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It’s hard to believe it’s the start of a whole ‘nother week today. God has been doing some amazing things- and here’s some pictures to prove it!
Here’s where you come in: If you have any stories or pictures from other routes, or ANYTHING at all, I want it! So far I’ve only been able to speak from Lower Wacker’s point of view, but I KNOW that God’s working miraculously everywhere else, I just need to hear it!
If you have anything to contribute, send them my way: email@example.com !
This week at CB we started going through Daniel. Josh (The One Who Jumps and Claps) explained alittle how Daniel and his friends, exiled in Babylon, were determined to obey God’s commands even in a foreign country. They were set apart, and they acted like it. We talked alittle about why it was a big deal to live differently day-in and day-out, in the little things- whether it be in Daniel’s time, or in the twenty-first century.
In return, it says in chapter 1, verse 17 and 19-20: “To these four young men, God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds… The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hanananiah, Mischael, and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”
Hearing that, how much they were rewarded by God- wisdom, understanding, knowledge, the ability to interpret dreams- you would think they did some huge, impactful, life-or-death thing. In reality, it’s almost directly the opposite. “Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mischael, and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.” [Daniel 1:11-14]
To me, this seems like (let me just say it) foolishness. They’re in a foreign country, the country they have been defeated by and their people are oppressed under. These guys have been dragged out of their homeland and put into the PALACE- a priveledge! When I read this, I was amazed at their boldness. Pick your battles, Daniel! Don’t try to rock the boat so soon… it’s just food- what’s the big deal?
But in reality, it was a big deal. It was a big deal to GOD. There were atleast three things wrong with the food of the Babylonians, especially the meat of the king.
1. Because they ate unclean beasts, which were forbidden by the Jewish law.
2. Because they ate, as did the heathens in general, beasts which had been strangled, or not properly blooded.
3. Because the animals that were eaten were first offered as victims to their gods.
Daniel put God’s law first, even in the small things.
As for me, I struggle with honesty. I’ve said this a million, billion, trillion times… but there comes a time when the saying stops and the doing begins. Confessing “I am a liar” does little but reveal the problem. Although a good first step- a first step only.
And it’s not the big things I lie about- it’s the small things. That I’m working on some homework when I’m mostly on facebook. That I studied for a test when I hadn’t. That I’ve been somewhere or done something just so the conversation will continue. A fudge in the details of a story to make it more interesting. Why do I do this? I try to justify them with the argument- It’s not a big deal, they’re just little things. Little things? Big things to God?
I would be the one who’d be eating the royal food in Daniel. It’s the one thing to WANT to do the right, bold, courageous, gutsy things… I’d shrug, say “Sounds awesome, I wish-” but then shovel another bite into my mouth.
The little things MATTER! It’s those things the people we’re with see. It’s those things that will determine whether you’re real and authentic, or you’re just a talking-not-walking Christ-claimer.
The little things matter They can hurt people or help people; tear them down or build them up. Danile did the right thing down to the food he ate. HE did it because it mattered to God- and that was important to him.
When did that fail to be important to us?
Josh, in closing, reminded us about the Columbine, where the shooters put a gun to the head of a seventeen-year-old girl and asked her if she was a Christian. When she said yes, they killed her.
“If we’re honest, most of us would say yes if faced by that shooter. Most Christians will say yes in the big things. But what about the little ones? Whether it be getting out of our depressions and finally accepting the hope of God, or doing the things we NEED to do to CHANGE, or saying “no” to something we always say “yes” to-”
The little things are the things that make us or break us. It’s the thing that labels us “Liars” or “Compulsive Truth-Tellers”, “Christ-Claimers” or “Christ-followers”, “Attempters” or “Victors”…
I WANT TO BE A DANIEL!