Daniel 2:46-49 Video Devotional

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court. – Daniel 2:46-49

Here we have the payoff to Daniel’s suffering over the dream and its interpretation. Daniel’s direct and respectful response to Arioch, prayer and trust in God, and boldness in front of Nebuchadnezzar was met with nothing else than spiritual fruit!

I am sure Daniel was much happier about it than Jonah, but just as surprised. Nebuchadnezzar repented! Though it initially seems like the king was giving glory to Daniel, he recognized Daniel’s God as the One with the power and Daniel as the recipient. This led to Daniel being given real influence and leadership over the kingdom, which would be huge, but lead to more opportunities to suffer. Daniel’s trust in God and obedience saved the day and put a target on his back.

This ending to the story tells us a few things: 1) Daniel’s way of interacting with non-believers is correct, and 2) influence leads to opportunity and suffering. We can learn today from how Daniel treated those who could be considered enemies. This matches with 1 Corinthians 13 – without love, our truth is useless. We have got to put that back at the forefront of our actions; everything we do must be filtered through loving actions and a respectful attitude! If we do that, our opportunities will only increase.

What Daniel did accomplished a lot for the kingdom of God. People were saved and influence was gained. But we need to be prepared as we work (or rush) for our chances to gain that kind of leadership; it will lead to suffering. I have had a few experiences lately of opportunities to have influence and lead, but they both quickly lead to me suffering emotional pain over the outcome of those circumstances. It was great to experience God using me, but in the end it hurt. That’s ok – even good, but we need to be ready for it. Again, obey God and trust Him to take care of the consequences – that’s our only chance for real success.



Acts 2:42-47 Video Devotional

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47)

The formula for effective church ministry is simple. Acts 2:42 has been the key since they were first practicing it in real-time. The results speak for themselves. So what’s different? Why haven’t results like that happened…at all since? Was it a special time in that God wanted to get the numbers up quick? Or is there something to this formula that churches today are missing?

Again, the answer is simple. But the implementation is immensely difficult. The trick is that they weren’t working for growth – or for money – or for power. They were simply, in intent and heart, following the Holy Spirit and living day by day doing what He asked and being who He wanted them to be. Would we be ok living for God if we lost all our money, influence and saw no visible response? Something tells me that libraries full of books on church growth tell another story.

Evidence tells us that we are concerned with earthly success instead of simply devoting ourselves to God and study of the scriptures. What should all of our effort lead to? If people only grow in their faith, but no more money comes to the church, is that successful?

The problem is in the motives, not necessarily the actions. If we choose to focus on doing our job as a church (see Acts 2:42) purely from the motivation to seek God as a community of individuals and leave it fully up to Him the consequences, I think we might get back towards the original intent. If our focus is purely following the Spirit, then we are not responsible for what happens – He is.

And that’s the point. He will bring other people to where He wants them to be. If we are who He wants us to be, then we will never have to try to grow; it will happen purely organically at the will and work of the Spirit. Who knows how many or how fast – again, that is not our worry. Simply follow Him and let what happens, happen. Don’t try to be a big church or an influential member. Simply be – enjoy His presence and listen to His voice. Or, as Acts 2 puts it, devote yourself to the apostles’ teaching (scripture) and fellowship with your church family (care about the relationships), break bread and pray. Make it about your relationship with God, not your popularity, fame, or the church’s benefit.



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