But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.” Daniel 1:8-10
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Philippians 3:7-10
So, this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:17-24
Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. Colossians 3:5-10
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Through our redemption in Christ, God has taken up residence within our human spirit. The more the Spirit of God becomes established in us, the more we learn to walk by the Spirit so that the “new self” predominates over the “old self.” That sounds like an “On Top of the World” kind of thing, doesn’t it? It really is all about our lives lining up with God’s desires for us and not how we fit in or compare with others. God is in the business of ordering our lives from the inside out through the ministering work of His Spirit. Daniel was able to say “yes” to God and “no” to the pressure he was facing. Notice in the passages above all the things God enables us to say “no” to when we continually say “yes” to him and the work He wants to do in us and through us. This is very much a part of having an “On Top of the World” kind of life.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I know that my new self is you living in me by means of the Holy Spirit. Help me to say “yes” to you over, and over again and “no” to the sinful tendencies of my old self. For your sake and that of your kingdom, I want to abide in your strength so that like Daniel of old I can be on top of the world. I love you and worship you, Lord. Amen!
Posted on Tue, March 28, 2017
by Ken Hart