Monday, February 1, 2016

Devotion 2.2.16

Super Bowl Week has hit.  Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos face off Sunday at 5:30 CST to crown a champion for the 2015 football season, and then a city will have the bragging rites for the next 6 - 7 months until the next season starts.  Of course, the hype makes some players household names for a period of time (staying power of the name to be determined by future success and how well the men handle fame).  Cam Newton, not a name used regularly around here, is now seen on commercials and in the news.  He's chiseled and at least this year has been from another planet on the football field, so his value has sky-rocketed because of the season and his appearance on the screen.

How would you respond to sudden fame?  What would people see in terms of the real you?  Would you be the "good old boy from Grass Roots, Iowa who remembers what it was like to work and grow up on a farm" or would you be the "I don't do interviews, hide behind the sun glasses, and look at your watch" person?  You could also be the "grew up on the mean streets of Deep Urban East Side who turned his life around and now shares his fame with the kids on those same mean streets to help them" or you could be the "redneck interview that went viral when you used every expletive to describe your views of race and ethnic groups just before you go camo hunting in Deep Woods in the Deep South."

Fame does interesting things to people.

Daniel rocketed to fame before the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar and before the king himself.  Described as being "without blemish, of good appearance..." (1:3), Daniel and the three young men of Israel captured by Babylon when it conquered Judah stood out in the king's court.  God has a purpose for Daniel and other three.  "As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." (1:17)  God clearly had a vision of his desires for his people by giving these young men these skills as Israel, God's chosen people, were held captive.

Over the next few days, we will look at Daniel, his role in the king's court, and his use of the gifts God gave him.  As you look at your own life, ask yourself, "What do I do with the gifts God gives me and how would I use those, even if thrust into the limelight?"  Pray that we use the gifts God has given us and that those gifts impact his kingdom as we follow his command to "make disciples of all nations."

Hope Men's Ministry

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