Scripture Read: Daniel 3 - 4
Title: The Influence of Daniel (Cont'd)
(H) Highlight verse: "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to hmble." Daniel 4:37
(E) Explain: In today's passages we read two stories, one that is probably very familiar and one that isn't. Most have heard or read the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego many times. It is the account of three men who would not bow to the golden image that they were commanded to bow before. The result was the youths were thrown into a hot fiery furnace and protected by an angel of God. Many have come to believe that this was a pre-incarnate Christophany, or an appearnce of Jesus in the Old Testament. King Nebuchadnezzar witnessed that the young men had been protected and his response was in praise of the true God of Israel.
The second and lesser know account is when Nebuchadnezzar had another dream and he calls upon Daniel to interpret the dream. As hard as it was to speak the truth Daniel interpretted the dream, which ultimately spoke of the King falling from grace, losing his mind and being humbled. One of the most amazing testimonies of Daniel's influence was the influence he had on the kings that were over him. He always proclaimed the truth to the kings no matter how difficult it was and he boldly proclaimed the truth. Ultimately we see King Nebuchadnezzar come to faith. He had a lot of clout with the powerful ruler and God used Daniel's influence in a marvelous way.
(A) Application: Honesty, integrity, and humility seems to have lost their importance in society today. How often do we justify bad character as human flaws and that there is nothing anyone can do to change? How often do we allow pride to puff us up? How often have we not followed our conviction because it woudl be too controversial and go against the masses? Sadly, too often. Daniel was a man of influence because he didn't compromise his convictions, remained humble and did not justify bad behavior. As Christians it is important for us to hold fast to our God given convictions, remain humble servants of the Most High God and call bad character what it is... sin. We must remain men and women of conviction and influence if we want to win others to Jesus Christ.
(R) Respond: May I be a man of humility, conviction and truth. Lord, may I be a man of influence to others around me so that others can see Christ in me and come to know Him as Lord and Savior.
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