Daniel 4:19-27 Video Devotional

Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies! The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth, whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived— it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth. And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’ this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will. And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” – Daniel 4:19-27

I can imagine the sweat on Daniel’s brow as he listened to Nebuchadnezzar recount his dream. Realizing that it is a warning, Daniel hopes that it is for his enemies, but knows the truth. It is time for the king to be brought down a peg or two. I wonder how discouraged Daniel may have felt at that time, listening to this bad news and preparing himself how to explain it to the king. This is another in a line of negative encounters he’s had with the Babylon royalty thus far, and he has got to see the emerging pattern.  Thankfully, Daniel trusted fully in God, so no matter how discouraging that may have been, he held fast to God’s command and faithfully shared with the king the dream’s interpretation.

To Nebuchadnezzar’s credit, he encouraged Daniel by allowing him to speak freely no matter what the interpretation was. Granted, he didn’t know what it would be, but you can see a difference this time compared to the first. He was much more open to share and trusting to listen to what Daniel had to say. This book very clearly shows a nice progression for Nebuchadnezzar towards God, and though it takes time (and a situation like what he will experience with this dream’s outcome), it seems that Nebuchadnezzar’s journey to God has potential for a very happy ending.

If Nebuchadnezzar is in Heaven enjoying the fullness of God’s favor and grace, I bet he spends every second with a thankful and grateful attitude towards Daniel, who no matter the consequence, stayed faithful to keep sharing his faith with the king and being honest and open about God. As Romans 10:15 says, “How blessed are the feet of those that bring good news!”

Are you willing to face the risk and discouragement you might receive when sharing the gospel? Daniel was willing…and his rewards are eternal. Consider that.



Daniel 3:8-19 Video Devotional

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. – Daniel 3:8-19

Either Nebuchadnezzar’s repentance was very short-lived, or it wasn’t really repentance, but more of an acknowledgment. Yet, even then, it is obvious that the king’s arrogance knows no bounds. He sets up a statue of himself to be worshipped by all the people! This is a situation that I almost wish was something he was duped into by an evil henchman, but no. All we know about this story is that Nebuchadnezzar built the statue and was key on everyone bowing down to it.

With that, we can see in verse 8 that the three friends were set up to get caught. People had been looking for a way to take those guys down as the leadership of the Babylonian province, which they gained through Daniel’s suffering over the dream and its interpretation. They were earning influence in their own right, but up until now, they had mostly followed Daniel. In this story, however, they were on their own. The king was mad at those 3 individuals (though I would love to know where Daniel was during this trial) and they were going to have to stand up to this on their own.

Showing their own personal dedication to God, the 3 friends do just that. And although you cannot read into their language any tone of anger for frustration, it is clear their response really ticked Nebuchadnezzar off. So filled with rage was he that he had the furnace turned up seven times its normal heat!

This was their moment – they got the chance (again, notice this is completely disconnected from anything resembling a fault of their own) to stand up on their own against the king, holding fast to God and expecting to die. They stood. They suffered. All for the righteous call of God.

For all of us, there comes a time when the spotlight finally falls directly on us. We will have to stand up and face something ourselves – no more hiding behind your dad’s overcoat. These three friends, who for the most part had been content to follow Daniel, were now called to the carpet by the king himself. They willingly walked into the furnace. I don’t think anyone is being asked that exact question today, but maybe something smaller?

Notice they do not argue with the king, telling him he is wrong. They willingly go to the slaughter, knowing the outcome would most likely be grim. They turned the other cheek. What will you do with the spotlight is on you? The only thing you can do is what you’ve practiced. If you are faithful in the small things, you will be faithful in the big things. Practice well!



Philippians 2:19-30 Video Devotional

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.” (Philippians 2:19-30)

“Louis Mobley, founder of IBM’s Executive School in 1956, emphatically argued that the most important question that every organization must continually ask is: “What is the business of the business?” In other words, what do we stand for? What is our mission and reason for being? Why are we in business at all? Does our mission and our values deserve an all-in response from our colleagues, customers, and stakeholders?” (www.forbes.com)

I heard many times growing up that if something is not worth putting all your effort into it, then it isn’t worth doing at all. Why try a little? If you want to be successful, you have to put in all you’ve got. That has been and is a solid axiom for being successful in this world. It also has merit in the spiritual realm. Statistics show that “most successful Christian churches are not “Christian light” churches—churches that have lowered standards in order to lower the barrier to entry. Instead it is the “all-in” churches that are thriving.” (www.forbes.com).

Timothy and Epaphroditus went all-in for Jesus. Paul’s specific mentioning of them in today’s section make that clear. It also fits with the theme that has been evident throughout our reading thus far, that a life participating with Christ is an all-in life and is the best way for us to be fully connected with Christ through the Spirit. Jesus went all-in, after all, He gave up EVERYTHING to be with us. Paul followed suit and so did these two gentlemen.

What does going all-in look like to you? Have you seen someone go all-in fro Jesus lately? What did that look like? Please comment and let us know.



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