My First Sermon (2009)

The following message was delivered at House of Prayer IBC in 2009.

“It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.

10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (Daniel 6:1-10 NIV)

God doesn’t call us to be anonymous faces in a crowd. He calls us to stand out. He calls us to be lights in the world and to live in a way that draws peoples’ attention to Him. God doesn’t want secret agents. He wants bold disciples who will jump at every opportunity to demonstrate their faith in public, and sometimes in risky ways. Throughout your life you’re going to face situations that demand you either stand up for God or conceal your relationship with Him. Daniel faced this choice when the king of Babylon made it illegal and punishable by death to pray to anyone but him. Daniel who was well-known as a man of prayer and a follower of God, was faced with a choice: He could stop praying or he could risk his life by continuing to pray faithfully. Daniel chose to make a bold stand for God by continuing to pray; as a result, he was arrested and sentenced to death. What about you? Do you have it in you to stand up and say, “I will obey God; and if you’ve got a problem with that, bring it on because I’m ready to go all the way for God!”?

Also, God will reward you for keeping yourself pure. Read 1:1-21 and you’ll find that Daniel took his commitment to keep himself pure seriously. No amount of pressure could make him cave in.

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