STAND OUT

“that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault amid a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”
Philippians 2:15 NKJV

Babylon was massive in power, political authority, and prosperity in the ancient world. It was surrounded by great brick walls, with magnificent statues beautifying its landscape. As the capital of Babylonia, it housed a most impressive edifice, the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, its powerful heathen king. For a city whose name means “Gate of God”, it rejected the One True God. Instead, it worshipped other gods and was well known for rebellion and wickedness.

Picture a Hebrew man, a captive in the city of cities, serving this same heathen king who attacked his land. Every day, he was exposed to a culture that exalted idolatry at its finest. He could have been distracted by the empire’s wealth and adopted its culture, yet he did not. This man could have been carried away with Nebuchadnezzar’s might and adopted the king’s religion, but he did not.

Every day he watched men bow before carved images and ate food offered to idols, yet he didn’t shake in his convictions. Not only this, he excelled above all the magicians, astrologers, and wise men in the Babylonian realm. He was planted in Babylon, he stayed true to the purpose of the God of his fathers, Yahweh, the only true God. His name is Daniel (Daniel 1:20, 2:46, 5:12).

We live in a world system that is just like Daniel’s. People have abandoned God’s way and gone their way. Numerous distractions have been put in place by the devil to derail many from the gospel. If you want to live a life of decadence and purposelessness, you can do so for free in this age (Ephesians 2:1). But we cannot afford to. We ought to be like Daniel.

Although we dwell in Babylon (spiritually speaking) we must set ourselves apart because we are not of Babylon. We are of God and must be about His purpose — to bring men to the knowledge of the truth (Ephesians 4:17, 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Babylon will present you with money, power, and appetite. It is after your integrity. It wants you to compromise and change your convictions on social media and other public spaces. It will present you with opportunities to seek money in illegal ways. You must not bow to its demands. Like Daniel, only God will be your God.

We are sojourners here on earth and citizens of heaven. There’s a way we ought to conduct ourselves — with honour and integrity (1 Peter 2:11-12). Yes, we live in a perverse world but we will shine as light. Like Daniel, show power, integrity, and excellence. Be of good conduct, so much that if anyone tries to paint us as evildoers, they will be ashamed of their lies (1 Peter 3:16).

Finally, love God above all. Keep His word in your heart and take the world for Jesus.

DO THIS: Meditate on Deuteronomy 6:4-8

Bible Reading Plan:
John 5:1-15, 1 Peter 1:17-25, Ecclesiastes 12, Jeremiah 39-43

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