Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 … Integrity Accepts God’s Will

Passage of the Day: Daniel 6: 18 – 22 … 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep. 19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king.”

My Journal for Today: As we read in today’s passage, it was God’s will that Daniel be delivered from the mouths of the lions. And it was undoubtedly Daniel’s steadfast integrity of faith and his open witness to King Darius prior to this incident which caused the King to have regrets in Daniel’s predicament, and at the same time hope that Daniel’s God would deliver Daniel, the king’s loyal servant. However, Darius, the King was stuck by the wiles of his advisors and his own laws and decrees. That’s why it’s so easy, as a believer these days, to be concerned by the laws that are being drafted or the rulings of judges which restrict or persecute Christians.

And, as John MacArthur points out in his devotional for this date in Strength for Today, it is not always God’s will that the faithful be delivered from the jaws of death as was the case for Daniel or for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego earlier. MacArthur reminds me and his readers that Isaiah was a faithful witness to God; and he was sawn in half by God’s enemies; and how faithful was Stephen, who was stoned to death as he declared his loyalty to God to the end? Finally, we know that both Peter and Paul were martyred in very cruel deaths for their faith. All of these men had incredible Spirit-led integrity; and all of them were bold and assertive witnesses to their faith … just like Daniel. Yet, they were not delivered from their individual “lion’s den” experience and were martyred for their faith.

Yes, as MacArthur writes, “Trusting God means accepting His will, whether for life or for death.” And as Paul wrote in Phil. 1: 21, “… to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” My primary goals in this life as a Christian are to know God and to live according to His will. And oh how I desire to be like these men of faith who held on to their integrity in Christ in their lives and in the face of death!

And right now, in my morning time with God, as His timing would have it, and as I listen to my ITunes music collection of Christian favorites, the version of the great praise song, I Will Follow Christ, performed by my dear friend, Clay Crosse, and two of his fellow Christian artists, Bob Carlisle and Bebe Winans has come up for me to listen to here in my quiet time. What a great song about following Christ no matter what the circumstances of life. And so that you, my fellow Christians reader, can hear my brothers singing this song, here’s a link to a You Tube performance by these great singers of that powerful song of praise and witness. Watch, listen, and be inspired to greater integrity and witness.

My Prayer Today: O, my Lord, to live or to die in You is my witness. Amen

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