Daniel in the Lions’ Den

…from the account in Daniel 6:

Due to Daniel’s outstanding capabilities, and out of concern that the king had given thought to putting him in charge over the entire kingdom, the other officials, knowing of Daniel’s reverence for God, concocted a plan to persuade the king to make an irrevocable decree—that for thirty days, whoever would pray to any god or man other than to the king, Darius, should be cast into a den of lions. After he had signed the decree and it was brought to his attention that Daniel continued in worship of his God, the king was greatly displeased with himself for having agreed to issue it; and he sought for a way to exempt Daniel. Finding no way to do that, the account continues:

“So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you.’” Daniel 6:16

The Bible tells of the faithfulness of Daniel, yet he was thrown into a lions’ den—but God sent His angel to foil that plot of some evil-intentioned men.

The angel shut the mouths of the lions, that normally would have killed,
thereby saving Daniel’s life, which left his accusers with a plan that was unfulfilled.

That the king had fallen for their words and created the outrageous decree,
was a weak moment he quickly regretted, for he respected Daniel to a great degree.

Daniel remained steadfast in his worship of God—his prayers and praise were not diminished. We read that Daniel was delivered and prospered—and that his enemies met their own death before things were finished.

Today there are those who seek to subdue our reverence for the one and only God, too. But we should recall the example of Daniel, and how strong faith in God brought him through.

Opponents of Christianity may make their strikes against us, the Bible, and Jesus’ name. But we, too, can earnestly worship the Lord, believing for His intervention, like Daniel of lions’ den fame.

Some Bible teachers have said of this account, that it points to Jesus, as well. For the plot against Him couldn’t thwart God’s plan, leaving only of His death to tell.

No, God raised His beloved Son up—to the place of victory and greatest acclaim.
To this day, and forever, power and victory are synonymous with Jesus’ Name.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Then King Darius wrote:

“To all peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth:

“Peace be multiplied to you.

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel,

“For He is the living God,
And steadfast forever;
His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed,
And His dominion shall endure to the end.
He delivers and rescues,
And He works signs and wonders
In heaven and on earth,
Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

“So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”

Daniel 6:25-28

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11

Scriptures NKJV

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I should not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10 NASB

On Christ, the Solid Rock, I Stand

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“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Psalm 61:2

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Written, 1834 by
Edward Mote
Composed, 1873 by
John Stainer

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope, to Timothy, a true son of the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Timothy 1:1-3

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Abraham’s Absolute Trust

This poetic telling is of the account in the Bible, which was written of in Genesis, chapter twenty-two. It’s the story of Abraham’s act of trust, in a most difficult thing God had asked him to do.

God called upon Abraham to take along Isaac, his much loved and only son…and journey to the land of Moriah, where, He said, a sacrifice would need to be done.

The unthinkable thing about this, was that the sacrifice Abraham was to make…was to be that of his very own son. Abraham must have felt that his heart would break.

God specifically designated Isaac as the sacrifice, leaving no room about it to doubt. So Abraham rose early the very next morning, saddled his donkey, and then set out.

He took two of his young men with him and Isaac, as God had, with certainty, decreed. Abraham had split wood to bring for burning–he would be obedient as the Lord would lead.

On the third day, Abraham looked up and saw at a distance, the designated, sacrificial site. He told the others to stay behind; he and the lad would go to worship there in the early morning light.

Abraham took the wood that was needed for the offering and strapped it upon Isaac’s back. He took the fire and a knife and they walked on together, until Isaac began to realize their lack.

“My father!” he said, and went on to say to Abraham, that the fire and the wood they had–but where was the lamb that they needed for the offering? Then Abraham answered the lad…

that God would provide for Himself the lamb, for the burnt offering that they would be needing. So Abraham and Isaac walked on again together, his absolute trust in God still leading.

Then they came to the place that God had specified, where Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood. He bound his son, Isaac, and laid him upon both, which Isaac certainly couldn’t have understood.

So Abraham stretched out his hand, with the knife to slay his son, but was stopped from doing the act…because the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, saying his fear of God was now shown as fact.

“You have not withheld your son, your only son from Me,” the Lord conveyed. Then Abraham saw a ram…caught in the thicket by his horns, it became the sacrifice–the replacement offering to the Lord by Abraham.

So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will Provide,” as it is said to this day. “In the Mount of the Lord, it will be provided.” These words remind us of one who trusted God in a great way.

A second time, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and spoke of blessings that were yet to be…that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in heaven and as the sand on the shores of the sea.

In his seed would all the nations of the earth be blessed, because he’d obeyed the voice of the Lord. So Abraham and Isaac returned to the other men, and went to Beersheba, happy and with God’s reward.

In the same manner, many years later, God, the Father in heaven, actually did give us of His only beloved Son. He spared not His Son, so that we could have reward. When we take Jesus as Savior, our eternal life has begun.

God is the One who taught us of sowing and reaping. You see, He “sowed” His Son as the sacrifice for sin in our place. He’s expecting a great harvest of souls to be His sons and daughters. That’s a gift given to us simply by His grace.

P. A. Oltrogge

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Scriptures: NASB

Shining Through with the Son

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“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” words of Jesus in John 10:10

The devil wants to rain down on our lives, turning what he can to be sour;
But we don’t let that stop us from retaining faith in Jesus’ power.

No, by the Lord’s peace, we know that there are blue skies up ahead;
Despite any storms, we trust for showers of blessing from God instead.

Jesus came and He won the battle and secured the devil’s defeat;
Now we enforce it by the Word of faith, confirming that Christ’s victory is complete.

Yes, there are many showers of blessing with rainbows rolling in…
We have fully-persuaded faith, embracing the truth that through Jesus Christ we win!

P. A. Oltrogge

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

“And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” Romans 4:21 (KJV)

“…Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Romans 14:5 (KJV)

“Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” 1 John 5:3-4 (NLT)

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” 1 John 5:4

“But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching….” Romans 10:8

Jesus took of the sour, that we may have abundant life:

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:30 (NKJV)

Encouragement at:
http://www.moorelife.org
Blessing by Faith/Faith School

He is the Everlasting God

To whom will you compare me?
Who is my equal? asks the Holy One.

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Look up into the heavens.
Who created all the stars?
He brings them out like an army, one after another,
calling each by its name.
Because of his great power and incomparable strength,
not a single one is missing.
O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31 NLT

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Trusting Jesus, the Good Shepherd

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…from Luke 15, putting the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son into a bit of the poetic…

If a man has a hundred sheep but just one of them has gone astray,
doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness to search for the one lost without delay?

And when he finds it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing that it’s found.
Then, once home, celebrations of his joy with friends and neighbors abound.

In the same way, there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner who comes home
than over ninety-nine righteous persons who, wisely, never wanted to roam.

P. A. Oltrogge

You may not be “little,” but the following verse from an old song describes our security in Christ very well. And if any of us learned this song when young but got away from the Good Shepherd, we can know from Luke 15 that He’s so very happy to have us back…

I am Jesus’ little lamb,
ever glad at heart I am;
for my Shepherd gently guides me…
knows my needs and well provides me—
loves me every day the same,
even calls me by my name.

from the song, “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb”
by Henrietta Louise von Hayn

Book Recommendation:
A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23
by W. Phillip Keller

Father, thank You for what Your Son has done…

Father,

I thank You for Your answers even before my prayers have begun…
because of what Your Son, Jesus Christ, has done.

I’m seated in the heavenly places—my victory’s been won…
because of what Your Son, the Lord Jesus, has done.

At Calvary’s cross, the curse was defeated. All fear I now can shun…
because of what Your Son, the Messiah, has done.

Not by my own merit, but by the blood from His veins that had run,
I can come before You boldly because of what He’s done.

Regarding the name of Jesus—a greater name, there’s none,
because He so pleased You as a perfectly obedient Son.

And, one day, when my race on earth has been completely run,
I’ll be immediately in Your presence because of what Your Son has done.

P. A. Oltrogge

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“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” Words of Jesus in Matthew 6:7-8

“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come.” Ephesians 1:15-21

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespassses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-19

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Scriptures NKJV

The Wonderful Works of Jesus

A man with deafness and a speech impediment was in need of Jesus’ touch.
Those who brought him begged the Lord to heal him, being confident of such.

Jesus led him, then, away from the crowd so that they could be alone.
He put His fingers into the man’s ears—the beginning of his hearing tone.

Jesus spit upon His own fingers and touched the man’s tongue as well.
“Ephphatha,” (“Be opened!”) He said, looking up to heaven—then the man instantly heard clear as a bell!

The man’s tongue was also freed—his speech became perfectly clear.
Jesus told the crowd not to spread the story, but they couldn’t help tell that the man could now speak and hear.

“Everything Jesus does is wonderful,” they shared, in relating this event.
The deaf could hear, the dumb could speak. God’s goodness was being displayed wherever Jesus went!

P. A. Oltrogge

From Mark 7:31-37

“Everything He does is wonderful! He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”
Mark 7:37 NLT

A Gentile Woman’s Plea

A woman from Canaan, who’d heard of Jesus, came to Him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, oh Lord, Son of David,” and she fell at His feet.

Her little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit; and she knew that only Jesus could cause it to retreat.

Jesus didn’t answer right away; but as she was a Gentile, He told her that He needed, first, to feed those of His own family—the Jews.

At that, it might have seemed that His final answer to her, a Canaanite woman, was to refuse.

He said it wouldn’t be right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs, after she’d repeated, “Lord, help me!”

Though the disciples had said that Jesus should send her away, her vision remained strong of seeing her daughter being set free.

She replied to the Lord that even the dogs were allowed to eat the crumbs that had fallen under the table, from food that the children had been fed.

Jesus noted her faith, through those words, and told her to go home—the demon was gone. Upon doing so, she found her daughter there peacefully lying in bed.

“Oh, woman, your faith is great,” He had said, and that it would be done for her as she’d desired.

Just hearing of the compassionate things He’d done for others caused her to worship and have faith that was tenacious and inspired.

P. A. Oltrogge

(From Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30)

“But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.’” Matthew 15:24

“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs feed on the crumbs….” Matthew 15:27

The Lord’s Commission to His disciples before His ascension:
“…but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” Acts 1:8

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

Scriptures NASB

Mark 7 refers to the woman as
a Syrian from the region of Phoenicia

Breakthrough over the Blues

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Photo/Porch of the Lord

Perhaps you’ve experienced disappointments…
I know that others and I have, too.
But when I recall precious moments I’ve had,
I can no longer stay feeling blue.

Realize this old world with its trials
can’t keep you from all that delights.
Disappointments may occur, but some very nice gifts
will come through from the Father of lights.

P. A. Oltrogge

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV