The Depths of Love–Daniel 4 Final

The King was unwilling to acknowledge God’s power and authority. While he understood who God was, he refused to yield to his leadership. The King was going to prove to Daniel who was boss—and he did. He was stripped of all he had and made to live like a wild beast. Nothing within the strongest empire of all time could alter God’s judgement, nothing bit a change of heart.

Nebuchadnezzar woke up after 7 years of rebellion and repented. He surrendered to God and an amazing thing happened. He was restored and his kingdom returned to him. The onlydifferent in his life was the knowledge that he controlled nothing—It was God almighty that ruled—but, in his rule he granted true freedom.          .

In our lives, we struggle with turning things over to God. Whether it is because of pride or fear, we roam around like the King making little sense of our lives. Then, when we finally acknowledge his lordship, we are restored and find the freedom of knowing we do not control our lives we simply journey in his peace and protection truly free from all that entangles us. Then we are once again free to see life as it is and we can experience God’s love and peace for the rest of the journey.

God Bless You

 All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

31 Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. 32 You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”

33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

The Dream–Daniel 4 Part 2

Nebuchadnezzar was not unlike a lot of people. He had several brushes with God. He grew from a place where God had no meaning to the realization that God was a power to be reckoned with. But now, He and God were coming to a head on collision. Nebuchadnezzar had grown prosperous because of the blessings God provided and while in his head the king knew it, his heart was not convinced.

God was patient and decided to give the king a final chance, or two. He sent him a dream, he sent him Daniel and he sent him a last warning—decide finally who will be God in your life…me or you.

In modern day, we face the same struggle. We have multiple brushes with God and find him to be amazing. But we, like the King, have to make a personal choice on who will be God in our lives. We are fortunate that God is patient, but, we will experience his peace and power—only when we allow him to be Lord. Joshua said it best, “Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me andy house, we will serve the Lord.”

God Bless You

 

“‘While I was lying in my bed, this is what I dreamed. I saw a large tree in the middle of the earth.

The tree grew very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see.

It had fresh green leaves, and it was loaded with fruit for all to eat. Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. All the world was fed from this tree.

“‘Then as I lay there dreaming, I saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven.

The messenger shouted,“Cut down the tree and lop off its branches!Shake off its leaves and scatter its fruit!Chase the wild animals from its shadeand the birds from its branches.

But leave the stump and the roots in the ground,bound with a band of iron and bronzeand surrounded by tender grass.Now let him be drenched with the dew of heaven,and let him live with the wild animals among the plants of the field.

For seven periods of time,let him have the mind of a wild animalinstead of the mind of a human.

For this has been decreed by the messengers;it is commanded by the holy ones,so that everyone may knowthat the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world.He gives them to anyone he chooses—even to the lowliest of people.”

“‘This is what the dream means, Your Majesty, and what the Most High has declared will happen to my lord the king.

You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like a cow, and you will be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.

But the stump and roots of the tree were left in the ground. This means that you will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=daniel4:10-17,24-26&version=NLT

The Dream King–Daniel 4 Part 1

Nebuchadnezzer was the dream king. Nebuchadnezzar enlisted the Isrealite captives due to Daniel’s interpreting of a dream. Now many years later, the king is being signaled by God again. It is once again—a dream that sets the king on edge. He is beside himself with anguish; so after he tries everything else, he calls for God’s man–Daniel. He had changed Daniel’s name to Belteshazzar—because Daniel reminded him of God and his presence.

It is clear that even from the introduction, the dream impacted this mighty king. So much so, that he wants the world to know about it and its effect upon him and his kingdom. He also wants the world to know that our God is the one true God.

As we follow the Lord, we should be aware of God and his presence–as was Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar. He should be in our thoughts and a part of our daily life. As God is, He will change our view of the world, our expectations of others and our need to be ruler in our own lives. We will come to a place where we acknowledge–He is Lord and master of our lives and our journey. Then, we will experience the joy and peace that only he can provide. Then we will want to share him with the world.

God Bless You

[a]King Nebuchadnezzar,

To the nations and peoples of every language, who live in all the earth:

May you prosper greatly!

It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.

How great are his signs,     how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;     his dominion endures from generation to generation.

I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers[b] and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)

 

Please Come Out of That Fire–Daniel 3 Final

Well, God did what God does–He saved his chosen and showed their faith was justified. It had to be a little awkward for the king to politely ask these men to come out of the flames that had just killed his soldiers. 

When they exited the furnace, they were, of course, untouched by the fire. Nebuchadnezzar was humbled, but, with great grace–he freed the men and submitted himself and his empire to God’s authority. They were promoted and God was glorified! 

In our lives, our faith can do the same. As God’s word shows time after time, when we submit to God’s leadership, He protects, provides and prepares us for eternity. We may encounter severe trials and testing–but, He will not forsake us or dishonor His name. What’s more, the more consistently we promote God and our faith in Him, the more consistently He blesses and exalts us. Conversely, the more the world attempts to undermine and discredit Him, the more they are humbled and shown to be ridiculous.

We must simply continue to walk by faith and allow the Lord to complete the work He has begun in us. When He does, He will bless us and show Himself as the almighty God. Our enemies may think they have defeated us and dishonored God, but, in the end, He will show our choice to be right and His name to be above every name!

Merry Christmas and God Bless You 

Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire.

Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.

 

But Even If He Doesn’t–Daniel 3 Continued

Daniel’s sidekicks did not lack faith. Even as the giant furnace roared, and the most powerful leader on earth confronted them, they had no question regarding what they would do—trust the Lord. What is more, while they believed that God could deliver them from their fate, they were quite clear—EVEN IF HE DOES NOT!!!—they would not yield their faith. Most that follow God are willing to trust him for a specific outcome; but, few are willing to trust him no matter what the outcome is.

In our daily walks, we are faced with countless choices to trust God or not. In those times, we see his hand guiding and directing our path and often choose to trust him for the specific outcome that makes sense to us. The turning point in our faith is that moment when given the choice, we trust God NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME—it is usually then that God shines brightest, and we see the amazing plan for our lives. Faith is believing God and trusting him without reservation or preconceived plans. Help me Lord to trust you—whatever the outcome is.

God Bless You

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Stand Up For What You Believe–Daniel 3 Part 2

Daniel’s friends had stood beside him since the start. They followed him on the diet, they prayed with him about the dream; now It was a time for them to stand on their own. When the trumpets sounded , they refused to bow for Nebuchadnezzar’s image. All the local men were thrilled. These upstart Hebrews had risen through the ranks and were top officials of the king. Now they were in for it. They were brought before the King—now the king would show them, or would he?

 When placed in the middle between God and culture, it really is a no-brainer, side with God. He is eternal, all powerful, all knowing and committed to us his chosen. When we choose the culture– it is destructive from the inside out. We lose our very core, then the outside is easy to destroy. These men knew the core of their faith would carry them through whatever the king had in mind. We need to cling to that confidednce and follow him through this chaotic and politically correct world. Seek him and him only– and we will have an amazing Journey!

 

God Bless You

 

At this time some astrologers[b] came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

How Soon We Forget–Daniel 3 Part 1

After struggling with the dream and threatening the lives of his wise men and magicians, Nebuchadnezzar declared the God of the Israelites as the true God—BUT, then he immediately built the statue described in his dream. Building the statue was not nearly as bad as then forcing everyone to bow down to it—him. The mighty miracle he had just experienced had no real effect on him as a selfish and godless leader. He set himself up as superior to any god in the empire. It was ok for people to worship other gods…well, as long as they bowed down to him daily. As outrageous as that sounds, it is no different to the sin that affected everyone else—Nebuchadnezzar simply wanted everyone to see him as the center of the universe.

In 2015, that only happens almost every day. Many people set themselves up as the center of their universe and demand the world to revolve around them. The way we each approach our world with our I-this and I-that, is a serious study in self-promotion. We love selfies and Snapchat. We expect to be served at every place we visit. We have no tolerance for mistakes and no patience for delay—We want it perfect and now. In truth, Nebuchadnezzar only expected the people to bow down one time a day, we expect continuous deference.

God wants his people to worship him—not themselves. He asks us to live humbly, faithfully and focused on eternity, not on the now. If we do, we may not need to be the center of the universe. In fact, we may simply put God there. As we do, he promises he will make our eternity amazing and our now full and meaningful—a life with purpose and promise. Thank You Lord that you are the one true God!

God Bless You

King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.

Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

Fruit of Faith–Daniel 2 Final

When the king heard the dream and its interpretation, he was not only pleased with the answer—but truly impressed by God. Daniel’s faithfulness produced a genuine change in the Godless King. Often, God’s people, when they are faithful, produce life change in themselves and others. Israel was to be a kingdom of priests. In that role, the world was to be made different through their honor and faithfulness. Sadly, It was Israel’s lack of faithfulness that drove them into captivity and before this King. Daniel, however, remained faithful—his trust in God, was already changing the lives of he and his friends—but now it would impact the entire known world.

In our lives, we have opportunity to trust God. When we do, he not only blesses us, but he also influences the world. When we do this amazing journey, it is incumbent on us to remember—that it is not about us. Our walk changes us and conforms us into his image and it influences the world to want to walk with him. We do not have to be preachers like Billy Graham or missionaries like Jim Elliot to change the world, we simply need to be faithful each day—like Daniel. Help me, Lord to remain faithful like your man Daniel.

God Bless You

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.

Five Empires–Daniel 2 Continued

The King’s dream was simply a forecast of the history of the world. God showed Nebuchadnezzar the great world powers. 1. Babylon—the greatest empire that assimilated its vanquished and improved their lots by educating them and bringing their young into positions of power. 2. Persia (Medes and Persians)—each arm represented the two facets of the empire. It was more clever than Babylon—but its arrogance was its demise, 3 Greece—Torso also strong but like bronze more utilitarian. Greece was an empire that gutted it out. They overcame the Persian Empire and ran through the world but it was an empire for the common man. 4. Roman Empire–Rome was an empire of strength—iron hard, but without any elegance. It ruled with brute force and fear. That leaves the 5th and final empire, yet to come. There have been several attempts—England, France and Germany have taken a shot at ruling the world, but none have yet achieved the level of the empires of old.

In the years to come, there will be a last empire—It will resemble the empires of old, but man will not defeat it—God will. When God defeats that empire, many think it will be the time when his people will again and finally rule the world. The new heaven and the new earth. It is that hope, that allows these most hopeless of times to be endurable. Could we be facing the a future battle of Armageddon? Only God knows! The awesome answer is not only does he know, but, he has known since the beginning of time. I cannot imagine a greater God to lead me on this journey—all knowing, all powerful and in all places and times at once. As Nebuchadnezzar realized—He is the God of gods!

God Bless You

 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.

31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

Dream Weaver–Daniel 2 Continued

God armed Daniel with all he needed to reveal the truth to the King. No other wise man or magician in the entire Babylonian empire had been chosen or prepared to begin the adventure Daniel faced. As he approached his executioner—Daniel went with the same faith that led him to Babylon, that made him remain kosher in his diet, that made him stop the massive execution of all the wise men and magicians. Now after prayer, God had revealed to Daniel—the answer that would save him and his friends, but would also change the heart of an empire.

In our lives, we all make daily choices that prepare us for opportunities to influence the world. We never know whether we will be the next Daniel, Gideon, Peter, John or Esther. None of the listed heroes woke up knowing their choices would be so huge—but, all knew their God would be. In our lives, we have to live knowing our God would definitely have the power to change the world. In addition, we must believe we are the vessels he chooses to use to complete hs plan, Then, as we make the journey—we do so ready to be used and faithful to the end. Paul said it best, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and have kept the faith!” 2 Timothy 4:7

God Bless You

Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”

Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”

The king said to Daniel also known as Belteshazzar, “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”

Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret.

But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.