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Category Archives: Scripture

Four verses stood out to me in these chapters:

Daniel 10:12b “Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before God, your request has been heard from heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. ”

Daniel 11:2a “Now then, I will reveal the truth to you.”

Daniel 11:32b “But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him”

Daniel 12:10a “Many will be purified, cleansed, and refined by these trials.”

The message? Pray and the truth will be presented.  The truth will set you free. It will make you strong. It will be the refining fire in your life.

With no verbosity, the truth.

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“We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”  -Daniel 9:18

Even prayer is a gift as a result of God’s mercy.  We take prayer for granted way to often.  We think of it as a rubbing the magic lamp and expect a bushy eyebrowed, blue hued genie with the comedic voice of Robin Williams…ready to answer our wishes.

Instead, prayer is us falling prostrate before the throne of the King of Kings.  I am reminded of the story in 2 Samuel 9 of Mephibosheth and King David.  Mephibosheth was a descendant of Saul (David’s enemy) and Jonathan (David’s best-friend…or as they say on the streetz…his homey).  Another thing to remember about Mephibosheth is that he was crippled in both feet.  David decided to give all of Saul’s inheritance to Mephibosheth as a way to show kindness for the descendants of Jonathan.

In that day (and unfortunately, possibly today as well), Mephibosheth would have been an outcast.  Crippled, he was considered rather useless.  Yet, David invites him into his palace, hands over all this land and inheritance, then invites Mephibosheth to dine with him everyday as if he were a son of the king.

May we, in prayer and attitude of heart, approach the throne of God saying like Mephibosheth, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”

*NOTE:  I wrote this post and then realized that there are a lot of entries from Stuff Christians Like that add to this discussion.  So, I have included many hyperlinks spread throughout this post and I encourage you to click on each link when you get to it.*

We are always seeking to be relevant.  Churches adjust their worship services to reflect the trends in pop culture, some of us Christians use the occasional swear word to maintain our exciting testimony and edgy, Christian status and to maintain an “ability” to reach out to those that aren’t in the Christian bubble (uptight, blinded, self-righteous), we pretend like we have it all together because Heaven forbid non-believers see a Christian struggling, and our nation keeps feeding us the ideas that we need things like sex, power, money, reputation, material-stuff, comfort.  With all this said, Jesus is the perfect example of how to be irrelevant…that one can live in the world, but not be of the world.

Daniel was another great example.  Daniel rose to great power.  He could have done so by abandoning God’s truth.  He could have told Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar that they were going to live long and prosper.  Instead he chose to speak God’s truth even at the risk of losing his life.  He could have even spoken God’s truth about the dream Nebby (my nickname for Nebuchadnezzar) had, but then taken the credit for himself…Yet, in Daniel 2:27 he says, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.”

When King Belshazzar offers Daniel purple clothing and a gold chain (ancient bling) for reading the writing on the wall, Daniel says, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else.  Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.” (Daniel 5:17).  Daniel could have profited off of God, but again, refused the credit and spoils for himself.

Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all refused to blend in with the Babylonian culture and continued to worship the one true God, at all costs.

To me, this is no easy task.  We are annointed and set apart and yet we are looking more and more like everyone else.  What does it look like for us Christians in America to worship Jesus whole heartedly and yet still reach those around us?

We need to stop sugar-coating the Gospel, stop worrying about ruining friendships, stop seeking innovative evangelism tools, take it easy on the number of ministries, and stop worrrying about creating effective methods of injecting Christ into people and just be still and know that He is God.  The rest will come naturally.  His love and laws will be written on our heart and his message of hope, a fire shut up in our bones, that we will be unable to contain the the good news.

Obviously, I believe that relevance in sharing the Gospel is tricky.  It is difficult to simply use the Bible to preach to unbelievers who don’t consider the Bible to be accurate, absolute truth.  Jesus used stories about farming and fishing to share the Good News with who?…farmers and fishers!  But something to consider is Christ did not water down his message…he did not fight the wars of this world with the weapons of this world.

I share the Gospel less and less in my relationships and for that I am ashamed.  In San Francisco, a kid from the youth group I was working with came back and was telling me a story about a homeless man he had met on the street that afternoon. The following is a rough sketch of my conversation with the kid.

Kid: “Oh man! This guy we met, his name was John.  He was so cool.  He talked a lot too!  We kept trying to ask him if he needed help and if we could buy him anything, but he wasn’t really listening to us….he just kept talking and talking.”

Me: “Oh ok, well what was he going on and on about?”

Kid: “He was so excited to tell us about his dad!”

Me: ***speechless***ready to cry***humbled***

Here this guy was, aching to tell the world about how great his dad was.  My prayer is for us to have that same fervor and abandonment of anything else, to tell the world about our DAD…our Father in Heaven.

Acts 20: 20-21  “Yet I never shrank from telling you the truth, either publicly or in your homes.  I have had one message for Jews and Gentiles alike – the necessity of turning from sin and turning to God, and of faith in our Lord Jesus.

Preach boldly, hold one another accountability with fiery, don’t shy away from conflict.  Lay your life down for your faith. I’m scared that I’m not doing that for you gentlemen. We’re wavering too often and coming up short too many times for any of us to say we’re doing a good enough job. I apologize.

Peter, Do you love me?

Bjorn, Do you love me?

Matthew, Do you love me?

Mike, Do you love me?

Harrison, Do you love me?

Do you love me beyond emotions? Beyond highs and lows? Will you be there for me when I call upon you? Through thick and thin?

I’ll be there for you.

Thanks Jesus for the example. John 21:15-19

John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. John 16:23b The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request becaues you use my name.

Dang, What an easy way to simplify life. Why don’t we do it? Because we’re scared of living a life so close to the Lord. We’re afraid of what life will look like if we ask God to remove the sin from our lives. God, please remove cursing from my life, in Jesus’ name. With that prayer, there are no longer excuses. Think of the revival that would occur if we each prayed a similar prayer.

There’s a challenge in there for you.

John 14: 14-15 “When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him king, so he went higher into the hills alone.

John 7: 1-9Jesus wants to chill and the disciples want him to go to the party.

This is what I’m feeling. Jesus recognized the need to retreat and refuel from others, from friends, and from the party. He knew that intimacy with the Father is a one on one thing. He did not want distractions so he excused himself and met the only way that makes sense. I honestly can’t remember the last time I retreated to be alone and silenced myself in prayer; I’m talking about the type of prayer where you just listen to his still small voice…I need that and ask that you pray for me. Pray and God will know who you are praying for.  Thank you.