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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.”—Daniel 6:3 (NKJV)
Recently, I stood in my dining room smiling from ear to ear as I wrote a check to a unique individual. I’d like to describe him as a unicorn wearing a tool belt because he did an unbelievable job. I thought I would never find a first-rate tradesman to do the work required, but this man exceeded my expectations. Honest businessmen who show up on time, do good work, and clean up after themselves do really exist. They are just rare and hard to find in today’s world. My interaction with this consummate professional lead me to write an excellent review on his behalf.
Now Daniel did not live in the age of consumer reports and internet reviews, but he received an enthusiastic endorsement from a pagan king who was probably not very easily impressed. Daniel distinguished himself as an exceptional leader who outshined others due to his integrity, wisdom, and diligence. Darius could lay his head down on his pillow at night and sleep peacefully because his kingdom was overseen by a man whose character and work ethic remained consistent even in the face of opposition. Daniel’s faithfulness helped him surpass his opponents and rise to the top in a very hostile environment.
Daniel was no longer confined by the chains of slavery, but he maintained the humble attitude of a servant and redefined himself. King Darius no longer viewed him as a poor exile, but as a prudent expert. Daniel’s enemies struggled to understand why he excelled in the face of adversity, but he persevered because of his impeccable character and surpassing wisdom.
This week, we will rub shoulders with many people who are lost and see the world through a very different perspective. We will walk into hard spaces bearing the name of Christ and filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God has chosen us to live holy and set apart so we may proclaim His praises and let everyone know He has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. Let’s purpose to excel in our ordinary responsibilities so many will see we serve an extraordinary God.
DIG: Read Philippians 1:9-11. List the 4 character traits the apostle Paul challenges the early believers to cultivate.
DISCOVER: Read Titus 2. If you were creating a job description for an “excellent Christian” based on Paul’s description, what qualifications would be required for the position?
DO: Romans 12:11 encourages us to not lag in diligence, but to serve the Lord with a fervent spirit. Today, ask God to show you one step you can take this week to serve Him with greater excellence at home, work, and church.