Today's Nugget Lesson is taken from the book of Daniel.
(NIV) Daniel 1:8,9,12,15,17,19
(8) But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.
(9) Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel,
(12) Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.
(15) At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food
(17) To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
(19) The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's service.
To give you a little back story I'll back up a couple of verses. Jerusalem was besieged by Babylon. The king of Babylon ordered to have some of the Israelites from the royal families and nobility brought in to be taught and trained in the ways of the land. In this way they would be able to enter the king's service. In order to do this the Israelites would have to eat and drink what was not lawful for them to eat or drink.
Daniel's response was one of resolve (to reach a firm decision). This decision he made would not be a popular one as many others were partaking in the food as well as the reality he was no longer in a land that respected his beliefs or traditions. To make such a stand requires boldness, courage and confidence. This kind of confidence was not found in himself but in the one whom he served; the one he chose not to defile himself for. Daniel's resolve was pleasing to God so God gave him favor there. Daniel asked the official to test he and his friends for ten days and to see how they fared on vegetables and water. At the end of the ten days Daniel and his friends were healthier than the rest.
As believers in Christ we are called to be holy just as Christ is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). The calling is not only for when we are in church, at home, around our Christian friends but everywhere. We live in a world that is not friendly toward the will and promises of God. We must stand firm and resolve not to defile ourselves with worldly pleasures as they pass before us each day. In order to do this we must keep our eyes, hearts and minds in the word. Stay away from television shows that do not uphold the values God has set in place for our lives, refrain from speaking when you have nothing encouraging or uplifting to say, do not sit in the midst of gossip, dirty or vulgar talk or jokes, pray constantly in the spirit, read God's word everyday and allow his words to dwell in your innermost being through meditation, love one another in Christ, flee from evil when you recognize it.
Daniel was no different from us. He was a human individual who made a choice to be faithful to his God no matter what was going on around him. God gave him not only favor but knowledge and understanding of all kinds. How I would love to have favor, knowledge and understanding of all kinds. I can and so can you by walking in the way God has commanded us.
THE CHALLENGE: I would like for you to join with me in a ten day challenge just as Daniel did and abstain from all things that do not uplift God. This includes television shows, friends, associates, habits, etc. Let us replace these things with reading God's word constantly, sharing with others, living in love and pray in the Spirit.
PRAYER: God my Father in heaven I love you and I come to you thanking you for all that you have done for me and will do. I know that you have a purpose and plan for my life and I know that as I continue to seek you through prayer and the word enabled by the power of the Spirit you will reveal that plan to me. I come before you now surrendering all to you. Help me to flee from evil and to remain in your will. Move my heart and mind to put you above all others keeping my eyes on you. Strengthen me now Lord as I resolve to follow you in holiness. Thank you Father in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.