Daniel Week Three, Day Five Read Daniel 3:28-30 This past winter, I played on a church league basketball team. It was a lot of fun until I had to shoot free throws. I think I only made about 30% of the free throws I took and that may be generous. One night during a game, though, I caught myself talking to someone about what I saw wrong with their jump shot. I noticed they were rushing to take the shot instead of following through and getting a good shot. In the middle of telling the person how I thought I could shoot better, I realized that there was no reason for the person to listen to any advice I may have about shooting since I couldn’t make a free throw myself! How I was playing wasn’t backing up what I was saying at all. What we say only carries weight if what we do backs it up. After the king pulled Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of the fire completely unharmed, his whole attitude changed. Instead of demanding that anyone who didn’t bow down and worship the giant statue of him, he was now saying that anyone who said anything negative toward the Hebrew God would be punished. The king was blown away by the miraculous deliverance that God performed on behalf of the three young men. Had the three compromised and worshipped the statue or even just pretended by bowing down, this thing may not have happened in the king’s life. When we show faithful obedience in the fires of our lives, God is not only closer to us, but He’s also revealed and glorified to others who may not even know Him yet. The amount God uses us to impact the lives of others is often equal to the amount of sacrifice we are willing to make. When someone is willing to stand firm in their faith in the face of difficulty, what they believe and what they say holds much more weight to those around them. We open up doors for God to impact lives anytime we stand firm to what we say we believe. The next time you face a struggle in your life, look for ways that God might use that struggle to communicate to the people around you. We never know who’s watching how we react and whether or not we are living out what we say we believe. REFLECT: Have you ever been impacted by how someone else reacted to a tough situation in their life (either by living out what they said they believed or by not acting the way they said they believed)? How did that impact you? What did you learn from them? PRAY: During your prayer time today, take a few minutes to pray for people you know who are going through difficult situations. Pray that God will use that situation for good both in that person’s life and in the lives of the people around them. // TWO-A-DAYS // GO A LITTLE FARTHER WITH YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS // Go through these questions with your spouse, kids, or friend, or you can even journal about the answers to these questions:

  1. What was the best part of your day?
  2. What was the toughest part of your day?
  3. Where did you mess up today?
  4. Where did you see God today?
READ THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT: Today’s Reading: Luke 18]]>