Core Convictions

‘Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.’ Daniel 1:8 NIV

What was Daniel’s problem? What was wrong with eating the best food in the country? Most people lived on a meagre diet. Daniel was going to have the opportunity to eat, literally, like a king. Why the hard line?

When you dig down into the cultural realities of the situation, more was at stake. A Babylonian feast was always eaten in honour of the gods. So whenever you sat down to a meal, it wasn’t just dining that you participated in, but an act of worship. This food had previously been sacrificed to a pagan god. For a Jewish teenager who took his faith in God seriously, participation would mean compromising who he was called to be. By eating their meal, he would be worshipping their god.

And for Daniel, that was a bridge too far. It was about compromising his character, and that he would not do. You don’t discover your convictions when the pressure is on; you decide them in advance. It’s during the good times that you determine what you will or won’t do during the hard times. The psalmist said: ‘How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.’ (Psalm 119:9–11 NIV)

Victorious Christian living is encapsulated in these three statements:

(1) ‘By living according to Your word.’

(2) ‘I seek You with all my heart.’

(3) ‘I have hidden Your word in my heart.’

SoulFood: Matt 5:5, Num 12:1–15, Ps 37:1–11, Phil 2:5–11

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2020

Today’s Readings

Matthew 5:5 ()

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“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Numbers 12:1–15 ()

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12:1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the LORD said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting.” And the three of them came out. And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the tent and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward. And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house. With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed.

10 When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned. 12 Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother's womb.” 13 And Moses cried to the LORD, “O God, please heal her—please.” 14 But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again.” 15 So Miriam was shut outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march till Miriam was brought in again.

Psalm 37:1–11 ()

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Of David.

37:1   Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
  For they will soon fade like the grass
    and wither like the green herb.
  Trust in the LORD, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
  Delight yourself in the LORD,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  Commit your way to the LORD;
    trust in him, and he will act.
  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.
  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!
  Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
  For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
10   In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
    though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11   But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace.

Philippians 2:5–11 ()

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Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Sun 22 March, 2020


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