Pastora Mercedes Miranda

Resolve to live in Integrity

every single day each one of us is

required to make many decisions some are

very cotillion very simple and others

carry a lot more weight and have you

ever stopped to think if your actions

matter to God does what you do the

decisions you make how you handle your

affairs does God think of those and have

an opinion of how how you move in your

life and of course what's the answer to

that yes of course he does mind he

doesn't matter about what decisions and

how we act in life and the Bible says

that he created us in His image and

likeness each one of us is not just one

more being on the earth doing their own

individual thing minding their own

business and living a somewhat

meaningful life that's that's not who we


we are God created it created us to be

much more he has put in us destiny and

purpose and and he is a God that has

equipped us in many ways so he does care

how we handle our lives in a very

intimate way he wouldn't have invested

so much in us not to care right that

doesn't make any sense he does care

about the way we live and there's a

verse in some 37 that says if the Lord

delights in a man's way or a woman's way

he makes his steps or her steps firm

though he or she stumble they will not

fall for the Lord upholds him with his

hand and Daniel is one of my favorite

Bible characters as a young child I was

fascinated by hid the stories in the

Book of Daniel and one beautiful thing

is that Daniel because of his behavior

the like the verse says

because of his ways he provoked the

blessing of God what a thought that with

our behavior we provoke God's blessing

as as a verse says that the way he lived

you know taking Daniel s example

provoked that the Lord delight in him

that he made his steps firm that the

Lord strengthen him so that he would not

fall under the pressures of life and he

provoked the Lord

Daniel provoked the Lord to keep him

close and in his safe hand imagine that

and that promise is not just for others

it's for each one of us we can provoke

the Lord's blessing in our lives so

let's go to Daniel we're going to mostly

focus on the on chapter 1 verses 1 to 20

first but we will also touch on other

verses in in his story and the first few

verses of chapter 1 the Book of Daniel

set up the context in which Daniel came

to Babylon many of you know his story

but it tells us that Nebuchadnezzar and

that's a mouthful I had to practice a

lot Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon

and and possibly he was the most

powerful King in the earth the world of

his time he conquered Judah this

imperial Imperial King not only killed

or deported the inhabitants of Judah but

he also destroyed the city and Solomon's

Temple which was the pride and joy of

the people of Judah and he displayed his

despise for the God of the Jews by

taking the Articles dedicated to the

Lord that were in the Lord's temple and

taking them to Babylon and placing them

for the worship of his own gods in his

God's temple specifically his favorite

God's temple

Nebuchadnezzar adopted also the policy

of bringing and listing the most

promising young people of

lands that he conquered training them

and bringing them to Babylon to serve in

his court these young men

says in Daniel 1:4 there's the

qualifications that they needed to have

young men without any physical defect

handsome showing aptitude for every kind

of learning well-informed quick to

understand and qualified to serve in the

king's palace so they were to be trained

for three years and it was a very

rigorous and demanding training it was a

pagan education to serve in a pagan

society and at the end of those three

years they would be tested by the king


imagine all the pressure that these

young people had so verse tells six

tells us among these were some from

Judah and it lists their names Daniel

Hananiah Mishael and Azariah so these

four teenagers that were born and raised

in Judah where they had learned to

worship the God of Israel find

themselves in a completely foreign

society completely foreign environment

that they were not prepared to live in

they have been plucked out of everything

familiar to them just just put yourself

in their shoes they have been taken away

from everything that was familiar

they have lost contact with their

families their parents their other

relatives might have been killed by neck

Nebuchadnezzar or they might have been

deported in exile you know somewhere

else that they nobody knew they had lost

their faith community and had no hope of

having one in Babylon and although there

is some debate about this it is

suspected that they were also castrated

made eunuchs what what a thought you

know they really went they had a lot of

trials and tribulations to adapt to this

new society where they were living now

and if this were not enough even their

names were changed their names were

rejected and

they were changed to new names because

Nebuchadnezzar wanted a full immersion

of the Hebrew young children in this

pagan society of Babylon verse 7

continues to say the Sheep official gave

them new names to Daniel the name builds

Chasseur to Hananiah Shadrach to

Michelle Michelle and to Azariah

Abednego their Hebrew God honoring names

you know that each one of those names

has a part of it has the name of God you

know so their names were God honoring

names and what they wanted to do was to

erase their allegiance to the work to

the God of Israel and instead give them

give them a new name a pagan name that

would kind of set the worldview of

Babylon over them you know even in their

names so Daniels name just an example

which means God is my judge that's what

Daniel means God is my judge

he's changed to build Sasser which means

Bell a Babylonian God protects the king

Bell protects the king a very different

name from the one he had before and

there's nothing new Under the Sun we

know that at least justice says so and

we know it by experience and although it

is clear that Daniel and his three

friends we're in a situation a lot more

extreme than we are that we have today

that we're living in today we still have

to recognize that there are many

pressures of our secular society that

are there have some similarities with

the ones that Daniel faced and in his

time from the beginning of humankind

what has been stays Satan's strategy his

strategy has always been to separate us

from the true living merciful God that

provides has the power to give salvation

eternal salvation and an abundant life

here that has been his strategy from

from day one we know that from the

Garden of Eden that's what he has been

doing all along he doesn't mind

creating our own gods worshipping

anything that's not the true God he

doesn't mind even and we have very

sophisticated and illuminated ideas as

long as they don't as they don't point

to the Living God you know that is his

strategy and we have to recognize that

we live in a in a world of competing

ideas and worldviews you turn on the TV

you turn on your computer you anything

your child is playing a game on their

little you know tablet or whatever and

what the there's influences there in

every single thing that surrounds us

that competes or or that is in

opposition I rather say to the Christian

worldview and what is a worldview it's

the way a person sees and understands

their world and it so it it in it guides

or influences or informs our values

choices our behavior and even the way

that we define what's good and what's

evil everything everything in in our

system belief system is influenced by

our worldview and we all have one you

might say well maybe I don't have one or

but if you if you took the time to

examine yourself you would understand

yes I do have a worldview and sometimes

it's not a 100 percent Christian

worldview and what happens is that there

is an increasing globalized and

connected world that we are exposed to

on a daily basis like I said through

everything that we listen to everything

that we see it's it's there's competing

ideas and and some of these are ideas

can come into our own Christian

worldview in subtle ways and change the

way we think so that we adopt a system a

belief system that is maybe not fully

Christian in an article written last

year barniz research group reported that

only 17

percent of Christians and they define

Christians as people who consider their

faith important and attend church

regularly it's kind of a loose

definition right but that's what they

had to work with so they reported that

only 17% of people who define themselves

as Christians actually have a biblical

worldview this means that according to

this research if you do the math

eighty-three percent of people who

identify themselves as Christians in the

United States agree with ideas that are

rooted in non-christian belief systems

like new spirituality or what we used to

be called the new age or post-modernism

or any secular view of course you know

what happens according to their research

there is a certain demographic group

that is more prone to accept those

beliefs then than others and of course

Millennials and the Generation Xers are

the ones that are that they they found

out that they were eight times more

likely to accept these views than people

that had that were from previous

generations and why is that because they

have been exposed to a less

Christianized United States it's logical

right so this indicates that many people

who profess a belief in Jesus Christ

have allowed ideas that are inconsistent

with the gospel to infiltrate their

belief system and that in and we cannot

really point fingers towards somebody

else that is sometimes us well we

sometimes I know I have had to kind of

look at my ideas and and consider some

that maybe they're not exactly 100

percent Christian or a hundred percent

biblical so it's important to look at

the of those and you know examining them

these these ideas have impacted how we

view God the role that God has in our

lives and the freedom that we have to

make decisions outside of God's design

and principles

that's the you know the dangerous part

and I'll give you two very simple

examples of subtle beliefs beliefs that

have infiltrated our thinking one is I

have the right to be happy have you

heard that you know I have the right to

be happy I can do this because I have

the right to be happy we are so entitled

you know to our happiness and that's a

you know it seems like a not not a

dangerous thought but what does it do it

opposes many of the principles of

Scripture principles of love generosity

and sacrifice because then you know if

I'm if I'm entitled to my happiness I

can do whatever I do I don't have to

take in consideration other people I can

do what I want to do and that has an

impact in marriage in relationships in

the way we handle our money in many many

different areas another idea is that

what is morally right or wrong

depends on what an individual individual

person believes you've heard that too

right in other words moral values are

fluid and subjective there are no moral

absolutes as is included in you know

talk so clearly in the scriptures there

are no moral absolutes so even you know

these two apparently simple and non

dangerous or innocent ideas have creeped

into our thinking process and have had a

big impact in in our lives

although these statistics by barniz

research are you know they're very grim

in respect to the state of the church I

also am so encouraged by the many adults

and even young people who I see taking a

stand for the Lord and declaring their

their professing their love in an open

way and and you can see them you know in

in the least context inning contests for

example your there are some there that

stand up and they declare I am a child

of God and they choose the the songs

glorify the God God so you know there

are many examples in politics you know

just recently the vice president vice

president pence was ridiculed in a big

way because he he stated that he

believes in God and that God speaks to

him that he speaks to God and he was

told that he's a nut because he was

thinking that who who would in this

enlightened enlightened age think that

God speaks to us so you know there are

people out there taking a stand I hope

that we too in whatever we live do the

same thing so it is supremely important

to educate ourselves and to be aware of

the ideas that the secular society is

bombarding us with and you know I I

understand it's hard to be intentional

about examining these things it requires

time and what happens to us we are so

full of commitments we have so many

things to do that it is difficult to

really focus on ourselves and our

thinking that requires taking some alone

time and and understanding what the

world of Word of God says and and

deciding to apply it so it is a

difficult process but it is but we are

responsible for guiding you know

ourselves you know - for us to grow in

this and we are responsible for guiding

our children as they seek to understand

the world we need to understand that in

the same way that the Babylonian king

changed the Daniels and his three

friends names this that same way the

secular society is seeking to change the

Christian identity not only of us but of

our children and future generations it

is a reality there it is there's a push

to get Christians principals out of the

way and establishing a purely secular

system of beliefs in our world and so

the world is seeking to do what to

immerse us in gotten a godless value

system where God is something that's

lived our spiritual life is live

on a corner somewhere in our own private

time and it has no bearing to be in the

public eye you know and and that is has

happened in a very significant way

already and it will continue to be a

push in that direction the only antidote

that I can see for that opposes the

indoctrination of the world is what

happens in the home that's the only

antidote for that

it's that children be raised in in and

future generations also in the disciple

encoder hearts their minds and their

souls in the context of the home you

know a home that is based in prayer

where the modeling of God's principles

are applied in the in the day in and day

out in the practical things of life that

that is what really makes the difference

with and then it's with the church

coming alongside the home reinforcing

what is already taught and modeled at

home it is not the church prerogative to

raise our children it is or teach them

the principles of the Scriptures it is

the home that is where it needs to

happen and we need to invest time in

that because the time that our

children's are using in filling their

minds and their souls in other ways that

are not consistent with the scripture is

the same time that they don't have to

listen to the counsel of God and to see

his principles applied in the home this

this is I can't think of anything more

important than this that we really take

time to model the Christian values in

the home in a way that makes sense you

know according to the age of the child

and so forth and and you know I

congratulate some of many of you that

dedicate your lives also to teaching

children in the church

those of you who bring your children who

take the time and bring them to too so

that what they are already learning at

home be reinforced by what the Church

teaches so those are very good things so

our actions and our priorities at home

speak very loud for our children and

really do make a difference and as we

read before there was no part of the

four young men's training or education

that was left on planned everything

there was a plan for every aspect of

their lives including what they ate

verse 5 Daniel chapter 1 verse 5 says

the King assigned them a daily amount of

food and wine from the king's table and

look at Daniel's response to this choice

food the best food in Babylon verse 1:8

says but Daniel resolved not to defile

himself with a royal food and wine and

he asked the chief official for

permission not to defile himself this

way and again I read I repeat Daniel

resolved not to defile himself what a

powerful verse it should be a life verse

for each one of us another way of saying

it is that Daniel purposed in his heart

or made a decision based on his

commitment to do what he knew was right

before the Lord he didn't want to defile

or to contaminate himself and you wonder

where did this teenager find the

authority and the clarity of purpose

that he showed in that verse evidently

he must have learned it back in Judah

right in his home he probably saw his

parents living their faith before him

and they probably took a time to

seriously train him not only in in

practical things of life but also in

their faith Daniel also most probably

knew what the prophets had

as a matter of fact Jeremiah was a

contemporary of Daniel so maybe he heard

Jeremiah commanding the nation of Judah

to repent from their idolatry and

disobedience he must have heard the

warnings of the Lord of the destruction

of the imminent destruction of Judah if

they were to continue in their

rebellious state toward him so you know

he he had been exposed to - we can't

call it a Christian world we because

Christ was not a reality on earth at

that moment but he did have a godly

worldview the issue at hand was that

food even as delicious and an tempting

and as attractive ideas as it was

because it was the best food of the land

presented that the issue was that that

food had been presented to idols it was

a custom of the time yet before the the

king ate his food it would be presented

to idols to pagan idols and then it

would be eaten at the Kings table and

Daniel knew firsthand of the results of

his nation's disobedience he knew he had

lived through it he was he was living

the consequences of his nation's


so even as a young fourteen to seventeen

year old that's what people calculate

that he had at the time he set a

standard for his behavior in this pagan

land that now he was he had to call

forth but he had to call home it would

you know it would have been a lot easier

for him to comply and eat the food and

not make a fuss about the food it would

have been easier it would have been

easier to cave in and behind under the

pressures of his of the other young

people that probably you know in tried

to influence him to you know stop it

don't there's no that's not a big issue

let's just eat what they give us it

would have been a lot easier but what

happened his godly values and his belief

system guided him in the decision and he

acted we

integrity what an example for us you

know that such a young person could take

such a vertical stand for what he knew

was true he took a clear a very clear

moral stand before the pressures of a

pagan society Daniels behavior in this

situation is an example to all of us it

is to me and the principle is just that

firm Christian principles should precede

the decision-making and not the other

way around you know we need first to

grow in our Christian principles and

then when when situations come we can

make godly decisions that's the way it

goes we don't we don't wait to see the

fire at our door - oh I should have an X

term what you call those a fire

extinguisher I should have bought a fire

extinguisher when I was told to when I

bought this Woodhouse you know it we

have we have to there's has to be a

value system a platform from which we

behave and carry our lives some and many

people what happens we are thrown a

curve ball in life and we take the easy

road it's it's a it's a lot easier to do

that just let me do take the path of

less resistance and then and just go

with whatever comes and in its in

moments like that

like those like the one that Daniel was

experienced it that we have to know that

we know that we know what we are called

to do you know and I realize more and

more that a superficial is skin-deep

superficial religion or a religious

value system is not only not enough to

manage our lives in this world it's not

only not enough but it is also dangerous

it's very dangerous when our allegiance

to the Christian worldview is only

superficial we run the risk of acting in

ungodly ways in when you know when we're

confronted with certain circumstances

for instance how do I solve conflicts in


chips how do I maintain purity when

temptations come and buy purity not only

sexual purity purity and my finances in

the way I used my time in my thought

process how do I maintain purity when

temptations come how do I behave when I

see everyone around me

apparently everyone around me doing what

the word word of God says I am NOT to do

you know those are the questions that we

face on a regular basis and our children

our young people are facing them every


big time even from the moment they step

out of our home and get on the bus

it's a it's a reality and all of the you

that have children and/or teach children

you know that that's the way it is so

Christian conviction and worldview the

Christian worldview just doesn't happen

by accident right nothing really happens

by accident they require careful

awareness and and training let's take

the example of the training of soldiers

and of pilots you know they train on a

daily basis they read their manuals like

there's no tomorrow you know day in and

day out they cannot wait until a

challenge comes up to them oh let me see

what the manual says about this no they

have to to have it all in there in there

and it's it's a part of them when you

get on a plane for instance you are

trusting that the pilot knows what he or

she is doing right you you have to trust

otherwise you wouldn't get on that plane

recently we admired the the resolve and

the the clarity of mind of a pilot that

landed the did an emergency landed in

Philadelphia probably some of you heard

it on the news what happened the motor

and one of the motors exploded and

caught fire in midair and this woman had

the clarity of mind of landing

that plane in such a dire circumstance

you know very very dangerous those

people could have just died but she was

able to maintain her focus and put in in

plane what she had learned in pilot

school and I bet you know the people in

that plane were very grateful that she

had done a good work of training herself

right so it's the same with us in our

Christian world we we have to really

train ourselves and what is our manual

it's the Bible right and and there's a

lot of learning to do you know and I

know there are many people that are new

to to Christianity you know they're

there they're new to knowing the Lord

and it's it's hard sometimes to know

what should I do

what what am I called to do but you know

don't don't lose heart you will learn

you will learn you know the same way I

learned and everyone that has been in

the Lord for a number of years we have

learned there are many challenges that

the that life brings but you know be

absolutely clear that God was with you

and that he if he sees in you a heart

that desires to honor him he will teach

you and guide you by the hand as the

verse that we read before he will do

that so the way that Daniel approached

his request of a change of diet is also

exemplary it's also an example and a

model to us if let's read daniel 1:8

beep the second part of 8 and 2:10 he it

says that he asked the chief official

for permission not to defile himself

this way now God had counseled the

official had costs at cost the official

to show favor and sympathy to Daniel but

the official told Daniel I am afraid of

my lord the king who has a sign your

food and drink

why should he see you looking worse than

the other young men your age the king

would then have my head because of you

so the guards response is very logical

he know his King Nebuchadnezzar was

known to be a sanguinary despot

who delighted his hobby you know what

his hobby was to separate people's heads

from their shoulders that was his hobby

so he knew the garden knew what he was

coming against here and you know later

on in the story we hear of how the king

ordered the murder of thousands of

people just because no one could guess

what he had driven guests and give him

the interpretation of a dream that he

had had and had forgotten just for that

you know something totally unreasonable

and that that was in had was enough

excuse for him to kill many thousands

thousands of people it didn't happen the

Lord intervened and used Daniel but but

it was just to tell you what the Kings

attitudes were so and we also see that

behind Daniel's request to the chief

guard we see God working preparing the

way to honor Daniels faithfulness with

what with the favor of the chief of the

guards which you know again is it has to

be a miracle and it's because of what

Daniel the way Daniel acted provoked the

favor of this man but it was God's doing

the Bible is very clear that that it was

it was a gift from God so let's read

from verse 11 and on to see the strategy

that Daniel used in her in his request

because again it's an example to how we

need to conduct our business Daniel then

said to the guard whom the chief

official had appointed over Daniel and

Hananiah Mishael and Azariah this is the

request please test your servants for 10

days give us nothing but but vegetables

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

10 days so what happened here Daniel

demonstrated that he cared enough

about his request to propose a specific

plan and he did it respecting the

authorities over him he didn't get nasty

he said any foul used any foul language

or any curses he just came to them and

presented his case trusting that God's

favor was with him and what it happened

was that he dare to ask in order to be

able to act according to it so it's an

act of faith you know he knocked on the

door and gotten the Lord opened the door

for him so that he would be granted his

request of not defiling himself and the

result of Daniel and his friends

resolved not to be defiled by eating the

Royal fool is revealed in verse 15 that

there it says at the end of the ten days

they looked healthier and better

nourished than any of the young men who

ate the Royal food so God saw their

faithful heart and moved in their favor

and this reminds me of one of my

favorite verses that is in 2nd

chronicles 16:9 it's a great promise for

all of us it says for the eyes of the

Lord run to and fro throughout the whole

earth to show himself strong on behalf

of those whose heart is loyal to him

that's for you and for me too then the

Lord is looking for faithful men and

women who act according to his heart

their God honoring requests did not have

the logical result of making them pale

and undernourished

on the contrary they were you know

healthier looking and they looked much

better than all of the other children or

young men so the water the vegetable and

water experiment was successful in how

do we know it was successful because

birth verse 16

this so the guard took away their choice

food and the wine they were to drink and

gave them vegetables instead so that was

the end of that matter no more choice

food presented to them they were they

got what they wanted to have in order to

respect and honor the Lord and not only

that you know God gave them even an

extra a bonus and the bonus was to these

four young men get God gave knowledge

and understanding of all kinds of

literature and learning and Daniel could

understand visions and dreams of all

kinds so not only did they get what they

you know their immediate requests God

gave them even more and more than they

had asked for and it's the same for us

that's the way where God is his math is

not like ours it's a supernatural math

so the story continues saying that these

young men along with all the others were

presented before the king remember I

said that the the training should be it

was a three year training so at the end

of that they were presented before the

King to be tested to see if the training

had been successful and if they were

worthy of being of service to the King

and it says that 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 so they

were commissioned for the King's service

so the request for a change in diet in

order not to defile himself by eating

the spiritually contaminated food was

the first recorded exercise of faith in

Daniels book that's the first one it was

a small beginning in his faith journey

that prepared him for even bigger trials

that would come this is the first one

but there were many many others most of

you are familiar with the story of when

Daniel was thrown in

the den of lions right everybody knows

that from an early age we know we see

those pictures of Daniel in the den in

the lion's den and just to quickly

summarize when Daniel was around 80

years old and was serving under another

king he had distinguished himself so

much that the King thought of him just

so to place him in the second-most

powerful post in the land

so after him would have been the most

powerful men in the land would have been

Daniel but what happens when the Lord

promotes someone or or in a job when

someone is promoted what happens

sometimes jealousy and envy arise right

with a vengeance and that's exactly what

happens the other administrators got

very envious and jealous of Daniel and

they were seeking you know very fine

picking how to what to find you know

finding a reason to accuse Daniel before

the king of some wrongdoing wrongdoing

you know something that he had done

wrong and Daniel chapters 6 states that

they couldn't find any imagine that they

inspected him followed him for days but

they found nothing worthy of having him

accused of wrongdoing finally these men

said we will never find any basis for

charges again this man Daniel unless it

has something to do with the law of his

God you know

the demonic wisdom hmm you know acting

could it be said of you and me we cannot

accuse her of or him of anything

if someone carefully followed you or me

you know four days around us like

happened to you know Billy Graham there

were he had a very strong stance of

purity you know maintaining his purity

throughout his ministry

he had some journalists follow him

because they wanted to find him doing

something inappropriate so it is a

reality you know it does happen but you

and I if someone followed us would they

be able to say at the end of they're

following us that they found no

inconsistency or corruption in us that's

a good question

has someone protested about your

integrity instead of finding you a

willing partner in joining in in an

ungodly action you know that that's a

good thing if people around you are

protesting because you are you know too

good and and too and have too much

integrity say Amen god that's what that

that's what I want to hear and that

reality is that know it or not there are

people who are observing our behavior on

a daily basis you know those in our

family those are our neighbors our

co-workers our other church church

members as we go on the roads everywhere

there are people of serving us and and

making conclusions about our behavior

and we want to be found

non corrupt and you know and to be found

with integrity there's a a true story of

a pastor in London after preaching on a

Sunday on Monday he went he headed early

to to his office in downtown London so

he took the train got on the train

paid his fare and as he sat down to

count his fare he discovered that the

driver had given him too much change and

he counted it several times and he

confirmed that he had been giving much

more than what he was that he had to

receive so the pastor said in his seat

pondering several thoughts like and

maybe you find your you can identify

with those huh maybe the

is God's provision the Lord knows that

I'm short this week and money and he

knew that you know there was he needed

to give me some money or I didn't bring

a lunch but maybe I can this is the

Lord's provision for my lunch today

he got off the trolley to head toward

his office but was troubled by that

extra money that he has in his hands in

a moment he turned around and he fast

rushed toward the driver he handed the

extra change to the driver and he said

please take this money you by mistake

you gave me too much change and the

driver smiled and replied no pastor it

wasn't by mistake you see I visited your

church last night and heard you preach

about honesty and I decided to put you

to a test so the same way things like

that are happening to us people are

putting us to a test so going back to

the story being the evil minded people

that they were Daniels enemies devised

another plan they manipulated the King

in to uShip issuing a decree in those

times under their law they were not the

king not even the King was allowed to

cancel a decree once a decree was made

it had to follow through no matter what

so these men knew this about the

decrease it was announced so they might

manipulated the King and it was

announced by the king that anyone that

prayed to any God or man except to the

king would be thrown to the Lions Den

that was a decree and let's see how did

Daniel respond to this decree let if we

read verse 10 of chapter 6 it says now

when Daniel learned the decree had been

published he went home

to his upstairs room where the windows

opened towards Jerusalem three times a

day he got down on his knees and prayed

giving thanks to his God just as he had

done before

so Daniel heard the decree and what did

he do he did what he had been practicing

a lifetime he was he prayed God honoring

prayers to his Lord and thanked him for


the same that he had done in spite of

this new circumstance it did not face

him that he had to do anything

differently he did exactly the same that

he had been doing for many many years so

the accusing men knew exactly where to

find Daniel and what he would be doing

right they had followed him around they

knew so they went to his house they

arrested him and brought him before the

king to accuse him of the wrongdoing of

praying to another God that was not the

king and the the story says that the

king was very sad because the king loved

Daniel and mired him a lot but he could

not do anything because he had issued a

decree already and so you have read the

story you know the ending that God saved

Daniel from being the Lions lunch right

so he was safe from that and this

miracle in Daniels life impacted the

king so much that he issued a totally

opposite proclamation instead of

promoting praise to himself and were in

worship to where himself the king

himself praised the god of Daniel and

also those who had conspired again him

against him ended being thrown in the

lion's den that's how God acts you know

we just need to be faithful in all

situations now I'm not important not

minding how sacrif what the sacrifice we

have to make or the cost it makes

so think about this there would have

been no liens then victory if first

there hadn't been a vegetable and water

victory it was not possible to have the

Lions won without the first one the more

the simpler one and it's the same with

you and with me we first take a small

step of faith and then another and

another and that's how it works and what

happens as we do this and I've

experienced it in my own life as we take

those first steps of faith and I and

again if you are new in the in the Lord

you know there are many challenges that

face you but just take that first step

of faith the first one is accepting the

Lord as your Savior but just the steps

of faith in your daily life when when

you're when you know that there are

challenges or issues that it want to

take you separate you from the Lord what

happens when we do this our faith is

strengthened our resolve to glorify the

Lord gross and what happens again also

we receive more power and gifting from

the Lord you know the Lord knows whom he

gives gifts he knows it when we need in

a way we need to be his his gifts are

out of grace and love but he won't give

us something that he knows we are not

ready to receive so you know continue to

walk in the Lord continue to have those

steps of faith and your faith will be

strengthened and He will give you more

power and more gifting in in different

things that you couldn't even imagine

possible happen and we have a choice we

definitely have a choice you know all

young people here adults here even

children we have a choice we can choose

the life of conformity to the world or

we can choose to conform every

thing in us to the will of God those are

the only two choices we have there is no

limbo in between there is no land in one

in between one and the other you know

it's it's that's the reality you know

either we conform to the world or we

conform to God's will in our lives you

know I don't know about you but I want

you know more and more I want to live a

life of integrity a life of courage and

commitment that honors God in everything

and I definitely want the practical

wisdom of God that that only he can give

the worldly vision the wisdom is not as

good for nothing we need the wisdom of

the Lord so as I asked at the beginning

you know are you convinced that your

actions matter to God and if you are

then you have to resolve purpose in your

heart commit with everything in you you

know mind heart soul spirit not to allow

any worldly contamination take hold of

you in any way it's an easy slippery

road we don't want that to happen to any

of us and we need to glorify the Lord in

everything we do regardless of the cost

and the sacrifices that we have made and

before concluding in prayer let me leave

with you the promise found in James 1

verses 2 to 5 please listen very

attentively to these words from James

consider it pure joy my brothers and


whenever you face trials of many kinds

because you know that the testing of

your faith produces perseverance let

perseverance finish its work so that you

may be mature and complete not lacking

anything if any of you lacks wisdom you

should ask God who gives generously to

all without finding fault and it will be

given to you amen for God's promise so

let's let's pray so pray pray with me

lord I ask for your wisdom

Lord shinin me Lord strengthen me in my

belief system in my worldview that I be

able to examine myself before you and

your word and that I be found pure and

not corrupt in any way in my life Oh

Lord Lord use each one of us as

testimonies of your power and grace and

of what you do in a life that gives

freely to you and that desires to honor

you in every single way Lord make us

each one of us like Daniel that when we

face circumstances difficult challenges

in our lives especially when our moral

issues arrive arise Lord that we be

found faithful

Lord give us your wisdom your practical

wisdom Lord allow us to live in such a

way in our homes that our children

desire to have what we have that they

understand that there is nothing better

than loving you and serving you and Lord

each one of us as we we present our

children before you make of each one of

them Daniels young children young women

and men willing to do whatever it takes

to take a stand for you Lord we I ask

you that we do not underestimate your

power in the lives of our children and

our young people that we do everything

in our power to help them come closer to

you by our testimonies Lord raise up a

generation of Daniels in this house

young children young men and women who

put you first who take a moral stand

wherever they are that say no to the

influences of the world and that

transform this world

so that it honors you through their

faithfulness and obedience to your Lord

and have those Daniels be raised in our

own homes that they minister in this

same house that they change and

transform the world and use us in that

endeavor Oh God thank you Lord amen