Sunday, December 14, 2014

The War on Christmas

Yes, if you haven't noticed someone is always fussing and fuming over Christmas. Some call it a war on Christmas. I think we may gain some insight this week by looking to the book of Daniel and noticing how the Babylonians dealt with the Jews and how the Jews took their stand for God.

Monday Reading:
        Daniel 1:3,4 One of the first things Nebuchadnezzar did was to search out the leaders of the Jews, those of the King's seed, those of the lineage to Christ. Satan, as usual, was on the prowl to destroy God's plan to send his Son to die for our sins. To accomplish this Nebuchadnezzar wanted these leaders trained in the way of the Babylonians, but first he needed to find those that were usable and trainable. Satan still uses the same tactics to thwart the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Let's make some comparisons.

                                Babylon                                                                  America
  1. Without blemish.                                                               Concerned with our looks/makeup
  2. Well favored .                                                                    Idolize movie stars and athletes
  3. Skillful in wisdom                                                              Professors use education for gain
  4. Cunning in knowledge .                                                     News media manipulate people
  5. Understood science                                                            Scientist push evolution
  6. Ability to stand in the kings palace.                                   Politicians-confident, well-mannered
  7. Teach learning and language                                             Teach secular ways and secular-speak
Babylon was looking for leaders that the Jews would respect and would look to for leadership. The plan was to train these people to lead the people to be Babylonians. They wanted them to turn from their God and serve Babylon. Doesn't that sound familiar? We are free to worship just don't do it at work or in school or in any public place. Leave your religion at home. Learn the ways of the secular world if you want to get ahead.

Father, help us to never leave our religion at home but have a relationship with God that is evident in all we do. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday Reading
        Daniel 1:8 But Daniel ..... He also influenced his friends to take a stand, vs 11.
Daniel 1:17-21 God gave the four of them all the things the king wanted but from God's point of view. These four, out of many Jewish prisoners, were used of God to influence their country of captivity for good as long as Nebuchadnezzar reigned. Not everything went smoothly, but God is still in control. Are there ways we can be Daniels in our country under our circumstances?

Father, help us be wise as serpents but harmless as doves as we influence our nation for You. In Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday Reading:
          Daniel 2:44 Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. He looked to his magicians and astrologers first. When they couldn't give results, he was ready to lop off the heads of all the wise men. When Daniel got word, he answered with counsel and wisdom. Daniel went in and calmed the king by giving God the credit for knowing the dream and the interpretation. Daniel gave the interpretation of the kingdoms of Babylon(gold), Media-Persian (silver). Greece (brass) and Rome (iron and clay). In the dream God was also showing the time line to the Messiah. The Jews looked for an earthly kingdom that would overthrow the other kingdoms that ruled over them. Jesus was the stone that filled the whole earth . Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world. He taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:10. He told us the gates of hell would not prevail against his church. Matthew 16:18. He said "Fear not little flock, it is his pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32.

God's people will prevail when we take a stand for God.

Father, help us be ever mindful that we are not soldiers of this world but soldiers of the cross. In Jesus name. Amen.

Thursday Reading:
        Daniel 3:4-6 Two weapons yet used by Satan today - the consent of the multitude and the cruelty of the punishment. It was not used to change their hearts but little by little to make them forget their God. Peer pressure is a common weapon used for good and bad. It moves multitudes. The media uses it all the time with advertisements and news to sway us, to change our habits. We are told we may not pray in Jesus name. e may not display our religion in any way. We may no solicit others in His name. It is to cause us to forget God and it works well. The little children I teach do not know Christmas except as Santa and presents. They do not know Easter except a bunny and candy. We shake our heads that people are in prison and tortured in other countries because of their stand for the gospel. The three Hebrew children faced death and Nebuchadnezzar saw a forth man in he fire like unto he Son of God. Stand up! God will go with us through the fire as well.

O God, forgive us and help us make a public stand for You. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday Reading:
      Daniel 4:34-37 At the end of chapter 3 Nebuchadnezzar seems to be a changed man, vs.29. We see by his actions that it was only lip-service. He really had no relationship with the true God. He thought he was in control of his destiny and that of the rest of the world. It's not until he loses all that he lifts his eyes to heaven and blesses the most High. Then he got the real deal - real salvation.

So many people say they are saved but their lives lack evidence. Do you have the real deal?

Father, help us all check up and make our salvation sure. May we be filled with life service and not just lip service because of our love for the One who died for us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Philippines 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.(KJV). The doing through Christ gives us strength to do a little more. Be doers of the word and not hearers only. Christmas is a good time to start.
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