Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?...Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, even then in this will I be confident...wait and hope for the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”
God does not say today, ‘Be strong’;
He knows your strength is spent;
He knows how long the road has been,
How weary you have grown,
For He who walked the earthly roads alone,
Each bogging lowland, and each rugged hill,
Can understand, and so He says, ‘Be still,
And know that I am God.’ The hour is late,
And you must rest awhile, and you must wait
Until life’s empty reservoirs fill up
As slow rain fills an empty upturned cup.
Hold up your cup, dear child, for God to fill.
He only asks today that you be still.”
Grace Noll Crowell
“Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Today’s Study Text:
“My God hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me.”
“Earthly Power Versus Heavenly Purpose “ Part 33
“He’s My God” Part B
“How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our heavenly Father knows us completely. No talebearer can inform on us, no enemy can make an accusation stick; no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.”
A. W. Tozer
How does it make me feel to know that when I am faced with challenges in my life that my God already has a plan laid out to come to my rescue?
“He who counts the stars and calls them by their names, is in no danger of forgetting His own children. He knows your case as thoroughly as if you were the only creature He ever made, or the only (person) He ever loved.”
C. H. Spurgeon
“Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for Himself is love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God; for it will also give ourselves, and carry with it all that is ours.”
Standing at the den filled with lions, King Darius had to have breathed a sigh of relief when greeted by his friend Daniel, “O king, live for ever” (Daniel 6: 21, K.J.V.). True to his past gracious behavior, Daniel spoke honorably to the Medo-Persian leader. But Daniel didn’t stop with this cordial “Hello.” He continued to focus on the result of his night with the lions. And for the next few days, we will carefully study Daniel 6: 22, a passage filled with glorious nuggets of evidence that Daniel’s closest relationship was not with an earthly king but with his heavenly King.
Daniel 6: 22 begins with two words: “My God.” While still in the den of lions; while conversing with King Darius, Daniel opened his heart and with his voice revealed that the God of heaven and earth was not some mere acquaintance…some far off deity who every once in awhile checked in to see how His far away beings on earth were doing. Rather, Daniel disclosed the certainty of his relationship with Almighty God, Jehovah.
“My God,” was how Daniel spoke about his heavenly Father. What a tender way to address the Almighty. As the simple word “my” is defined in this passage, “my” means “affectionate, polite, and familiar.” To address someone in this way is to shine a light on the close, shared feelings of individuals. In the words of Brother Roger, “All God can give us is His love; and this love becomes tangible – a burning of the soul – it sets us on fire to the point of forgetting ourselves.” This is why Daniel could say: “My God.” No wonder he cried out, “My God.” Indeed, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was Daniel’s God – just as He is your God and my God. As we learned in Daniel 1, the captives chosen by the Babylonian ruler, King Nebuchadnezzar, represented the best of the “children of Israel.” Daniel and his companions were “of the king’s seed and of the princes. Children in whom was no blemish, but well favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace” (Daniel 1: 3, 4, K.J.V.).
The qualities Daniel possessed; the education he received in his family; gave this young pillar for God not only an earthly education but heavenly insight as well. Thus, when facing the trials of life, which could have easily shaken the foundation upon which he stood, Daniel found that his God was a refuge and stronghold. His God was always at his side whether Daniel could see Him or not. As Meister Eckhart so beautifully states: “He (she) knows God rightly who knows Him everywhere.” Whether standing before earthly rulers revealing the hidden meanings to nightly dreams or standing in a den in the midst of lions, Daniel’s God was still “My God” – an intimate friend whose companionship was ever-present no matter the circumstances.
As I was reflecting on Daniel’s witness before rulers of this earth, my thoughts turned to words penned by Jim Elliot, a 28-year-old Christian missionary who undertook the challenge, along with 4 other Christian friends, to enlist in the service of “My God,” to the Quechua Indians in Ecuador who ended up savagely killing the group.
“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on Earth! I care not if I never raise my voice again for Him, if only I may love Him, please Him. Maybe in His mercy He shall give me a host of children that I may lead them through the vast star fields to explore His delicacies who finger ends set them to burning. But if not, if only I may see Him, touch His garments, smile into His eyes – ah, then, not stars, not children shall matter, only Himself.”
Because Daniel chose to worship in the presence of “His God” every day – three times a day – he was able to say without a doubt “O king, it was ‘My God’ who was with me.” It has been ‘My God’ who has walked with me through every trial in Babylon and here in Medo-Persia.” “’My God’ is with me now and forever. He has never left me alone.” May we never forget that Daniel’s God is our very same God. For truly we can say, with our hearts filled with gratitude: “My God!”
One of my most-loved hymns, penned by Fanny J. Crosby in 1875 is the favorite, “Draw Me Nearer.” I am especially fond of the last verse:
“O the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer,
And with Thee, ‘My God,’
I commune as friend to friend.”
As the great friend of God, A. W. Tozar points out “When we sing, ‘Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,’ we are not thinking of the nearness of place, but of the nearness of relationship. It is for increasing degrees of awareness that we pray, for a more perfect consciousness of the divine Presence. We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thought.”
Like Daniel, as we draw nearer to our heavenly Father, close to His Presence in all we do, whether we are showered with untold blessings or find ourselves like Joseph or Daniel, in a darkened pit, surrounded by who knows what, we will be able to say, “’My God’ is here with me.”
Best of all, God is with us.”
“God is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone!”
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.”
For God So Loved Us
“For God so loved us,
He sent the Savior;
For God so loved us,
And loved me too.
He bade me welcome,
O word of mercy;
He bade me welcome,
O voice divine.
Glory and honor,
O Love eternal,
To Him be given
While life shall last.
Love so unending!
I’ll sing His praises,
God loves His children,
Loves even me.”
“For this is how God loved the world;
He gave His only Son, so that everyone
who believes in Him may not perish
but may have eternal life.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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