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Devotional - week of March 18, 2018

GOD'S SURPRISING WORKS

I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel." Daniel 6:26

Shortly before King Darius made the decree mentioned above, he had made another decree. The earlier decree was that for the next 30 days anyone who worshipped any other person or god but Darius would be put into the den of lions. Because it was a decree of the Medes and Persians it could not be broken.

Daniel’s peers tricked King Darius into making the earlier decree because they were jealous of Daniel. They knew he would continue worshipping God and would not keep the decree. They were correct. Daniel did not keep the decree, and he was put in the den with the lions. This grieved King Darius because he respected Daniel and his decree could not be changed. However, God saved Daniel from the lions and Darius rejoiced. Then against all tradition, Darius broke the first decree with the one that everyone in his kingdom should worship the God of Daniel. Who would have believed that a king would do such a surprising thing?

God’s works are still surprising us. He surprises us in what He does to spread the message of grace. When we first experienced the life of grace, we were filled with joy. We wanted every Christian we knew to hear what God had revealed to us. We soon discovered that very few people had any interest in living the life of grace. However, in time, God gave us the surprising experience of sharing the message with someone who was ready for a changed life. This person responded positively and became as much of an advocate of the message as we are. One man calls such a person a “champion” for the message.

A man pleaded with a fellow worker to go hear a pastor who was teaching grace. For awhile the man refused. Finally, he went to hear the pastor. The pastor’s message angered the man. But God had a surprise in mind for the angry man and the one who invited him to hear the message of grace. Today, this once angry man is a zealous champion for the message of grace.

Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, let us keep telling the message. God has some surprises in mind for each one of us who share the message. Some future “champions” for the message are waiting to hear.