We want to look at the life of Daniel and see how he changed the culture of the society that he lived in.
1. The Culture
Read an article this past week (Important: I do not necessarily agree with all the conclusions if this article)
Almost everyone we talk to is deeply concerned about our country. Spiraling government debt, an attack on the fertile fields of free enterprise and persistent unemployment give us plenty to worry about. But our problems are not limited to economics. It now seems that everything we hold dear is under attack: faith, family and freedom
EXAMPLE: Struggle with how we are to honor the leaders of the country and what is the role of the church in all of this.
EXAMPLE; Nazi Germany replaced the Bible with “Mein Kampf” and the crucifix with a sword. What was the church suppose to do under these circumstances?
Confessing church. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “Not to stand is to stand. Not to speak is to speak.”
- One option is to believe all of our answers are going to come out of Washington D.C. Or Madison.
- The other option is why polish the brass on a sinking ship. End is going to come anyway. Let’s just wait for the return of Jesus.
Last days apathy rejected because Paul believed that the return of Christ was near, yet he fought the good fight and finished his race (2 Timothy 4: 7)
2. Daniel the Normal Guy
This is why we want to spend some time looking at Daniel.
- Not a preacher
- Just a young man
- Lived under three different empires
- Lived under 9 different kings
- Everything he had was taken away from him twice
- His life was threatened four different times
- He changed the lives of three pagan kings, two of them acknowledging that Daniel’s God was the true God.
3. Jesus unifying force
In the church calendar, we are at the point where Jesus had ascended to heaven and the disciples with 120 others are in Jerusalem waiting for the the Holy Spirit to be poured out.
Look at the politics of the disciples.
- Matthew the tax collector (Mark 2: 13 where was Levi a tax collector? Who was he collecting taxes from? Who were fisherman in Jesus group?)
- Simon the Zealot (Mark 3: 18) Zealot was one who wanted to expel the Romans by use of force. Known as the first terrorists.
Ephesians 4: 3 make every effort to keep yourselves united in the spirit binding yourselves together with peace.
Jesus seated in heaven so Spirit is God’s only agent on earth.
Samuel Chadwick The Christian religion is hopeless without the Holy Spirit
Romans 8: 9 if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ they do not belong to Christ.
Only two groups recognized in the Bible, those who have the spirit and belong to Christ, and those who do not have the spirit and do not belong to Christ.
4. God’s Manifestation
Fortunately we are blessed in this way. God promised He would give us the Holy Spirit.
Luke 11: 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.
Create a different Culture where ever we are.
To each one of us the manifestation of the spirit is given 1 Corinthians 12: 7 each one a manifestation for the common good.
God wants to manifest himself through you
Key Point: If we want to see God working in extraordinary ways, we have to follow the promptings of the a Holy Spirit.