and you know there are some listening right now who have a close friend or loved one who had that same crossroad today.

They need to hear that message of hope. Let us send you a copy of this new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus read it yourself and then pass along this good news to the person you care about is a strong wake-up call and it's a message of hope and would like to send a book your way to thank you for your investment and harvest ministries and a new beginning where listener supported and without listener partnership.

We simply couldn't be here each day were so grateful for your generosity and when you make your donation today.

We like to thank you, with Pastor Greg's new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus and today is our last opportunity to mention this, so get in touch right away. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org will Pastor Greg a few moments ago you spoke of how someone can accept God's offer of eternal life.

That's right, could you help the person who wants to do that right now. Yes, I'd be delighted to listen as you listen to this program today.

Maybe some is been happening inside of your heart. We are sensing I need to do this personally, but how do I do it and what away. Do let me help you.

It's very simple infected so simple. You may be shocked God's relationship with him is just a prayer away. The Bible says if you will call upon the name of the Lord you will be saved, so I'd like to lead you in a prayer we you do just that you call on the name of the Lord. This can be the moment when you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven.

Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for me, and rose again from the dead, Jesus I choose to follow you from this moment forward in your name I pray. Amen. I know it's such a simple short prayer but you just called on the name of the Lord, and you know what he heard that prayer if you meant that prayer in your heart, he answered that prayer now let me help you to get started on the right foot in your new life in Jesus Christ.

The greatest adventure awaits you. Life of walking with God. I want to send you what we call a new believers growth pack that includes the new believers Bible and a whole lot more and let me be the first to see the you congratulations and welcome to the family of God and to get that free new believers growth pack just dashboard if you prayed along with Pastor Greg to receive Christ today will be glad to send 1 Your Way. Call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We are here to take your call around the clock so dial right now. 1-800-821-3300 or write us at a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click does God bless. Pastor Greg said will continue the story of Daniel next time Gordon part of the Daniel series called end of day join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Moore and harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org


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