In the message “Without Compromise” we saw three young Jewish men face the ultimate test of their convictions. When the king threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace if they did not bow to a golden image, the three calmly refused to compromise; “We will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:18).
These three men had learned the importance of convictions when they were first brought as captives to Babylon. They were selected, along with another young man named Daniel, for a special program to prepare them to serve the Babylonian king. One of the “benefits” of this program was being fed choice food and drink from the king’s table. But Daniel knew these special favors were designed to pull them into a culture that did not honor God.
“Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”
Although Daniel was determined not to partake in the ways of his captives, his initial approach was to graciously ask permission for himself and his friends to follow their convictions. Daniel was resolved, but he also knew the importance of serving God through his interaction with other people.
Daniel continued to minister in this foreign land for over sixty years. He was a respected advisor to four different kings and taught them many lessons about the One True God. During this time, his faith was severely tested and he often faced great pressures to adopt the value system of ungodly people. But Daniel was prepared with a resolve that he would continue to follow God and God alone.
Many of us live in an environment which is hostile to the ways of God. Some are in work environments which actively promote ungodly activities and strike down those who even mention God. Many more of us face subtle hostilities from a world system which calls faith a crutch for the weak and uneducated, and teaches a truth which is relative and continually changing. Many ministry leaders even face pressures to dilute the gospel truth in the name of a distorted view of grace and tolerance, or the perceived need for increased membership.
We must be firm in our resolve not to defile ourselves by compromising our convictions or lowering our standards – our lives as well as our message must remain true to God’s Word. But we must also be gentle as we keep the doors open for the opportunity to minister and shine His light into the darkness. Our convictions must stand; and yet, they must be implemented with true grace and compassion. Let’s show the world around us the unfailing and never-changing love of God through a firm and gentle resolve.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
May 11 1 Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:47-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3