READ: Daniel 5-6
THINK: Can people see a difference between you and your non-Christian peers? While you should be able to relate to those who don't know Jesus, there should be a noticeable difference in your attitudes, conversations and actions. After all, why would people consider entrusting their lives to Jesus if they can't see a distinct and positive difference in the lives of those who claim to follow Him? The fact is that people are watching you. If they're aware of your faith, some will wonder about it. Some may even envy it, while others will resent it. And people will test you-some trying to undermine your faith, but others sincerely trying to discover if what you have is real. When you boldly identify with Christ and refuse to compromise your devotion, He will be your defender and give you the kind of impact on others that will make a difference in their lives too.
RESPOND: How did Belshazzar dishonor God at the banquet (5:3-4,22-28)? (See 5:3 note.) What had the king refused to learn from the past (5:18-24), and what would happen as a result (5:25-28)? (See 5:22 and 5:26 notes.) What does it mean that he had "been weighed on the scales and found wanting" (5:27)? (See 5:27 note.) Who would overtake the Babylonian empire (5:28)? (See 5:28-5:30 notes.) What did king Darius plan to do with Daniel (6:3), and how did the other administrators react (6:4)? (See 6:3 note.) Why couldn't anyone find fault with Daniel (6:4), and why are the traits he had vital for God's people? What discipline in Daniel's life would the jealous officials try to use against him (6:5-8)? (See 6:5 and 6:7 notes.) How might people try to use your faithfulness to God against you? How did Daniel respond to the decree, and what does this reveal about his character? (See 6:10: note.) What was the king's attitude toward Daniel and God (6:16-19)? What did the king recognize as the source of Daniel's rescue (6:23,27)? (See 6:23 note.) In the end, who was affected by Daniel's bold devotion to God (6:25-26)?
PRAY: Ask God to keep you trustworthy and conscientious in all you do. Pray for boldness in the face of opposition to your faith. Pray for those who put you to the test, that they'll see God's power and love through you.
ACT: If you're facing pressure to compromise your faith, don't give up. Trust Christ for greater influence as you stand strong for Him. Remember, your influence is more effective if backed by integrity, respect and excellence.
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