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Courage Is a Habit

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
June 6, 2021 6:00 am

Courage Is a Habit

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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June 6, 2021 6:00 am

As we continue our series through the book of Daniel, Pastor J.D. teaches on the most famous story in the book–Daniel in the lions’ den. Daniel provides an incredible example of courage in the midst of adversity. But as much as we make of Daniel’s night with the lions, his courage was actually forged long before that fateful night. Courage is not summoned in a moment; courage is developed through a lifetime.

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If you have a Bible this morning and I hope that you have one. If you'll take it out and opened it up or turn it on or whatever it takes to get the Daniel chapter 16 of chapter 6.

Today we are going to look at one of the top three most famous stories in your Bible story of Daniel in the lion's den to get this in the 20 years or so that I have served here as your pastor at the summit church. I have never one time not with points preached on this passage, not even once. I can believe it actually back and that was from the final notes on and I didn't have not ever preached on it even once.

Today I'm going to fix that.

Maybe because that is because I'm headed to the SBC which feels like a lion's den. I'm not sure but it just I think it always felt too familiar and as I got my nose historians. I was never done it. This story is the last of the fast-paced Daniel doing battle in Babylon.

Narratives in the book of Daniel and ask you there's one more in chapter 9 really get to. But most of the rest of the book is prophecy. Daniel six is the last chapter that is written in Aramaic. Remember the very first week I told you that the first chapter of Daniel in the last chapters of Daniel chapter 7 to 12 are written in Hebrew, which was the language of Israel, but the middle chapters, chapters 2 through six are written in Aramaic which was the language of Babylon because these Events Take Pl. in Babylon and there written so that Babylonians can read the stories also will.

This is the last story Daniel malign Stan's last story in Aramaic gets the last account of Daniel and his three friends shining in Babylon. I honestly am a little bit sad because I really enjoyed studying out the story so hate to see this work come to an end by this is the last month were to use this story this morning to talk about developing the habit of courage developing the habit of courage.

Courage. I want to show you this morning is not something you summon up in a moment. Courage is developed through a lifetime of small consistent decisions. Courage is a pattern that you program into your heart you know when you type something into Google and it auto completes for you. By the way, that just drives me nuts just because I search that one time for the current network of Zach from saved by the Bell doesn't mean that every time I type in the word current. That's what I'm looking for. Leave me alone. Google but Google knows that you and I follow patterns and so it auto feels are our search bar according to how we have trained it the same thing is true with how you respond to adversity your heart ought to feel sure response based on the patterns that you have established the Greek philosopher Aristotle PE said excellence is not an act. It's a habit. Aristotle, by the way, we would not long after Daniel Everett. He said excellence is not enacted a habit I would say the same thing is true about courage. Courage is not an act, it is a habit is a habit developed over years and years and years of repeated patterns. Daniel six me remind you, the context will click Babylon has been overthrown by the Medes and the Persians, Nebuchadnezzar and all the royal family have been killed and King Darius of the Medes now sits on the throne, Daniel. By this point is well over 80 years old still living in captivity in Babylon.

We do not know what is happened to his his three friends, Shadrach me shack and Abednego presumably by this point they have already died. The new King.

King Darius in order to try to bring some stability and continuity to his government has kept on his court. A lot of Nebuchadnezzar's wisemen that includes Daniel. Daniel chapter 6, verse three, but Daniel distinguished himself because he had an extraordinary spirit so the king plan to set them over the whole realm second in command only to himself. One thing that is consistent about Daniel is that no matter where he is, no matter what circumstances in or how he got there or how unjust the situation felt. Daniel stays positive, upbeat, even believing that God has a plan and not create that mentality creates new opportunities wherever he goes. At multiple points in his life when everybody else and maybe you and I would've looked at him and said your life is over. Daniel Dana said you know that God has something for me yet and could I just point out the Daniel is more than 80 years old at this point. Delimiters go ahead and say it and how to save as plain as I can. Old people can still do awesome things. By the way Daniel is not the only old guy in history to do awesome things. I'm at 83 years old.

William Gladstone became Prime Minister of Great Britain for the fourth time at 85 years old John Wesley.

They say still priest with almost undiminished eloquence up to two or three times a day and 89 years old. Michelangelo painted his last judgment which is now one of the most famous paintings in the world at age 90. Thomas Edison was still filing for new patents at the patent offices for a patent office for new inventions. He was coming up with George Bernard Shaw at age 90 was still writing plays that will become classics, Harlan Sanders was 65 when the open Kentucky fried chicken. After getting fired from about a dozen of his previous jobs. This career was a total failure for that point Winston Churchill won his first election.

At age 62 he lost literally every single election.

Up to that point. His career did not really begin until he was 62.

He was 71 when he led England in the World War II. So for all of you seasoned people out there do not let them tell you that you were done.

God might have something for you yet okay I got a few payments.

First for the administrators and satraps which is a word for like a governor therefore kept trying to find a charge against Daniel regarding the kingdom, but they could find no charge or corruption because Daniel was trustworthy and no negligence or corruption at all was found in him we see every couple of years around election season only the commercials to start multiplying. So it's always a liar. You know by 32 years ago. He said this at a party he voted with big nursery to take candy from babies always seem to find something about everybody here. These guys searched and searched and searched and I can't find anything. By the way, this is after six decades of public service on Daniel's part that is pretty remarkable. The point is that Daniel has been utterly trustworthy in all that he did 70 years 70 years serving in the public square. Verse five. Then these men said will never find any charge against this Daniel. Unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God. So they went together to the King and said I will make King Darius may you live forever verse seven and all the administrators of the kingdom. The prefect the satraps the advisors and the governor. We have all agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and ordinance that for 30 days. Anybody who petitions any God or man, except for you, old king, that one should be thrown into the lion's den. The weak spot that they have found that out. I got handed to him. It is pretty ingenious weak spot is built around Daniel's faith in the king's ego. Basically they're like okay okay and your subjects need to learn that they can depend on you for everything sought to make a rule that for 30 days for 30 days. People can only bring their needs for you been in prayer for all time were to stand up for 30 days.

People need to see that you can meet all the needs so there can only pray to you for 30 days and in 30 days.

They will see how amazing all sufficient.

You are how able you are to take care of all your subjects. Verse eight.

Therefore, your Majesty, establish the edict and sign the document so that as a law of the Medes and Persians. It is irrevocable cannot be changed. The Medes and the Persians had this custom that once a law was passed, they couldn't be changed or altered in any way the purpose for that historians say was that try to keep things from passing arbitrary laws all willy-nilly just because they were in a bad mood, get beat up pickle ball by left-handed guys so they outlaw left-handedness that kind of stuff happened the next day the king gets irritated with one of his wives so he passes a law that no women can never argue with men in the ancient world, things did stuff like this all the time and that law would only last for a couple of days until the king calm down to the Medes and the Persians instituted this custom to try to keep the king from doing that. Plus they thought not allowing the law to be changed help reinforce the idea that the king was divine because if you change the law that imply that you made a mistake right so today had this custom that you couldn't change the law once it was once it was passed in this law passed Daniel's response, verse 10, when Daniel learned that the document had been signed.

He went into his house. He opened the upstairs window toward Jerusalem and three times a day. He got down on his knees and prayed and gave thanks to God just as he had done before going to lunch up your Bible underlined that he did just like he had done before.

Because there is the habit, Daniel has prayed three times daily now for 70 years he done in Daniel chapter 1 when they try to force him to eat forbidden foods be done in chapter 2.

When the king threatened to kill all the wise men because nobody could interpret his dream. His friends had done in Daniel three when Nebuchadnezzar tried to force them to bow down to his golden image.

Whenever Daniel had been in trouble when ever Daniel had felt threatened. He had turned to God in prayer. So this response was as natural to him as routine as breathing. So here's my question for you. What is your instincts when trouble comes when you have been hurt in your marriage when your spouse is not treating you fairly and it's just not getting any better.

No matter how much you talk to them. No matter what you do what's your instinct when you feel threatened when you feel like you're being pressured at your job to do the wrong thing reads like you're being treated unfairly by by your boss or one of your colleagues or your being pressured to toe the party line even though it goes against your conscience. Or maybe when a friend or a boyfriend or girlfriend is pressuring you to do the wrong thing to be pressure to conform what is your instinct, I would say that our responses typically fit into one of four categories one panic a lot of people there instinct is to panic you get scared and you cave what was no way out but the pressure is too strong. All my friends are doing it to be a social outcast.

If I don't I don't have that kind of social capital Spencer. It's just easier go along to get along. Everybody in my business is doing it. I'll never survive if I don't do this this this law of the Medes and Persians, and it can't be changed in the king and all the other important people behind it. I don't really have a choice here if I want to survive.

Panic know I love this verse prescriptions 1013 no temptation, no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man, but God who is faithful will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you were able, he will always with that temptation with that trial he's going to provide you a way of escape, that you might be able to bear it. God always provides a way of escape always, he will always supply you with the strength and the wisdom and the ability to do to do the right thing and that means you never need to panic because you were never trapped in a situation with only bad options responsibly wanted people panic. A second a second common instinct response to this kind of pressure is pride. Primus was kind of tricky because it can look on the outside like bold faith because essentially you're saying I will I will not yield to you. I can overcome this.

The difference between this and faith is that when you peel back the layers of this response.

What you can find is not a humble dependence on God.

What you can find is a heart of self-sufficiency.

This is more of a, I'm better than you attitude you can beat me kind of attitude that it is I'm going to do what God wants entrusted with the results with results attitude by the lake the sign that you are operating in pride is carelessness prayerless. This is the indicator light on the dashboard of the Christian life that warns you that pride has set it now in your car dashboard you happy so indicator lights that tells you if your engine is running too hot. Let's get to know one another little bit here. Okay, how many of you fill up your gas once it's half-empty you're that person you if it's active damn stop and fill it up honey if you wait until the little countdown says 1 mile left on the year-to-date arcane and then your prayer life just totally takes off Bennett you have never prayed so desperately and fervently invalid to be a missionary, when you when we when we try to give the gas station with 1 mile to empty.

Okay. All right. How about the indicator lights. How many of you. The second, that the light comes on, you take your car to the shop that you write review treat that light, like more of a suggestion right you like I'm sitting wait and see if this thing works itself out right when you lesson at Veronica so probably that is burns you at some point I would guess because a little indicator lights alert you to problems are going on deep in your engine that you can't see prayerless and this is the indicator light that your heart is running proud.

Many people think that prayerless nurses just the result of a lack of self-discipline you like, you know, I mean I believe in prayer, but II just don't pray I don't pray not for the same reason I don't work out enough read enough alfalfa sprouts.

It's just a lack of self-discipline, but prayerless nurse is ultimately rooted in pride. You don't pray consistently and fervently because you are convinced that if you reach down deep enough and try hard enough for long enough, you can eventually find the resources to overcome but at some point listen at some point that is going to fail you and I know that if you're a believer because God is going to put you into a situation that you can overcome and that I would suggest some of you are there right now aren't you.

You come in here this morning.

Overwhelmed by the challenges of parenting utterly defeated by your marriage financially underwater crushed by our relationship that you just can't make work and issue has has come up in your health or the help of a loved one that that has you scared to death this morning you the end of Daniel chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar. After God humbled him and he turned his heart toward God. He said we looked at a couple weeks ago all those who walk in pride. God is able to humble see that's true for professing Christians also for you who know God. His agenda in your life is to humble you out of the pride of self-sufficiency. If that is you this morning my word to you today is very simple. Turn away from pride and turn toward God.

And if that happens, you begin to express that by a daily consistent time in prayer, panic, pride, your third response preemptive strike preemptive strike. This is the quid pro quo that Brian talked about last weekend something for something tit-for-tat. I will protect myself by fighting you or me.

I hurt you back, you play dirty you play dirty. I'll play dirty or when Daniel found out about this law he could've tried to engineer some political trick some scheme to get back at them. Quid pro quo is how most of us try to survive. We live in peace with others. We maintain peace with others who mutually assured destruction with them right away that I'll keep you from hurting me as I make it clear that you do, I'll hurt you back worse. Some of you have marriages that are surviving because mutually assured destruction. You hurt me I will hurt you back, and then you'll think twice about messing with me to get panic. We got pride we got preemptive strike.

Then there's Daniels responsible for prayer let Ms. lay this at God's feet dangled like ultimately these are God's problems because I don't even belong to me anymore.

I belong to him. Which means that these problems don't belong to me either.

They belong to him. All I'm responsible for is what he tells me to do for and I will tell you this is such an incredibly peaceful way to live is so peaceful because you let Jesus shoulder the weight of your problems. Jesus described the Christian life is easy, not because it's all sunshine and giggles and roses that most of us would say that when we became Christians in many ways our lives got harder. Jesus says it easy because we are yoked up with him coming to me. Jesus says Matthew 1128 coming to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Let me try to help you make sense of that yoke typically had places for two oxen and those two oxen would pull the load together so that meant if one ox was stronger than the other oxen got the benefit of that stronger oxen strength. Imagine you were strapped into that yoke to Pola a tractor-trailer but strapped in next to you was the world's strongest man.

I think John Muller by Pastor John is 65. It looks like a character out of a French romance novel novel and all right right okay so you strapped in a chair Peter Parker the downtown campus leaders not that big, but he does cross fit literally every day, I would say Ricky from the northern campus because he's ripped up topic using this crazy little chicken like this I would have in Suzanne right but just sent you strapped in with one of those guys was a lot stronger than you. The load might not seem that heavy to you because the stronger guy is pulling so much of the weight if I can single you like, it is not taken a walk so it is with Jesus in my problems when I trust in him.

He shoulders the weight of my marriage problems. He shoulders the weight of my work problems. He shoulders the weight of my parenting problems ultimately are not even my kids anymore. There is kids he shoulders the weight of my personal struggles in each of those things. He carries the weight. I'm just responsible to do what he direct me to do. Success of the Lord belongs to him.

Faithfulness as the word belongs to me.

What a friend we have in Jesus whole what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. Cast your burdens on the Lord. Peter says Catherine he will sustain you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't lean on your own understanding your own ability to figure it all out in all your ways acknowledge him in all your ways.

Pastor burden on him and he was the one that'll make your paths straight to panic, pride, preemptive strike prayer. So again I ask you the question what your default, you got one. What auto fills in the search bar your heart when hard times come. When you type in P what those interests, we feel threatened legal panicky right is it pride is it is it is it panic is it is it preemptive strike or is it prayer.

Daniel chose prayer because he trusted in God so that evening he prayed as peacefully as he had every every single other one for and I can tell you from experience that there is a peacefulness in that prayer closet that you will not find anywhere else.

I don't care how much you meditate, how much Zen music you put on. I don't care much money you have, how much you exercise, or what you know there is a piece in the prayer closet. You can find anywhere else suite. Our prayer suite. Our prayer calls me from a world of caring and impedes me air my father's throne that all my wants and wishes known in seasons of distress and grief. My soul has often found relief and often escape attempt or snare by thy return, sweet hour of prayer, the Daniel praise Daniel praise and of course the otherwise men see this survey run to the king, scarcely able to contain your excitement verse well for trouble you know King we hate. I mean, I'm thinking we should hate to tell you this but after you signed an irrevocable edict were also Daniel praying we all just happened to be on the balcony right across from his house, all looking to our binoculars at the same time as his regularly scheduled prayer time and we all saw it sadly keying you know you know the law of the Medes and the Persians cannot be changed so we prepare the lines right this ways are there is, of course, sees right through their ruse immediately is pretty upset about it because he liked Daniel so much but is also bound by this ridiculous custom feels like he has no choice but the third Daniel in the lion's den for 16 so the king gave the order.

By the way, I know a lot of y'all think I hate on cats too much. But can we just take a moment and reflect that of taking king who could have concocted any kind of torture decided that the most cruel and unusual punishment that he could think of is trapping you in a cage with cats print the Scripture speak for themselves. Okay and all God's people said a few of God's people said Amen again.

The king said to Daniel, the king said to Daniel. May your God, whom you continually serve rescue you.

Stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the Dan King sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his noble so that nothing regarded Daniel could be changed in the king went back to his house and spent the night fasting. No diversions were brought to him. He turn off his Netflix account put away his Xbox and he couldn't sleep the first light of dawn. The king got up and hurried to the lines. Then when he reached the Danny cried out in anguish to Daniel. Daniel Daniel, servant of the living God is your God, whom you continually serve been able to rescue you from the lions. Then Daniel spoke with the king. Only the king live forever. My God has sent his angel and shut the lines now so they have not harmed me or I was found innocent before him. Daniel is down there peacefully taking a catnap with others. Lions like he snuggled up in a cadre of kittens, you know, it strikes me when I read the story that literally everybody else in the story was out the whole night, except for Daniel, the jealous wise man Rob all night partying, celebrating the king was up all night worrying Daniel's friends were up all night praying the angel was up all night protecting Daniel so we only wanted a good night sleep when the king ordered the stone rolled away from it in the next morning.

There's Daniel snuggled up, snuggled up peacefully with a book reading between the lines. Verse 23 the king was overjoyed and gave orders to take Daniel out of the dam again was brought up from the den. He was found to be unharmed because she get this journal on this car because he trusted in his God. Why does the text say that God save Daniel like this because he was special, or because he was elected her for Dana predestined now. The text says it happened. One reason not one reason was because Daniel trusted in his God, reason, a point that out is because that means you can look for the same kind of providential protection in your life if you trust in God and prayed him like Daniel did that mean the bad things will never happen to you. It just means that God will ultimately deliver you through them all, just like he did for Daniel.

Verse 24 then the king gave the command. Those men who had maliciously accused Dana will broaden throne in the lines.

Then they their children and their wives and not reach the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. What is the text mentioned that the lines ate them before their bodies even reached the bottom. I was just in case you thought that maybe the lions had not eaten Daniel because they were full. Clearly he's trying to show you that were starving wishes to acknowledge if we will that last part, especially with the wives and the children being included in this punishment.

That's really really hard to read. It feels unfair and cruel and it was the Bible is certainly not condoning this. In fact, in the book of Ezekiel begins another contemporary of Daniels in the book of Ezekiel, God explicitly condemns this kind of cruelty where the children are punished for the sins of their parents, but this was common in ancient times teens would not just kill their enemies, but they would kill everybody and their enemies family, less the kids grow up to try to avenge their parents. These were vicious times and women and children were often the victims of this viciousness and brutality. But the Bible is certainly not condoning it.

Read this as descriptive, not prescriptive.

Verse 25 and King Darius wrote to those of every people, nation in language that the key phrase you should underline on the whole earth. May your prosperity abound. I issue a decree that in all my royal dominion, people must tremble in fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he endures forever.

His kingdom will never be destroyed. His dominion has no in the rescues and delivers the perform signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for he is saying Daniel for the power of the lions. This chapter started with a prohibition on prayer ends with a pagan king preaching a sermon about God's providential production and it's actually a pretty good little mini sermon.

Darius declares him to walk you through a real quick.

Declares that God is global is not just the God of Israel, the God of Babylon is the God of all peoples, nations and languages in all the earth. Contrary to what Babylonians believe in. Contrary to what people believe the day is not a tribal deity where you got your God, and I got mine. This is not a God, about whom you say well I got my God, you got yours. You know, your truth shall have my truth there is one God and one truth for all people in all times and all places. By the way, one of the dumbest phrases in our culture is this is my truth there is no such thing as your truth. Truth is not private.

There's the truth we conform our lives to it. Not not conform it to us services for small global in the spirit all the postmodern weird stuff.

Secondly, Darius. This God is personal. He is the living God is not like those Babylonian gods that need to speak nor relate to humans God that you got a carry about from place to place in the food in front of because they can't feed themselves. The true God.

He said, is a living, active speaking God. Verse 26. He is eternal.

He endures forever. He says he is God, not the king who live forever. He's sovereign. His kingdom will never be destroyed. He's faithful. He delivers and rescues his people.

He's eminent King Darius as he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth. Eminent is a word that means that he is close by, and engaged not far away and uninterested. This is not a God who is sitting above the heavens uninvolved.

This is a God actively at work in the world today actively pursuing you actively working in your life right now. If you're looking for. Finally, Darius says he's the Savior he rescued he saved Daniel. This is a God who didn't leave his people in a dark pit. The Paris this is a God ready to help all those who call on him, who is with you in the pit and will bring you out of the pit. That's a pretty good little sermon if he asked me Daniel is the book in the Bible where we see amazing sermons preached by formally taking things how they learn these things fall they learn them, reading books, they learn them is Daniel and his friends live with consistency and courage in front of them know that's the whole point of the book of Daniel. This is what God promises will happen around us. If we live like they did if we shine in Raleigh-Durham like they shown in Babylon listen Babylon is not a place for spiritual weaklings, it will chew you up and spit you out in Daniel's case literally, but for those who live with wisdom for those who live with consistency and courage. They will never RT bursting 12 three they will shine like the brightness of the heavens above, they will shine like the stars forever and ever.

So, Daniel, verse 28 she Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius in the reign of Cyrus the Persian, who reigned after him there. Two things from the story that I want to leave you with okay first the first I want to leave you with is the courage in the lions den comes from consistency in the prayer closet. I guess it Daniel did not somehow courage. The moment he was thrown in the lives in Daniel's courage was the result of years and years of small faithful mostly unknown acts of obedience. It was the fruit of patterns he had laid down for a lifetime.

I am not a prophet but if you will let me make a prophecy that I would say you could take to the bank. If you wait until the hour of trial to decide what you're going to do in the moment of trial, you will fail you want to know. Do you want to know that you can have the courage to stand when everybody around you was doing the wrong thing or that you're going to have the courage to maintain your integrity when the temptation to cheat is overwhelming for the Juergen have the courage to live out your convictions when everybody around you, tells you that you're crazy you want to know that you're gonna that you maintain your confession of faith in a hostile environment. I can predict all of that I can predict it based on what you're doing now because what you do then is determined by what you're doing now. Courage is not conjured up in the heat of the moment courage comes from consistency.

The prayer closet high school and college students me talk to you specifically for a moment. Do you want to know you want to know that you can have the ability to maintain your confession of faith when everybody else in your class and your professor mocks you.

You want to know that you can have the courage to remain sexually pure in a culture that treats that not just as I but is as is strange beyond comprehension. That's going to be determined not by what you think. You'll decide in the moment. As can be determined by the first thing you choose to do when you get out of bed tomorrow morning.

Your courage in those moments of trial are determined by whether you are now developing small consistent habits of obedience like a daily time of prayer.

Daniel had predecided to follow Jesus and I was demonstrated by the fact that he regularly met with God to pour out his problems in my dad used to say to me said, son, if you wait until the moment temptation to decide whether or not you to remain sexually pure you will always make the wrong decision. Decide now decide now begin to walk with God now and when the hour of temptation comes when you find that God will give you the resources to overcome that blank in the Google search of your heart will not auto fill of courage unless you have trained it to small consistent acts of obedience, courage is not conjured up in the heat of the moment courage comes from consistency in the prayer closet, your second family doing okay seeing Jesus as the greater Daniel is the strength of courage, seeing Jesus as the greater Daniel strength and courage. Let me explain one of the mistakes most common mistakes that people make with the story is they turn it into a hero tale were really the story aspiring to be Daniel Dare to be a Daniel was how I often heard it breaks my gut shown you. There certainly much about Daniel's life that used Canon should emulate. That is not the main point of the story, or any Old Testament story, for that matter, as I have told you before the Old Testament was not primarily written to give us he rose to emulate. The Old Testament was written to point you to a Savior to a door if you try to copy the example of a Daniel, you will likely end up discouraged by your failure. That's how it is for me at least, because no matter how much I coach myself, or how many pep talks.

I give myself in the mirror I cannot sustain lasting courage. How might succeed for a moment, but it's usually only fall back on my face again more discouraged and hopeless feeling than ever. But when you see that Daniel story. Like all stories in the Old Testament is not you there to point you to Jesus listed in the story takes on a new meaning. You see, there are a lot of parallels between what Daniel went through and what Jesus will go through. Consider this. Both Daniel and Jesus are pictures of innocence.

Daniel is one of three men in the Old Testament, about whom there is not a mention of even a single flaw. The prophet Ezekiel says that Daniel was one of the three most righteous people ever walk the face of the earth.

Jesus of course live totally without sin. No impure thought or motive ever even enter into his head. Both Daniel and Jesus had jealous political leaders drum up false charges against them to get them killed. Both Daniel and Jesus had the primary judge in their case for in him for Daniel.

That would've been Darius and for Jesus. I would've been pilot both of them had the primary judge declared an innocent and try to spare them. Both Daniel and Jesus were thrown into a pit, whose entrance was covered by a large stone and then sealed with a government seal and left for dead. Both Daniel and Jesus had loving friends run to their tomb early in the morning. Daniel and Jesus walked out of that tomb alive. The next morning.

Both Daniel and Jesus after their ordeal were raised up his second in command over the kingdom. Daniel under Darius Jesus, under God the father in heaven. There is one big difference between Daniel and Jesus, however, and that is that Daniel eventually died. But Jesus defeated death, we do a disservice to the story.

When we reduce it to just a little kid story from little kids story about being brave. We got this fun little image of Daniel down there with all the big kittens. But make no mistake, you'll this was no kids adventure tale liens are vicious creatures and those who live in their proximity know that you cannot take them for granted for even a single second. Now I was reading on that the account of a park ranger in the Kruger National Park in South Africa was one of the few people in the world alive today to have been attacked by lion and survive.

He did know what he said he didn't know it but one afternoon as he was riding his horse to the part he was being stalked by a pair of liens suddenly said one lunged at me from the tall grass, barely missing the and knocking the horse out from underneath me. That first line went to work on on my horse when I heard it deafening horrifying war, he said, from right behind me as the second line pounced on me. He said I remember some of my training. I went totally limp, trying to make alive think that I was dead to try and buy me some time to figure out what to do. Luckily he said the line did not grab me by the neck, which is common which would kill me instantly is to be grabbed by his shoulder. My shoulder, which the line and crushed between his jaws, causing the most excruciating pain, making this whole go limp and play dead strategy really difficult execute the centerline dragged him for about 60 yards toward his later the seven is quote he said my face was shoved into his mane.

The smell was awful and the line per the whole way there he assumed he said it was in pleasant anticipation of his meal. Capture evil. I'm telling you. Okay, the man said the whole time he was trying to figure out what to do next when he remembered we remember that he had strapped his hunting knife under his right hip that morning but he was set I was positive that it had gotten knocked off when I been knocked off my horse again.

We just read you his words. It took me some time to work my left hand around my back is aligned dragged me over the ground. But eventually I reached the sheath and to my indescribable joy. The knife is still there. I secured it in my left hand, wondering where best to stab a lion. I remembered hearing many years before that if you hit Academy knows he will sneeze this particular theory is of course incorrect, but at the time I thought it might be true though I dismissed the notion, deciding that even if it were the languages sneeze and pick me up again so I decided to aim my knife right for his heart.

I move smoothly and silently as a serpent because any fumbling in this maneuver would arouse the lion with instantly fatal results to myself knowing where his heart was located. I struck him twice in quick succession. The line instantly drop me and I will and let out a furious roar and I struck him again. This time upwards into his throat, which severed his jugular and killed no why do I share all that disturbing detail want you to feel just a smidgen of the horror of a lion attack Daniel in the line. Steve is no gentle kid story and OSHA feel that horror because this whole story is supposed to be a picture for you of the cross and if you don't get out of the Remington story and getting into the realm of horror story where it belongs and never see that she Psalm 22 says that on the cross and the Messiah Jesus was thrown to the lions of judgment which startled him and taunted him and then tore him apart. Jesus was far more innocent than Dino ever was. Yet before Jesus's body never even reached the bottom of the pit made it six hours on the cross those lines had worn him to pieces. Unlikely Daniel no angel came to stand by him no angel came to shut the lion's mouth. To quote Sally Lloyd Jones from her book Jesus was left in the blackness utterly alone and abandoned by God, suffering the fate that we, the guilty ones deserve God did not shut the mouths of Jesus is liens like he did. Daniels let them tear him apart. His body was left into the icy grip of death for three days before the angel finally came to roll away the stone, but he was bearing our sin, he went into that pit for me and that's were Jesus and Daniel are different. You see, when Daniel came forth from the lines, the entity came out all alone and nobody else was saved by God's deliverance of him. When Jesus came forth from the two.

He came out as the head of a mighty company of people who have been redeemed from the pit, through his death. Because of the work of Christ on behalf of his people. The divine judge says not guilty. You may all go free to hear something. If I know that if I know that I know I know that Jesus is taken into himself any judgment for my sin that there is no condemnation anymore. For those of us who are in Christ Jesus. What that means whatever I'm going through now I can know that God is with me. I can know he's standing beside me.

Anything that would turn God against me. Jesus has removed the cross of God is for me who can be against me. The Lord is my strength and my shield if he is my light and my salvation. Do I have to be afraid I don't gotta be afraid of those who kill the body, because I have a God who can preserve the soul that God is with me in cancer these with me when death takes a family member is with me and the pain of betrayal or the sting of injustice is with me in every struggle, frustration and failure that I go through, promising never to leave me or forsake me, promising to overcome through me constantly whispering in my ear. Greater is he that is in you than anybody or anything in the world, yet will I walk in the valley of the shadow of death I don't be afraid of the moment because you're with me your rod and your staff they comfort me, knowing, knowing, knowing that the Jesus to whom Daniels life points is with me gives me the courage to face danger like Daniel bed and to be consistent like Daniel was, and the ability to get up and keep going when I have not been consistent yet.

Thank God for examples like Daniel worship Jesus took your punishment and the lines in and out promises to preserve you in the den of any lines you face today with him within you have the courage you can have the courage to face anything much about your heads. If you would buy your heads is asked to simple questions right now where's the auto response auto fill of your heart.

Responding to some difficult situation.

Some threat, some struggle with the wrong response pride print strike panic right now where you need to run to Jesus radius right there where you're sitting this one. Open your hands say Lord here is serious.

This one runs you in prayer. What you're doing.

I cannot just challenge you some of you start a daily prayer time could you decide that right now say Lord community that start every day.

First thing I do when I get up.*Big*five minutes to be inspired print flowers every morning spot, Minnesota five minutes.

Like Daniel did made with three times a day to do it right in the morning right after lunch right we go to bed for 21 days in 21 days will be harder to start stop was the start say five now my commitment daily time where regards were to hear from you. Following one half courage like Daniel to make us aware of the Jesus in us was greater in us than he that is in the world, praying in Jesus name.

He dreads about our worship teams will come in Celebrate in worship God of rescue

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