Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! ”I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” Daniel 6:25-27
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16
Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. 1 Peter 2:12
Daniel was truly letting his good deeds shine and keeping his behavior honorable as he lived out his life in a foreign setting along with multitudes of other Jewish people who were living in captivity subsequent to being conquered by the Babylonians. The passages above reveal the impact of lives lived well by God's people on the culture around them. When we live out our faith the people around us see the God of our faith and then respond to him personally. King Darius comes to the point where he recoginizes the God of Daniel as the living God who endures forever. In the Matthew passage everyone will praise your heavenly Father. And in the 1 Peter passage unbelieving neighbors will give honor to God. In addition, those whose lives our lives impact see how God takes care of us. King Darius speaks of Daniel's God rescuing Daniel from "the power of lions."
The impact of our lives often works in the opposite way as well. As we live out our faith before the people of the culture in which we live, there will be opposition. The opposition of other leaders who were jealous of Daniel is the backdrop for how it happened that King Darius speaks of Daniel's God rescuing Daniel from "the power of lions." What an exciting picture of our lives all this paints for us. We walk with the living God. He empowers our lives so that the impact of our faith touches the world around us. Some are drawn to the living God and others react. Either way we see the hand of God at work and we are blessed. What a thrill to see people drawn to God as he works through us and what wonder to see God work for us as he delivers us like Daniel from "the power of lions."
Lord, help us be immersed in the reality of the words of the Lord's Prayer: "Yours is the kingdom and the power and glory for ever." This business of life is all about you, Lord, and not us, so grant that our eyes are on you and not on ourselves. May the words of King Darius be our heartbeat: "For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people." Thank you for how you work on our behalf. You make it possible for our lives to have a good impact in the first place. So, we surrender to you Lord in all you are doing to bring that about. And of course we trust you Lord with both the favorable responses and unfavorable reactions that come our way. Truly Lord, you are the God who delivers from "the power of lions."
Posted on Mon, February 9, 2015
by Ken Hart