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Daniel 1:3-14, 2:46, 3:23-30, 6:23

I read Daniel for the third time yesterday after watching the movie, “The Book of Daniel.”  This movie mostly adheres to Scripture with some minor differences:

Scripture:  A court official was too afraid to grant Daniel’s food and drink request, but a guard agreed.
Movie:  Daniel only talked to the court official.

Scripture:  After Daniel interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream, Nebuchadnezzar “fell prostrate before Daniel…”
Movie:  After hearing the interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar walked toward his throne and sat down.

Scripture:  Royal advisers and others looked for evidence of fire on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and Nebuchadnezzar didn’t mention the word, “fire.”
Movie:  Nebuchadnezzar examined them and said the word, “fire.”

Scripture:  Daniel had to be lifted up out of the lion’s den.
Movie:  King Darius said to Daniel, “Come forth” and Daniel simply walked out.

Daniel and his friends were steadfast in their loyalty to God.  They probably had God-fearing mothers.  If their mothers still lived and found out about their applied love for God, they would have been pleased.

 

Luke 6:17-19

Jesus certainly had enemies on earth, but he also had a lot of fans.  At one point in Luke, a massive crowd traveled to hear Jesus.  Many came hoping for healing.  The people were rewarded for seeking Jesus.  As many people as there were, ALL of them attempted to touch Jesus since power was emanating from Him.  Do you know what happened?  They were ALL healed!

Can you imagine that scene?  I picture Jesus with His arms out, with too many pleading people pushing and desperately trying to reach out and touch Him.  I searched online to see any art inspired from this Scripture.  However, I was disappointed to see lame art.  What I saw was a still, sparse group of people looking rather relaxed and definitely not trying to get to Him.  Nevertheless, we can still try to visualize that great event.

Do you need healing?  Seek our Super Savior!

Matthew 4:4

In recent news, a store owner in Canada was frustrated with squirrels that took candy bars.  The candy bars were treasures to those squirrels.  Maybe they were squirreled away in a tree.  Out of Curiosity, I decided to put out a small candy bar with nuts near our bird feeder to see what our neighborhood squirrels would do.  After a couple of days, a squirrel came and quickly munched the candy bar away.  Clearly, the candy bar was an edible treasure to the squirrel.

Yesterday, our young American Eskimo dog had some wall guard instructions in his mouth and got ready to plop down and chew on them.  The instructions were an edible treasure to him (until I asked him to give them to me).

When Jesus said that man shouldn’t live only by bread, but by each word that comes from God’s mouth, that sounds like spiritual food to me.  So, the way I see it, we should see Scripture, our instructions, as a sort of edible treasure.  Eat it up.

Mark 14:53-65, Mark 15:1-20 1 John 1:7-9

I have a t-shirt that shows our bleeding Jesus bearing the entire weight of the world’s sin.  The back says, “His Pain Your Gain” with his open hand bleeding freely due to a large nail that punctured Him.

Before the nails were driven through sinless Jesus, he had already suffered.  He was spat at, punched, made fun of, beaten, flogged, and made to wear a thorny crown.  Once the crown was in place, a staff was used to deliver several blows to His head.  Then, he was crucified.

One thing I noticed today on that t-shirt were tiny Scripture references hidden in the art.  One is 1 John 1:7-9.  It says that Jesus’ blood cleanses us from sin, and if we repent, He’ll forgive us.

 

Awhile back, my parents gave me a journal by Sandy Clough entitled, “A Garden of Hope.”  The book is generously sprinkled with Scripture.  If you could use some helpful words in this crazy world, please read these excerpts:

“Can I really let entertainment pour immorality and violence into my eyes and ears and not damage my soul?  Psalm 101:3 contains a commitment to put no evil thing before my eyes.”

“Hope has a name, and it is Jesus, the name above all names…I know what you need from me is to surrender to your will and your purposes.  Lord, I gladly give you the ownership of the garden of my heart, knowing that I can completely trust you with the results.  You are everything I need.”

“The bad news of the day cannot hold back spring.  Even wars-or rumors of war-will not keep the life within the bulb of the lily from pushing it up through the dirt and unfurling its petals into a dazzling trumpet…Nor can difficult circumstances hinder the unstoppable work of your Spirit in my life, Lord.”

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the Day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, NASB).”

 

If you listen to Christian radio, you’ve probably heard the song, “What Do I Know of Holy.”  With more than a dozen spiritual questions, the song has stressed me out every time I hear it.  Well, I finally got a chance to try to find Scripture to answer some of the questions dangling unanswered out there for months (or longer) on the airwaves.  It’s likely that the singer is not the only one seemingly wondering what the answers could be.  There are other irritations I have with the words,  so it’s time to analyze this song.

“I made You promises a thousand times.”

Promises to God (or anyone) shouldn’t be treated lightly.  In Nehemiah 5:12, an oath was required for what was promised.  And in 2 Peter 3:9, we read that God keeps His promise.

“I never feared you at all-No”

Ecclesiastes 12:13 says we must “Fear God.”  Proverbs 2:5 says, “…understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

“What do I know of You who spoke me into motion?”

The singer is referring to Creation, so what does she know about her Creator?  She seems to know that God created people (and land animals) on the 6th day of Creation.  Genesis 1:24-31

“Are you fire?”

Exodus 19:18 says that the Lord came down in fire.  Revelation 1:14 says, “…eyes were like blazing fire.”

“Are you fury?”

Isaiah 66:14 says that He’ll show fury to enemies.

“Are you sacred?”

If you do a search on the word, “sacred” in biblegateway.com, you’ll get 126 results.  1 Corinthians 3:17 lets us know that the temple of God is sacred.

“What do I know of holy?”

I searched the word, “holy” in biblegateway.com and got 551 results.  Exodus 3:5 is about God letting Moses know he’s on holy ground.  1 Peter 1:16 commands us to be holy.

“I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about how You were mighty to save but those were only empty words on a page.”

I’m annoyed by the past tense of this sentence.  God IS mighty to save Isaiah 63:1.  Even though the Bible was written long ago, it uses the present tense in Zephaniah 3:17, saying He is a, “…Mighty Warrior who saves.”

 

“What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?”

The singer seems to know that Jesus, “…was wounded for our transgressions,…And with His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

“What do I know of holy, of the One who the angels praise?”

We don’t know the extent of what she knows about God, but since some may know little or nothing of Him, Exodus 34:4-8 says God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, etc.  Also, Isaiah 6:1-3 gives us a peek into God’s heavenly life, revealing to us that He has a throne, a robe, and winged seraphim saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;…”

“What do I know of this love?”

The singer may mean she’s amazed by God’s great love, but for any unsaved people listening to the song, they need to know about John 3:16.  In addition, 1 John 4:7-9, which says, “God is love” would be helpful to the unbeliever considering conversion.

Maybe the artist of this song intended for people to focus on God’s mercy for undeserving sinners.  Whatever was intended, it’s my opinion that our culture is far from holy, and for some hearing this song, it may seem like it’s okay not to know about being holy.  It’s not okay.  God wants us to learn to be holy like Him.