But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine. Dan. 1:8
And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ”This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ”This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Luke 22:19-20
Dear heavenly Father, the older I get, the more I’m convicted and encouraged by the lives of Daniel and his exiled friends. May the gospel bring me greater freedom to live and love as these men did—with passion, conviction, wisdom, and hope.
I used to read the book of Daniel as a survival manual for life in a scary, godless world; but that’s not the way you wrote the book. I now realize that Daniel is a testimony to your commitment to redeem people, places and things throughout the world, including Babylon.
Indeed, you intend to bring the transforming power of the gospel to bear wherever you send your people; for one Day the knowledge of your glory will cover the entire earth as the waters cover the sea. What a story; what a gospel; what a God!
Father, in light of this big gospel, help us make the kinds of commitments Daniel made so we can live as an instruments of your transforming presence where you’ve placed us. In particular, keep us wise to the particular “defilements” that wage war against our hearts and your story. Strengthen us in the face of temptation; enable us to serve you with joy, at all times, in all places; fill our hearts with grace as we feast on the royal wine and food of the true King, the Lord Jesus.
Indeed, Lord Jesus, we praise you for the true bread and the glorious cup of the new covenant—our celebration of your completed work, and the acknowledgement of our ongoing need. As the Bread of Heaven, feed us till we want no more. As the giver of the water of life, quench our thirst that we might live and love as Daniel did—with passion, conviction, wisdom, and hope.
How we long for the Day when we will once again enjoy this feast with you. Until then, keep us strong; keep us faithful; keep us loving. So very Amen we pray, in your loving and holy name.