Blameless

Then the other administrators and princes began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling his affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize. He was faithful and honest and always responsible. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the requirements of his religion.”

Daniel 6:4-5 (NLT)

Here is a man with wisdom and knowledge. This wisdom and knowledge has gained him great influence. Because of his influence, the other leaders become jealous and seek to find a way to destroy the man. Yet they cannot seem to find a way because the man in blameless. With no other options, they manufacture a way to catch him and have him arrested and killed.

Are we still talking about Daniel here?

A very similar story is repeated in the Gospels with the account leading up to Jesus’ arrest. Daniel’s story sounds a lot like the one that would play out centuries later.

So what’s the deal with these leaders who can’t stand to have a blameless person in their midst? The answer is right there—blameless. Daniel was able to accomplish more than all of the other advisors and princes were able to—without cheating or lying. He put them to shame because of his integrity. A worldly way of thinking just can’t handle the way of the blameless.

Read the news. Christians are still experiencing similar persecution. When the world doesn’t understand the way we live, they feel as though they must quash it. I believe it is because of their own shame that they do so. When Christians stand firm in their faith, it sends a message to a world that stands for nothing. And, to those who stand for nothing, it renders their existence meaningless. Can you imagine living a life void of meaning?

As Christians, our lives are full of meaning and purpose and we should do all that we can to live both of those to their fullest potential.

If is for the glory of God, when those who profess religion, conduct themselves so that their most watchful enemies may find no occasion for blaming them, save only in the matters of their God, in which they walk according to their consciences.

Matthew Henry

Paul tells us to find joy in trials of every kind because they make us stronger and build our faith. Daniel, after enduring a night with the lions was given even greater power than he had before. While I cannot guarantee that you’ll end up the third most powerful person in the country, I can guarantee that, when you stand before the Lord having held firm in your faith, you will hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Daily Bible reading: Daniel 5-6, 1 John 4

Silence the fools

It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you. You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God’s slaves.

1 Peter 2:15-16 (NLT)

The best way to prove a fool wrong is by your actions—not with malicious intent, but by simply living contrary to their foolish accusations.

The church is one of the most accused groups out there. It’s full of hypocrites. They just preach that prosperity stuff. The preachers all holler and spit. It’s only a place where weak people go.

The best way around all of those things is to live the exact opposite. Live with integrity. Preach a balanced message. Whisper and try not to drool. Be strong. Let the way you live exceed the expectations of others.

Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world.

1 Peter 2:12 (NLT)

If you’ve ever tried to argue your point with a fool, you know that it is a fruitless waste of time.

Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible.

Proverbs 10:23 (NLT)

The best response to a foolish accusation is to live a life above reproach. In living wisely, not only can we find pleasure and honor, but we silence the fools.

Daily Bible reading: Ezekiel 34-35, 1 Peter 2

The Walk

What’s in front of you? Right now, it’s a device of some sort that has a connection to the internet. What’s on that device? Truth? Lies? What do you put in front of yourself on a daily basis? What, if anything, do you put away from yourself?

David got pretty serious about what he allowed in his presence.

I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.

No on who practices deceit shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

Psalm 101:2-4, 7 (ESV)

Now we could have the argument that, if we are to fulfill the Great Commission, that we can’t put all of these people away from us. I don’t think that’s what David means here, though. I believe he is looking at the people he surrounds himself with on a daily basis. The people he allows to speak into his life and influence his decisions.

I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way of the blameless shall minister to me.

Psalm 101:6 (ESV)

Who or what do you allow to influence you on a daily basis? Are you intentional about what you allow before you and what you put away from you?

Think about these verses today. Pay attention to what you allow to direct your day. Do you favour the faithful? Do you turn from those who utter lies?

Why not try to walk in integrity today?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 99-102; Romans 13

Confidence

Are you a confident person? What makes you so? Your own ability? Your position?

Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?

Job 4:6 (ESV)

In his despair, Job’s friend reminds him of who he is.

If our confidence is in ourselves, we will lose it. Not only will we let others down, but we will surely let ourselves down.

But if our confidence is in God, how will we ever be let down? God never changes. The same God that provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness is still the same God we serve today. He’s the same God who both parted and calmed the seas. He’s the same God who raise Christ from the dead so that he could be alive in us.

Have confidence in that God.

Daily Bible reading: Job 4-6; Acts 7:20-43