Passage of the Day: Daniel 6: 28 … So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
My Journal for Today: This month I’ve been looking at and writing about spiritual integrity, with John MacArthur’s help from his devotional, Strength for Today; and we have exemplified this attribute of Christian living by looking into the lives of Daniel and his three young Hebrew friends, who were renamed to the names most of us know them by … Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And I believe that MacArthur is right when he says, “True success is more a matter of character than circumstances.”
Daniel was loyal and true to God’s will/ways; and God used him successfully in the Lord’s big picture of God’s redemptive plan. Daniel’s work and influence over King Cyrus (and/or Darius), led to the Jews being freed and returning to Jerusalem (see Ezra 1: 1 – 3); and it was his prophesies (see Daniel 9) that led to the Magi searching for the Jewish Messiah (see Matt. 2: 1 – 12). All of that was a direct or indirect result of Daniel’s spiritual integrity; and it would be ludicrous to claim that all of those historical circumstances, which fit so intricately and powerfully together, happened by sheer chance.
So, Daniel’s story and life show us that God will use anyone who stays true to God’s will, allowing Him to work into God’s plan in His time through His people. May we all stay true, as did Daniel and the tree courageous Hebrew friends, to God’s word, His ways, and His will; and then let God use His faithful people of integrity [prayerfully that’s you and me] for His glory. And as I have reflected in my journal entries during this month, it’s a good time for any of us to ask ourselves how faithfully we’ve been into God’s word (see Joshua 1: 8) and living accord to His will (see 1st Cor. 4: 1 – 2). Because, … if we are God’s servants, as was Daniel, God will use us; but He can only use us when we yield to Him as did Daniel.
However, for the latter to be the case we must live and be an answer to King David’s ponderous prayer question in Psalm 15: 1, with his answer in verse 2 …
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 15: 1-2 … LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart …
Perhaps you, as I do, find these words imposing, if not impossible; and if it were not for the righteousness imputed by our Savior/Lord, it would be impossible to live up to this standard of righteousness. What David is saying/singing here is that only those who walk blamelessly in righteousness and speak total truth from the heart (i.e., live the completed and perfected life) have a right to dwell with God. And, of course, David, the Psalmist King, was/is right in this assertion. And that was the kind of life lived by Daniel; and late in their lives by men like Paul, Peter, John, and the other Apostles of Christ. But we know that the latter giants of the faith were not like that before they received the saving and enabling grace of God through their faith in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus called His disciples all of them were severely lacking in spiritual integrity. And King David, who wrote Ps. 15, certainly had his time when he did not live in a way to inhabit God’s “Holy Hill.” But when these men died, most of them as martyrs for their faith, they had chosen to live like Daniel, trusting God completely, walking blamelessly, and speaking THE TRUTH, … and following, by surrendered faith, the One Who led their lives, … THE Messiah, Who is Jesus Christ. And they all, just as we can, dwell in God’s sanctuary forever.
And may that be the aspiration of integrity for all who use the Name, “Christian.”
My Prayer Today: My I live under Your definition of success for my life, Lord. Amen