This is Celia C. Tillman, bringing you greetings and encouragement from the Honey-Comb of Praises. Our lesson for today is GRATITUDE. Ladies, what is your state of mind at this time? Are you full of joy and are you giving thanks to God for the breath of life, and being able to see a new day with your eyes; to feast upon his goodness and kindness? This awesome God who turns the midnight to daybreak, and in the spring, however, God provides rain and sunshine to grow beautiful flowers for us to enjoy and admire. Our gratitude or thankfulness shouldn’t be wasted on complaints but thank him for his many blessings that he bestows upon us each every daily.
Let us go back and read about the men who were grateful, and were able to send up prayers to God in the midst of their trials and tribulations. In Daniel Chapters 2-12, we read that in the days of Daniel, who was a prophetic mouthpiece or spokesman for God to the Jewish and Gentile nation, declaring his eternal purpose.
You know Ladies, Satan has always been in the midst when we are trying to please and work for God’s glory. So it was in the life of Daniel, who had to encounter evil men who went about to bring charges against him. Let me point out that Daniel had a clean record concerning his work ethics in the province; he was able to interpret the king’s dreams, when there were none others who could do so. The king replied to Daniel, “Of a truth it is that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou could reveal this secret.” The king, Nebuchadnezzar, promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon, Daniel 2:47-48.
In Chapter 6 we find King Darius giving recognition to Daniel for his God given qualities. The king set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty princes (satraps) and over these were chosen three administrators, of whom one, was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer lost, Daniel 6:2. Daniel was preferred above the other administrators and princes because of his excellent spirit. The king gave thought to set him over the whole kingdom but these evil men conspired to get him on one technicality: They knew Daniel was dutiful and faithful to his God; he prayed 3 times a day. However, these evil men had the king to sign a royal decree forbidding anyone to pray to any god or human except the king for thirty days, and if they refused to obey, they would be thrown in the lion’s den.
Daniel knew that the law had been signed but he did as always, prayed in front of the window that faced Jerusalem and knelt down in prayer three times a day, giving thanks to God. When this was made known to king Darius, he was very low in spirit and displeased with himself, and tried to find ways to help Daniel but to no avail.
Daniel was put in the lion’s den. Ladies, what impressed me was the words of the king, who said, “Thy God whom thou served continually, will deliver thee.” The king, all night long, fasted and refused to be entertained because of Daniel being in the lion’s den. But God was faithful; just and shut the lion’s mouth. However, by the faith of Daniel to his God, the King Darius removed him out of the den of lions; the evil men and their wives; children were thrown into the pit, Daniel 6:1-24.
Daniel made a great impression upon king Darius, who saw the steadfastness, of his faith and devotion in serving his God in the midst of adversity. When the King hurried to the den, where the entrance had been shut and tightly sealed, he called out with a lamenting voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”
Lets look at the word CONTINUALLY, (very often, continued in the same way or at intervals). Daniel prayed in a systematic pattern, three times a day which he followed, and didn’t let anything stop him from sending up gratitude to his God. King Darius made the statement, “Your God will deliver you,” which showed remarkable faith especially, when he worshiped idols and statues like all the other heathen Kings, (ref: Dan. 3:17-18). King Darius faith in Daniel God’s caused him to respect the true and living God over those gods made with man hands. Daniel let his light shine before the King, Eph. 5:8. Even when he heard the king’s voice call his name, he didn’t hold a grudge but he honored the King and said, “O king live forever! My God has sent his angels and shut the lions’ mouths so that they have not hurt me because I was found innocent; I have done no harm to you.”
Ladies, the Bible teaches us to respect all of those who has the rule over us; “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” This also includes the President, and we are to offer up prayers on his behalf and respect the office of which he holds, I Peter 2:13-18 which includes, the brotherhood, employers; any other who has the rule over us.
Ladies, King Darius’ faith in God moved him to the point that he wanted to tell everybody about the God of Daniel. His gratitude was so overwhelming that he wrote a decree to all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “I command everyone in my kingdom to worship and honor the God of Daniel. He is the living God, the one who lives forever. His power and his kingdom shall never end; he rescue people, and set them free by working great miracle. Daniel’s God has rescued him from the powers of the lions,” Daniel 6:26-27. We can very well say that King Darius had become an ambassador for God. He was on fire to tell the world about the Great God of Daniel.
Let us now look briefly at the Psalmist David, who opened up his heart (mind) for all of us to see. In Psalm 51:10, David asked God to create in him a pure heart and make him faithful again; in verse 11 of that same chapter, he asked God, not to cast him away from him because of the terrible sin that he had committed. Ladies, we know God hates sins regardless of who commits it. Sin separates us from God’s law, I John 3:4; all sin should be repented of if we are to inherit heaven, I Corinthian 6:9; all unrighteousness is sin, I John 5:17. When Nathan the prophet confronted David about how he had taken Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and committed adultery with her, and then killed him to cover up his own sins 2 Samuel 11:1-5; verse 14-17; chapter 12:1-9 of 2 Samuel. David realized that God was all powerful and he could forgive sin. He also knew that he was the King of Israel and he needed healing by the mercy of God, 2 Samuel 12:13. We also see David in Psalm 51:3-4. He said, “I acknowledge my transgression, and my sins are always before me. Against you and you only have I sinned and have done this evil in your sight.” Oh, what great testimony uttered by David. How many of us would have been that godly sorrowful for the wrong that we had committed toward God? David had a deep faith in God when he was only a young lad. He told Goliath that he didn’t have to rely on sword, spear and javelin but he came in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, I Samuel 17:45-46.
Ladies, as David said, “The battle is not ours to fight but it is the Lord’s. We must believe that God will fight all our battles, if we only believe. The Bible teaches that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the ruler of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. Ladies, therefore you and I must put on the whole armor, meaning that we must be strong, and fully dressed to fight this war of Satan. Please read Ephesians 6:10-18.
Ladies, we are children of God, and his friends, if we do whatsoever he tells us to do. God said, “I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will,” Acts 13:22; I Samuel 13:14. David was always sending up prayers to God. When we read passages from the books of Psalms, we see David pouring out his heart to God, whether it is in thanksgiving, praise, hope, faith or sorrow for sin, or God’s loyalty and help: “I rise before the sunrise of the morning and I cry for help; I put my hope in your word. I am awake through the night that I may meditate upon your word,” Psalm 119:147-148.
As Christians, we need to always be mindful, and acknowledge that God is good, not only in times of plenty, but also in times of distress. Ladies, our prayer life should be rich and overflowing with gratitude toward God because he is so merciful and understanding. He is a compassionate God, and willing to listen. Paul admonish the church in Philippi to “Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known unto to God,” Philippians 4:6.
EACH DAY IS BEAUTIFUL
Oh, how wonderful and how gracious each day that I awaken from slumber so fair.
The dawn of the morning is nearing, and your hands of mercy appearing.
The morning is uncovered with brightness, and oh how wonderful I do proclaim,
The work that you do, all in your Father’s name.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for another day I see, for love so gracious and so kind,
For I am so blessed to be.
(The Honey Comb of Praises, pg. 71; by Celia C. Tillman)
- Who was Daniel a mouthpiece for, and what was his purpose? Explain
- Who were the men that tried to destroy Daniel’s character? Explain
- What special gift did Daniel have? Explain
- Why was Daniel preferred over the other administrators? Explain
- Why was Daniel thrown into the pit with the lions?
- How strong was Daniel’s faith in his God?
- Did King Darius believe that Daniel’s God would come to his rescue and save him? Explain
- What does the Bible teach in Eph. 5:8? Explain (b) Did Daniel walk in darkness or light?
- What were the heathen kings accustom to worshiping?
- What did King Darius do to show his gratitude to Daniel’s God? Explain
- In Psalm 51:10, what did David ask God to do for him, and why? Explain
- What sin did Nathan the prophet consult David about? Explain
- Why did God say, that David was a man after his own heart? Give scripture
- As Christians today, what should we always acknowledge about God? Explain
- All perfect gifts come from the Father above, however, what should a Christian do to receive them?