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A Checkup From the Neck Up

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     Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to adjust your thinking? I’ve been there more times than I would like to admit. I had a great pastor when I was a young man who often would use the phrase “you need a check up from the neck up”.

     I certainly knew what he meant, an adjustment in thinking. Such was the case in the gospel of John when in chapter four, a nobleman approached Jesus in Cana to heal his son in Capernaum because he was sick and at the point of death. Capernaum was a good 15 to 20 miles away.

     After this man’s desperate request, Jesus response was “except you see signs and wonders you will not believe”. It almost sounds like Jesus was having a cranky moment considering the seriousness of the request or at best he appears to be quite insensitive to this man’s desperate situation. I assure you that neither were the case.

     Jesus, unlike many people today, had no problem telling the truth and at times said things in such a way that seemed harsh but were necessary in getting people to adjust their thinking. I truly believe Jesus was repeating to this prominent man words that had come out of his own mouth.

     Perhaps while discussing what people had seen, heard and said about Jesus he retorted, as many of us have done, “I’ll believe it when I see it”. Now, in an hour of desperation, he seeks out Jesus for a miracle. Jesus calmly told him to “go home, your son lives. The scriptures tell us he believed the word that was spoken and his son began to improve before he got home.

     This man made the adjustment and learned that seeing is not believing. Seeing knows whereas believing trusts without the benefit of seeing. This man had a life changing encounter with God and learned a very important lesson about real faith. Regardless of the challenges you may face in life, be determined never to become cynical but rather, keep believing.

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Tags: faith

Lessons From Daniel

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Lessons from Daniel

In Daniel 6, versus 1-4 we see that the prophet Daniel rose to a position of prominence in Babylon because of his faithfulness, character and dedication to the things of God. Daniel is an Old Testament example of walking in excellence. It was these character traits coupled with his faith in God and his understanding of his purpose that enabled Daniel to be considered one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament.

His ministry was not without challenges. When he was promoted in the kingdom, his rivals launched an investigation into his life and could find, “no occasion or fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him (V4)”. That simply means they found no scandal or anything amiss. Daniel was a man of character and integrity.

It wasn’t long after this that he was thrown into a den of hungry lions because he was faithful to God and would not compromise. I often tell people, don’t spend the night in the lion’s den if you have not been faithful. It may not go well with you. You see, often people start thinking about faithfulness, dedication and integrity when they are in the midst of trouble and when the hungry lions are breathing down their neck so to speak. That is not the opportune time to develop your faith, develop your character and practice faithfulness.

Thank God for His grace and mercy because He will see you through any trouble if you will lean on Him with a sincere heart and trust. Many times you may have to make adjustments and changes so that God can bring your purpose to fruition in your life.

Daniel got in trouble for doing the right thing. It was not God who brought trouble to Daniel, but rather his enemies. In the same manner it is not God who brings trouble into your life. The truth of the matter is that trouble and challenges come to us all, but a life of faithfulness, integrity and dedication to God’s Word will always enable you to prevail.

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