Often when things are not going our way, our own attitude can make a tough situation even more difficult. An accurate perspective is vital, especially when it is midnight in our soul. Giving thanks to God and singing His praise will alter our perspective as the Lord's light of hope breaks through.
Our minds are like a hotel. The manager can't keep people from coming into the lobby, but he can keep them from getting a room. It is the same with our thoughts. It is not a sin when an impure thought goes through our minds. The sin comes when we give it a room and let it settle down there.
There are stark differences between as 'achieved ministry' and a 'received ministry.' An achieved ministry seeks the applause and amen of men. A received ministry sees the applause and amen of God. An achieved ministry may succeed even though it fails. A received ministry may fail (in the eyes of men) even though it succeeds (in the eyes of God).
Real Christianity is lovely. There is a quality about a Spirit-filled, radiant Christian that draws and attracts others and causes them to enjoy favor with all the people. The truth is that the gospel is not nearly as offensive as some of its proponents!
In too many places and in too many circumstances, worship is only identified with something we do before the sermon. That is, we think the worship leader is one who leads choruses or spiritual songs. The dynamic of the worship experience is a complete package, and it is the sermon, the preaching of the Gospel, that must be central to it. It is the pastor himself who sets the tone for worship.
Proclamation, the preaching of the Gospel, should be central to Christian worship. The sermon is the central dynamic in the worship experience. It is the fulcrum upon which the entire service of worship hinges. Everything that comes before it should point to it, and everything that comes after it should issue out of it. Because of this, the pastor is the worship leader of the church.
Daniel continued through a culture unlike his own; one that lost its way. Today, you and I are living in a culture that's losing its way. It's good to know that just as in Daniel's day, God is looking for men and women of integrity to help confront in love a culture that's losing its way and to point it back to him.
We warn our children and grandchildren about peer pressure. We want them to say no to the vices of the world: drinking, drugs, and other destructive behaviors. But as we move from childhood to adulthood, we find the peer pressure changes. Daniel 3:2 notes 'the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces' were there. I'm sure more than one of them thought they needed to keep their job with all of its benefits. Not much has changed in two-and-a-half millennia.
We all have one other world we live in: our public world. Some people call it our public persona. This is the world where someone who doesn't know you privately, personally, or professionally hears your name and has some opinion about you one way or another. So the question becomes: where is integrity rooted? Some people think it's rooted in their public life. They spend all of their time trying to spin their public image. It's not rooted there, however. It's simply revealed there. People who lack integrity will have it revealed publicly.