Thursday, May 29, 2008

Check out this site!

I just was sent this address and wondered: "Why had I not thought of this before now!"  Thanks to an old time friend, Don Wright, RJC is reaching many Japanese who travel to the US for vacation, home stays, work related travel or study.  If you know of any Japanese who are going to the US or Canada, give this web site to them. There is also a Japanese section.  

Much thanks!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Calling Home" Daniel's Prayers, Part 2

I remember the great family movie a while back dealing with an ET. He needed to call home. Daniel was a lot like him. He never forgot about wanting to go home.  

Back in 1872, Dwight L. Moody attended an early morning prayer meeting in a hay storage place in Ireland. During that time, he heard a man say something that made a deep impression on him. 

A number of years later, he was attending the church where Charles Spurgeon was preaching. He said the same thing in his message “The world has yet to see what God can do with, and for, and through, and in the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to God’s Will” and Moody bowed his head and prayed to be that kind of man. The rest is history. A great teacher/Bible preacher, founder of a Bible College in Chicago, Ill., Moody was never the same again. He, in a way, was wanting to go home too. This place was not his home. It was being prepared by His Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who said that He would prepare such a place for men and women who follow Him.  

Daniel most likely would not see his own home land again. He was taken as a prisoner of war into Babylon and there, he was to stay, live and work and die. But, he was forever aware of the facts from the Word of God, that after 70 years of captivity, Israel would be allowed to return to her beloved homeland - the City of David, Jerusalem.  

Daniel was well aware of the cost involved. In the New Testament, we find:  
1 Corinthians 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

I believe Daniel understood that concept even when it had not been written yet. He was longing for the answer that was promised him and all of the exiled: Return Home. Enter your rest! 

It was promised yet he prayed for that return. He took his prayers before the Father of Heaven and interceded for himself and Israel. Both needed to be ready for that return. Three times a day, he stopped his work--a very busy government worker--and went to his room and bowed down facing Jerusalem and prayed to his God.

There has not been anyone in the world who was more busy as Daniel was. The pressures of working in the secular work place was more real for him than it is with us. His boss could terminate a worker simply because he did not like his face--or his family--or because he just wanted to kill someone. A real tough boss, that is for sure!

I wonder what kind of a prayer he spoke out three times a day. I wonder if he grew tired or if his mind wandered off into other I wonder if he was distracted by the sounds of a pagan people worshipping their gods. I wonder if he grew tired of this three time a day routine. 

Wonder no longer.

Daniel 6:10, we can hear what he said. 10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. 

Would you have done the same? Hard to know now, but if he had heard what Moody heard, and if you remember what Charles Spurgeon repeated, would it help?

Daniel prayed and gave thanks to his God. And he was almost killed for that! Yet it did not stop him. When man tries to dictate what is right and what is wrong when it is contrary with what God says, what should be our response? In a fair world, that would not happen, but we are not living in a fair world! This world is not our home. We are just passing thru on our way to our real home...the home that is being prepared for us by our Father--to be with Him.  

 John 14:23, Jesus replied, "If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

We have the destiny to live with the God of the Universe! Jesus called it Our home. With Him. Think of that!

   Hebrews 11:35-39, we find this: 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.) because they were looking to another homeland…

One of results of these prayers of Daniel, even when prayer was against the Law of the land, was that Daniel would be arrested and placed into the lion’s den. 

  Daniel 16:11 Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. 12 So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: "Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or man except to you, O king, would be thrown into the lions' den?" 
      The king answered, "The decree stands—in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed."
 13 Then they said to the king, "Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day." 14 When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.
 15 Then the men went as a group to the king and said to him, "Remember, O king, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed."
 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" 

Things do not go easy for those who call on the Lord. He knows how much we can bare but in 

1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

That has to do with temptation... not pain..not heartache. Think of those people in the Hebrew passage, Daniel, even Jesus, Himself, God did not spare them the pain nor the grief. They walked thru it with His Grace and His Power, just like the Grace and Power Daniel prayed for in our talk last week. And for the same reason: To the Glory of God.

We are not to come to Jesus for the blessing. Not for the praise or prize. Not even for the answers. We come to Him so He is lifted up and praised. Same with us this morning. We tend to look to His Hands for the blessing but He is encouraging us to look to His Face - ALONE! 

Lord, I’m Yours...and whatever the cost may be, may Your will be done in my life. I’m not here on earth to do my thing, or to seek my fulfillment or my glory. I’m not here to indulge in my desires, to increase my possessions, to impress people, to be popular, to prove I’m somebody important, or to promote myself. I’m not here even to be relevant or successful by human standards. I’m here to please You. Amen. 

(That is the prayer of my heart, and I know that I have much to learn until it is really true.)