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Daniel 1:15-17 (Click to read NIV or select your preferred translation of the Bible. Please read the scripture first.)

 

God honored Daniel’s courage and diplomacy. Daniel and his three friends were visibly healthier than the other young men who ate the king’s rich food and wine. They were allowed to continue eating their healthy diet and to honor God.

 

Not only did God bless their physical health for honoring him, he also blessed them with knowledge and understanding. Daniel was also given the gift of understanding visions and dreams.

 

Even though Daniel and his friends were plunged thoroughly into the Babylonian culture, they were able to distance themselves from it by holding fast to the commands of God.

 

Our culture today could be compared to the Babylonian culture as we are surrounded by such an indulgent and permissive society. Like David, we must hold fast to the commands of God and the teachings of Jesus as we face the daily temptations that are thrown at us.

 

Father God, give us the will and the faithful determination to hold fast to your teachings in the face of worldly opposition.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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     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!”   (Luke 11:13   NIV) 

     This verse follows Jesus teachings on how much God wants to give to us generously what is best for us.  It seems apparent to me that he is telling us that the Holy Spirit is the very best gift of all.  When we are truly led by the Holy Spirit, we are fully within the will of God and fully blessed. 

       1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.   (Acts 2:1-4  NIV) 

      God’s Holy Spirit came down the most dramatically on the day of Pentecost.  This was the day the Disciples were told to wait for when Jesus last spoke to them before descending into heaven.  This was the Spirit of encouragement and empowerment that changed a group of frightened men into men of courage, strength, and power—men who went out to the world and faced their opposition head on. 

       The first gift the Spirit gave to the Disciples was the spirit of tongues.  They were quickly surrounded by people from all walks of life and from all parts of the known world, people who would not have understood the Hebrew language.  God put his Spirit into the Disciples to enable to speak to every person in the crowd that had gathered around them so that they could boldly speak and be understood by all.   

      When we pray we should ask for the best gift God has to offer—his Holy Spirit.  This is the Spirit that will lead us to do the will of our Father in heaven.  This Spirit will give us courage when we are afraid, Boldness when we need to take a stand, and discernment to know when to take action and when to let God take the lead in our behalf. 

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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