Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Can You be a Godly Influence in a Godless Society?

Two of the most well-known Bible stories are Joseph and his “coat of many colors” and Daniel in the lion’s den. Ironically, though over 1,000 years separate these men, they have many things in common that we can learn from today.
Both men were uprooted from their homes and planted in foreign lands when they were teenagers. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he ended up living in Egypt (Genesis 37:28). Daniel was taken captive by the Babylonians and he ended up living in Babylon (Daniel 1:1).
Both men were faithful to God and obeyed Him without reservation even while living amid heathen people (Daniel 5:11, Genesis 39:6-12 / Daniel 1:8, Daniel 6:10).

Both men were unjustly accused and thrown into a prison (Genesis 39:20 / Daniel 6:16), yet because of their sterling faith in God, the chief guard exalted Joseph in prison and the king fasted for Daniel’s safety while he was in the lion's den. (Genesis 39:22 / Daniel 6:18).

Both men were forced to live in cultures that were contrary to their beliefs, yet they lived their lives without compromising their convictions.

Both men respected their leaders and did not resort to complaining, judging, name-calling, or revolting amid the culture filled with sorcerers, magicians, and idolaters.

And as a result, because of their unflinching faith and devotion to God, they both became men of influence.
God used Joseph to save a country from starvation (Genesis 41:35-36) and God used Daniel in the conversion of two kings (Daniel 4:37, Daniel 6:25-26).

Both men ascended to great heights and became powerful men in the political arena, influencing and bettering the lives of the people (Genesis 41:40-41, Daniel 2:48, Daniel 6:2-3). They served among the ungodly while living out their unshakable faith.
In the New Testament, Jesus is the perfect balance and example of godly influence and living. He loved and mingled with sinners and yet preached repentance and acceptance of Him in order to enter His Heavenly Kingdom (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3). Fear will keep us in our comfort zone. Faith and firm footing on the Solid Rock of His Word will give us the courage to stand for Christ, love and serve other people, and become a positive influence in society.