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I Dare You: Be Balanced! - Part B

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March 8, 2023 5:00 am

I Dare You: Be Balanced! - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 8, 2023 5:00 am

Daniel is a great example in Scripture of a life committed to God, and one that had great influence in the lives of others. In the message "I Dare You: Be Balanced!" Skip shares more insight from Daniel's life on how you can live a balanced life.

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Daniel's influence reached far into the future beyond even his lifetime. All the way into the New Testament. All the way to an incident that happens in Matthew chapter 2. Do you remember what happened in Matthew chapter 2?

It says a group of wise men from the east came to Bethlehem but first Jerusalem and they said where is he who has been born king of the Jews for we have seen his star and we have come to worship him. Daniel is a great example in scripture of a life committed to God and one that had great influence in the lives of others and today as Skip concludes his I Dare You series he'll share more insight about a balanced life that we can take from looking at Daniel's example but first. Thank you for tuning in today. Did you know that you are helping people all around the world connect to Jesus?

Just listen to this letter one listener sent in. I am a pastor of a small Russian speaking congregation in Haifa. The aim of this email is very simple to say thank you for your teaching ministry which helps me a lot. You make stories like this possible with your support and today you can help connect even more people to God's word. Give a gift today at connectwithskip.com slash donate that's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

Again that's 800-922-1888. Thank you. Okay we're in the book of Daniel again as we join Skip for today's teaching. Daniel I believe was both salt and light. He was salt and salt in those days was used as a preservative to stop the decay that would happen it was rubbed into meat and I believe that believers like Daniel can be in their society and stop retard the corruption that has a tendency to go on.

At the same time Daniel was also light shining the light of the glory of God in Babylon in the court where he was with Nebuchadnezzar and leading people out of spiritual darkness letting them see the true God. One thing we must never become like is that country preacher when a homeless lady came to him for help and he sort of patted her on the head and said well I'll say a little prayer for you and sent her away and she wrote this letter from her shelter where she was staying. I was hungry and you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger. I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.

I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health. I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God. I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.

You seem so holy so close to God but I am still very hungry and lonely and cold. Daniel struck a balance worshiping God supremely but involved socially. Secondary of balance Daniel stood alone but he walked with others.

Now let me flesh that out for you because this to me is impressive. I am continually impressed as I go through the book of Daniel that this guy was never afraid to stand alone if he felt like God wanted him to. To act alone. To stand up for his convictions.

For example in chapter 1 Daniel acted alone in protesting the king's diet that he was trying to impose upon everybody. He said I don't want to do that. We don't want to do that. And he was the spokesman. We don't want to eat that. We don't want to drink that.

We'll go on this special fast. That was Daniel. He did it single-handedly. In chapter 2 it was Daniel alone who approached Arioch the captain of the guard and eventually the king and said I'll give you my guarantee.

I will interpret that dream for you. In chapter 5 Daniel alone stood against Belshazzar. In chapter 6 he also stood alone against the band not to pray and he alone faced the lion's den. So here's a guy who over and over and over and over again made a stand sometimes all alone but but he was never an island.

He was never an isolationist. He shared companionship and fellowship with his brothers while he had them other Jews in the kingdom. Example chapter 1 Daniel is noted as one among four other Jewish young men. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah.

They're all four named as a group. In chapter 2 when the edict came to kill all the wise men of Babylon including Daniel we're told Daniel went to his house made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, his companions. The word means those he was in constant fellowship with.

That they might seek mercies from the God of heaven. So as soon as he finds out the problem he goes boys we got to pray and we need to pray together. He was able to stand alone because he walked with others. You and I will be able to stand alone for God in the workplace only when we walk with others in fellowship.

That's where we get the strength the platform to do that. Which is why we need fellowship. Koinonia is the Greek New Testament word. Most of us have heard that term before. Most everyone here has heard the word Koinonia.

In fact you've been a Christian like a month you know I know that I know Greek. Koinonia. Fellowship. Partnership. Communion. It actually means to share something with others in fellowship that's where we get the strength to do that. Fellowship. Partnership. Communion.

It actually means to share something with someone else. But let me tell you if I may what fellowship is not. Fellowship is not just hanging out in Jesus name.

We have an interesting habit we church people. We are able to sanctify just do or hobby all we have to do is add fellowship on the end of it. We have our weightlifters fellowship.

We have left-handed basket weaving fellowship. Just add fellowship to it and it's cool. But it means much more than just a social activity we're getting together and we're with each other and we're hanging out so we're fellowshipping. Fellowship always has a spiritual component. Fellowship means that I am adding something to your life you're adding something to my life. That we're mutually encouraging one another in spiritual matters stimulating spiritual growth. One author wrote this our churches are filled with people who outwardly look contented and at peace but inwardly they are crying out for someone to love them just as they are. They're crying out for fellowship if they had true authentic fellowship they wouldn't be crying out. There's an old Jewish proverb that says a friendless man is like a left hand bereft of the right hand. I would add to that and say an isolated Christian first of all it's an oxymoron you can't have an isolated Christian. A Christian is part of the body of Christ but an isolated Christian is like the right hand bereft of the left hand. In Proverbs 18 we are told a man who isolates himself seeks his own desire he rages against all wise judgment. We have a need to interact.

We have a need for a family. Years ago I was impressed by a little known fact at least I didn't know it till that time a little book that described Adolf Hitler and kind of what made him tick and I guess his closest associate was a guy named Albert Speer and Albert Speer though he said I'm his closest associate I was never his friend because Adolf Hitler he said had no friends at all. So one of the things I noticed about Hitler is that he repelled he always repelled friendship. He wouldn't let anybody get too close to him.

He always had his guard up and I can I can say with authority said Speer that Adolf Hitler died without any friends. Daniel was able to stand alone but walk with others be connected with others his life was in balance. There's a third area of his life that brought balance and that is he saw into the future but he lived in the present. One of the big features of the book of Daniel we notice from chapter 6 actually 7 all the way to chapter 12 the second half of the book is it's mostly all future it's all prophetic from Daniel's standpoint it's all yet to come. Daniel is sort of like the equivalent in the Old Testament of the apostle John and the New Testament both were given apocalyptic visions both were able to see the coming kingdom the coming Messiah the tribulation the anti-christ etc. Daniel from his vantage point saw what was going on around him and what would come after him in terms of the Babylonian kingdom Medo-Persian empire the Grecian empire the Roman empire. What's really fascinating to me is that he wasn't the first one to see it but King Nebuchadnezzar was Daniel merely interpreted what the king saw and if you remember back to chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar saw in a dream a large image a polymetallic image gold silver bronze iron iron and clay. A few chapters later Daniel gets the same information same revelation about four successive kingdoms but he doesn't see a statue do you remember what he saw he saw four beasts four rapacious beasts destroying each other eating one another and I submit to you that what Nebuchadnezzar saw is history from the human viewpoint what Daniel saw is history from God's viewpoint. Human viewpoint is always impressive shiny awesome look at the gold silver whoo that's how we write our history God sees the same thing but he gives you the heart of it there are a bunch of animals trying to destroy each other remember the scripture when Samuel was looking for the next king of Israel after Saul and he went to the house of Jesse and he looked at Eliab the oldest guy he was so handsome and so well he looked like a king and God said I have rejected him for man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart Nebuchadnezzar saw the outward appearance God was showing Daniel the heart of the matter into the future and so here is Daniel able to see from his shoreline his vantage point all of history all the way to the coming of the Messiah and the setting up of that kingdom but though he saw into the future he lived responsibly in his present world that's a balancing act now let me share with you something that I believe is very important I have taught the book of Revelation I've taught you the book of Daniel most recently some believe that it's unhealthy to teach prophecy it's a bad thing they would say they say if you teach prophecy it's distracting it's unprofitable you're getting people's minds off of what is real and important now there was a pastor that actually boasted saying I never teach my people prophecy I believe it's too distracting a friend of his heard that and said well then you got to admit God has put God has put a lot of distractions in the Bible right because like a fourth of the Bible is prophetic so it's like God wrote it for you to be distracted a little bit about what's coming in the future and here's why it's not distracting it's motivating when you study prophecy it will do something for you number one it'll make you confident in God because you realize as you read what God writes is coming in the future God takes nothing or nothing takes God by surprise he sees it all he knows the future he knew all about Alexander the Great all about Seleucus all about Antiochus Epiphanes because he wrote in detail about it gave it to Daniel which must mean he knows all about you and Jesus said the very hairs of your head are numbered which is a daily task for God I would imagine because for some people it's growing on more and some are losing it second thing studying prophecy will do it'll clean up your life there's always a close relationship between prophecy and godliness did you know that when Peter predicts the end of the world and the coming of the end of the age and second Peter this is what he said since all of these things around you will be dissolved what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness when you see what is coming and that this world is going to be burnt up it changes the way you live it makes you less a materialistic person and more a spiritual person it'll clean up your life number three it'll comfort you in your sorrow all of us have had loved ones relatives friends who have died they're no longer with us we study prophecy and we're told about not only the coming tribulation but the coming king the coming kingdom coming rewards and a coming reunion with those who have died in Christ before us that gives us comfort number four it'll call you to serve us it'll motivate you to serve the lord because you read as the bible speaks about the future that in the future you're going to stand before the judgment seat of Christ and he's going to say to you who are faithful well done good and faithful servant you've been faithful in a little i'll bless you with much enter into the joy of your lord and you go hot diggity dog i want to serve the lord with that motivation in mind there's nothing wrong with that in other words studying the future gives you a solid foundation in an unstable world that's why daniel was so balanced he was able to see into the future but with that information use it to live responsibly in the present there's a fourth area of balance i want to consider as we close our time together in daniel daniel aged gracefully but he influenced mightily and do you remember i'm going to have to jog your memory a little bit like a long time when we first opened up the book of daniel how old daniel was when he first came to babylon it's about 15 or 16 years of age he was a young teenager so he essentially grew up in babylon grew old in babylon died in babylon was buried in babylon and as he aged he aged so gracefully his commitment that he started with was maintained faithfully throughout his whole life but as he aged he influenced every person who came in contact with daniel was influenced by his integrity and his stand for god and his work ethic whether it was eriok the chief of the eunuchs in chapter one or a Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two and chapter four or belshazzar the next king in chapter five his mom came to him in chapter five if you remember during that party and said there's a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy god and she was referring to daniel daniel influenced i also believe that he influenced cyrus the next king the medo-persian king to let the jews go back home after the 70-year captivity he knew what the prophecy said he read it but i believe he used his governmental influence to persuade cyrus sign that edict let the jews go back home and rebuild now let me throw something else out at you i want to sort of leave it with you i i alluded to it during our study in daniel but i i suggest that daniel's influence reached far into the future beyond even his lifetime all the way into the new testament all the way to an incident that happens in matthew chapter two do you remember what happened in matthew chapter two it says a group of wise men from the east came to bethlehem but first jerusalem and they said where is he who has been born king of the jews for we have seen his star and we have come to worship him these are the magi what on earth are they doing in bethlehem they come from the medo-persian coalition they go all the way back to babylon the magi were the magicians in the court of Nebuchadnezzar magi magicians from the same root these were the wise men of babylon daniel was placed in chapter two above all of the magi in babylon so what are they doing so many years later following a star ending up in bethlehem it's my belief that since daniel saw so far into the future he saw the coming jewish ruler the messiah wrote about him and he left all of that deposit of work there in babylon along with the scripture scrolls that he had brought with him from jerusalem we know he brought the book of jeremiah for instance that through what he saw he also influenced those around him so that years later they had been following the prophecies and looking for the looking for a certain astronomical wonder that would lead them to see a jewish messiah who would one day rule the world that's essentially what they asked harold the grateful now that folks is influence and that's balanced daniel's life was in superb balance i want to tie in something else because it involves us i believe that as a church as individual christians but as a christian community we like daniel should live in balance we should know who we are and what we're about and our life should be lived in balance so when i was going through daniel looking at all these areas of balance something struck out to me and that was our own vision statement as a church i just want to refresh your minds with it we also like daniel in chapter one verse eight we have a purpose statement as a group of believers called calvary and i would love it if everybody who attends this fellowship would be able to just when somebody asks them well what's calvary about you'd be able to say i'll tell you exactly what it's about we pursue the god who is passionately pursuing a lost world that's our statement we pursue the god who is passionately pursuing the lost world and we do it through three ways upreach in reach and outreach it's been on our literature for years we've told you about it before maybe it'll lock in today because i believe that these same areas were the areas of balance in daniel's life upreach we express our adoration to god that's worship we express our adoration to god through dynamic worship and uncompromised obedience when we gather we love to worship we think our worship should be reverential but we also think it should be happy joyful you know one of the things i've always noticed about bars is they have this crazy thing they call it happy hour have you ever been outside of a bar after happy hour how many people look happy not too many and if they do they're really loopy but then i was thinking how many people genuinely look happy after they leave church why can't this be happy hour why can't we get happy about our god and express in songs of reverential but dynamic worship that we love god upreach second is in reach in reach we explain the relevance of scriptures to our daily lives and we seek to build people up and fit them for service in god's kingdom that's in reach that's why whenever we gather together it's the study of the bible the study of the scriptures we make that paramount every now and then somebody might say well can't you guys like break from the pattern of bible study couldn't you have like a raffle one day or a puppet show or i don't know interpretive dance short answer no we can't we believe the word of god does the work of god in the lives of the people of god in reach also means we get involved personally in reach means that you discover a place of of your volunteer activity in some area of church life that's in reach the third is outreach we extend the love of god to a hurting world through evangelism as well as social concern and we believe that is like daniel's life he was all about upreach he worship god supremely he was all about in reach he was tethered to a group of people that he prayed with his brothers in babylon he was all about outreach influencing people influencing people who didn't know who god was so dare to be a daniel dare to stand alone dare to make his purpose firm and dare to make it known so we end like we began taking a challenge to live the balanced life through the grace provided to us by god himself that concludes Skip heitzig's message today and the series i dare you find the full message as well as books booklets and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com right now we want to share about a special resource that will help you discover god's will for you what is god's will for your life Skip heitzig has biblical direction the will of god is not some mystical impractical ethereal process that makes you weird it is not a maze it is not a puzzle that you have to put together and figure it out in fact sometimes the will of god is so plain and straightforward the bible just tells you what the will of god is shed the bible's bright light on your path ahead with discovering god's will an eight message package from pastor Skip you can uncover and understand what the lord wants to show you about his will it's not always easy but the answers are in there we want to send you these insightful messages as thanks for your gift today to support connect with Skip heitzig and help expand this teaching ministry to more major cities in the us in 2023 so request your copy when you give today and begin to let god direct your path for your good and his glory just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer that's connectwithskip.com slash offer be sure to come back tomorrow as Skip begins a new series titled always only jesus in which he examines the book of colossians to explore the preeminence of christ and why it matters to you so what you need to know is that this town of colossi that paul is writing to was a mixed bag of rival philosophies and competing religious systems and some of that was working its way into the church there was a constant inflow of ideas from the east and ideas from the west and it was a perfect spot for heresy to develop connect with Skip heiter is a presentation of connection communications connecting you to god's never changing truth in ever-changing times
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-08 05:01:34 / 2023-03-08 05:10:35 / 9

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