I'm called by the Lord to preach and teach His Word. This blog is a start to be faithful to His call on my life. It's amazing to preach the Word of the Lord and more fulfilling than I'd ever imagined!
Jeremiah 20:9 (KJV) states, "...But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay."
Friday, July 29, 2016
Dare to be a Daniel: Counting the Cost
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion
of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of
the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
(Daniel 1:8 KJV)
when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his
windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees
three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did
aforetime. (Daniel 6:10 KJV)
**This post is the fourth post in the Dare to be a Daniel series.
Today we are embarking on the fourth week of finding hope and
encouragement in the life of the godly prophet Daniel. When the Lord brought to mind this sermon
that He gave me to share with at least one church in 2014, I had no idea how it
would be edited for blog posts, nor how long it would take to share it. Moreover, I had no idea regarding all the
recent terror acts. God knew all of
this, thus the timeliness of the posts is not an accident.
When we have Jesus as our Savior and place our trust and faith in Him
(as did Daniel), we can face the sheer ugly forces of evil with confidence—confidence
that the Lord will see us through come what may. Truly knowing the whole of Word should cause us to see current events as prophecy
being fulfilled before our eyes.
As I have shared before on this blog, there is a definite cost to
following Jesus; the cost can be steep.
Believers in many parts of the world, in such places as North Korea,
China, Vietnam, and the Middle East; for example, lose everything in following Jesus—EVERYTHING—including
their very lives. Persecution is real
today! As believers, we—no matter where
we reside—need to be prepared to face that very same type of persecution for following
In the New Testament, Jesus spoke of counting the cost of following Him
(see Luke 14:25-35 and John 16). There
is a cost—sometimes a high one. The costs
depend on the person. Friendships
change, relationship with family members change, one’s job may have to change
too. I believe that Daniel counted the
cost of remaining true to God (in the pagan Babylonian society) and found the
benefits of staying true to God to outweigh the temporary pleasures of worldly riches. In doing so, Daniel was blessed and used
mightily by God.
History is full of men, women, and children who treasured Jesus more
than the riches of this world and more than their own life. They counted the cost and paid the
price. Today, they are among “the great
cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1)—cheering us on as we run our race for the
Here are some examples of men who died rather than deny Jesus: John Hus,
Bishop Hugh Latimer,
and Nicholas Ridley. These men bravely faced the flames; just as
Daniel faced the lions and his friends the fiery furnace. They remained loyal to God—He remained loyal
to them. Countless people suffered
greatly, all because they believed all should have access to God’s Word and
because they believed salvation was through Christ alone. These are just a few of many examples.
In many parts of the world today (and one day here in America we will
face this too), that to have Jesus as Savior and Lord is to suffer greatly—even
to the point of losing EVERYTHING, including our very life. The testimony of modern day martyrs is moving
and heart wrenching. Yet like the
members of the early church (see Acts 5:40-48)—there is rejoicing in suffering
Photo Credit: C. Meissner
Somewhere along the way, the prosperous Western Church has gotten off
course and gotten things horribly wrong.
Being a Christian—having Jesus as Savior and Lord of our life is not a
ticket to worldly abundance, affluence, and riches. Being a Christian is a call to dying to self
and self-sacrifice; focusing on storing up riches in heaven. And yes, perhaps losing worldly things we
hold dear—jobs, family, friends, and hobbies.
In the end, we will find that staying true to the Lord outweighs
anything the world has to offer us!
The time to decide where we stand and what we will do is now; not when
to call on the Name of Jesus is to lose one’s life. Where do you stand? What will you do? Will you deny Jesus or will you count the cost,
determining (or purposing) to not deny Jesus (when we deny Jesus, He denies us before
the Father)? These are questions only
you can answer. As for me: I say Jesus is worth it!
I ask you the question Beth Moore asked in her study: “Have
you predetermined your loyalty to Christ (italics in original)?
Dare to be a Daniel this week!
To be continued…
Please join with me in prayer:
Loving Lord, we look to You to find the desire, the strength to stay
true to You no matter the cost. Teach us
to trust You, particularly when nothing makes sense all seems lost. We find hope and encouragement in those who
paid the ultimate price—their lives—all in staying true to You. Free us from fear of man, as we place our
complete trust in You. We desire to remain
loyal to You, however, we need Your strength to not falter or give in when the
going gets really tough. Thank You for
Your presence in our lives and for the testimony of countless martyrs who have
gone before us. In Jesus’ Name, we
From My Heart to Yours,
Beth Moore’s Daniel:
Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy (2006, LifeWay Press) was the
inspiration for many ideas in this sermon/blog post.
Beth Moore’s Daniel:
Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy (2006, LifeWay Press), page 61.