Christ didn’t arrive with the flare of trumpets or with flags flying. He didn’t demand an announcement for whole the world to hear, though He deserved it. Jesus just walked in. Take some time to reflect on the nature of Jesus Christ’s Incarnation—born to peasant a girl in a smelly barn in an obscure town and worshipped by a few people. This humble story reveals the character of our Messiah, who humbled Himself to save the people He loved.
In God’s Hands on Human Clay, Chuck Swindoll explains the treasured truth that most Christians overlook as the unknown future approaches: God is sovereign. Even though the future remains unclear, we can be certain nothing touches our lives unless it has first flowed through the “moulding” fingers of our loving God.
Daniel chapter 4 is one of the most unusual chapters in the Bible. King Nebuchadnezzar had another dream. But this one proved to be his undoing and then his renewing. Prideful as a man, he became insane and lived like a beast until he humbled himself and praised God with some of the most eloquent words ever to fall from human lips.
Courage is a foundation virtue, because it assures the validity of all other virtues. Without courage, convictions become corrupt. But with courage, convictions are honoured. Courage is that quality of controlling and directing fear into positive action. And though Daniel had already proved himself a man of courage, new reserves of valour were needed to stand up to a profane king and deliver a message of destruction.
Just a quick glance at the daily news reveals a world filled with compromise, scandal, and dark secrets. One thing lacking in so many of our would-be heroes and media-made mentors is integrity.
The world needs a return to integrity, not sinless perfection but absolute honesty and an absence of duplicity. Impossible? Let's let Daniel's life answer that for us.
Few character qualities are more important than integrity. Courage is perhaps the only one to precede it, since it stiffens our spines and sets our feet.
Whatever the eye perceives, it doesn't see it all. This is true not only in seeing but also in understanding what God is doing in the lives of His children. Our limited perspective leads us to the false assumption that the godly should not suffer, that God should prevent them from enduring trials. But what we do not see from our vantage point is how God uses the patient endurance of His suffering servants to bring others to Christ.
Call me old-fashioned or idealistic if you wish, but my passionate plea is that we unearth and restore the importance of character. It’s been buried long enough. It belongs first on our list when searching for employees in the workplace.
All of us need heroes to inspire and challenge us to live authentic lives of integrity. Centuries ago, one such hero of integrity kept himself afloat in the swamps of ethical compromise. His name was Daniel, and he serves as an example of authenticity for us to become heroes in our own generation. A life well lived not only inspires others but also results in great rewards both in this world and in the world to come.