Daniel 6:16-18 Video Devotional

Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. – Daniel 6:16-18

I am really intrigued by the attitude of King Darius. While this ploy was ultimately pulled off by the satraps because of Darius’ arrogance and desire to have people praying to him, it is easy to see his heart as he grapples with the punishment he is forced to lay upon Daniel. Darius did not want to do this to Daniel and was observably upset over the sentence.

While some may wonder why the king couldn’t have repealed his own sentence, the story makes it clear that there were rules even kings had to follow. Darius had backed himself into a corner and Daniel was the one caught with the bill. Instead of death, however, life reigned as God would step in and use this story to change the mind and heart of the king.

We see, first with Nebuchadnezzar and second with Darius, that God will gently and faithfully work with those who are willing to be open to Him. Belshazzar certainly wasn’t and he didn’t get another chance. These other two, though, are and God graciously works with both men, drawing them to himself. It’s almost comical how Daniel gets put through the ringer in both cases! The journeys of both of these kings, though, leads to grace (or so it looks) and repentance because of Daniel’s willingness to suffer righteously for the Lord.

“We are God’s workmanship, created in advance to do good works so that others might turn and praise God” (Ephesians 2:10). We go through trials like Daniel so that other people can come to Jesus. And those people with open hearts will without questions be impacted by your service to the King of Kings. Stay faithful and remember that plenty of people are watching – and that is a good thing!

Acts 2:5-13 Video Devotional

“Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” (Acts 2:5-13)

I love this passage. Not only does this start the “church age” with the arrival of the Holy Spirit, but His arrival causes such a change in people that outsiders (non-believers) think they are drunk! The miracle of this story is that once the Spirit arrived, the believers started talking in their native language, but they were in a crowded place where there was a large, multi-cultural (and therefore multi-language) gathering. Even though the believers were speaking in their own language, each person heard them in their native tongue! God is really wanting to get His message out.

What strikes me about this most is the line about them thinking they are drunk. Partially because it makes me chuckle, but mostly because the power of the Holy Spirit is so strong that the onlookers in this story notice such a drastic and immediate of a change in people that leads them to conclude they must be drunk. This happened quick and was overt. And that’s the key, which is also the challenge for today.

How much of a noticeable difference does the Holy Spirit make in you? If it’s not drastic – or even noticeable, then you might want to check on your spiritual health. The Holy Spirit in you is a deposit, guaranteeing your inheritance with Jesus. He regenerates our souls, reviving us from spiritual death to life. And He works in us towards God’s good pleasure, to do good works which He created beforehand that we should walk in them.

That sounds nothing like a life under our own power. It shouldn’t look like it either to an onlooker. What does it look like to you?