SERIES: Living as exiles: A Study in Daniel
TEXT: Daniel 6:1-16
MESSAGE: “God’s work in all of life”
“Work doesn’t take us away from God; it continues the work of God. God comes into view on the first page of our scriptures as a worker. Once we identify God in his workplace working, it isn’t long before we find ourselves in our workplaces working in the name of God.” — Eugene Peterson
“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” – 1 Corinthians 7:17
“It is often hard to get Christians to see that God is willing not just to use men and women in (church) ministry, but in law, in medicine, in business,
in the arts. This is the great shortfall today.” – Dick Lucas
TEXT: Daniel 6:1-16
Q: How did Daniel live for God in all of life? (1. Faithful Presence 2. Unshakable Faith 3. Greater Security)
  1. Faithful presence (v. 1-4)
“It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”
“Yet another ruler discovered that the one man he could trust implicitly was the man who served the God of the Jews. Even when others implied that Daniel was not to be trusted because he was ‘one of the captives.” — Sinclair Ferguson
“Resilient disciples believe integrity in the workplace matters. This is no small thing. In a culture that values getting ahead at any cost, resilient disciples are distinct from the norm: 89 percent say that “Christians are called to do their work with integrity, no matter the type of work’…Resilients are also much more likely to say that they conduct themselves in the workplace knowing that others are watching…Christians should be the ones in every workplace who resolve conflict, help their coworkers deal with grief and loss, and shine a gentle light of truth on our brokenness as coworkers, bosses, and employees.” — Kinnaman & Matlock
  1. Unshakable faith (v. 5-10)
“Finally these men said, ‘We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.’ So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing. 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
  1. Greater security (v. 11-16)

“Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him. 15 Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.” 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

“…God’s work must always be done in God’s way to see results that are worthy of God’s reality and greatness.” — Os Guinness
TAKEAWAYS: How can we live for God in all of life?
  • Believe that your work matters to God
“…your Christian faith gives you a new spiritual power…that keeps you from being overthrown by either success, failure, or boredom. Regarding success and failure, the gospel helps Christians find their deepest identity not in our accomplishments but who we are in Christ. This keeps our egos from inflating too much during seasons of prosperity, and it prevents bitterness and despondency during times of adversity. But while some jobs seduce us into over-work and anxiety, others tempt us to surrender to drudgery, only “working for the weekend,” doing just what is necessary to get by when someone is watching. Paul calls that “eye-service” (Colossians 3:22–24) and charges us to think of every job as working for God, who sees everything and loves us. That makes high-pressure jobs bearable and even the most modest work meaningful.” — Timothy Keller
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” 
― John Lennox, “Against the Flow”
  • Consider your reputation and God’s ways (reputation has the ability to reinforce or tarnish the message; God cares about the seen and unseen — Are you someone who jumps from job to job, not consistent? Are you known as someone who cares more about the paycheck than the people?)
“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:7-8
  • Plant seeds and trust God with the results
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:9
Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” — John 6:27-29

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