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Daily Devotionals

Day 62 – Issue 41

todayMay 1, 2015 6

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Be Still Know

Daniel 1.17 NLT

‘God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.’

The book of Daniel transports us to the time when Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, invaded Judah and took thousands of its residents into exile. This happened in the 6th Century BC. God had clearly prophesied that this would happen if the people failed to obey him, and Babylon’s victory was complete and humiliating. To be dragged hundreds of miles away to a completely unfamiliar place and culture represented Judah’s total failure. But King Nebuchadnezzar recognised that amidst the exiles were some very gifted young men. He chose four of them, who were strong, healthy and good-looking, and trained them up for service in the royal palace. They were Daniel and his three friends – who we know best by their adopted Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

The four exiles clearly fitted into their new life really well. We are told that they had an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. We also learn that Daniel was given the special gift of interpreting dreams. The whole book of Daniel relies on this fact, and it is doubtful that we would be talking about him today if this gift had not been given. The key fact
in all of this is that God gave him the gift. It wasn’t an innate ability, or a skill that he had acquired through doing extensive reading. God gave him the gift – and the outcome was transformative for the exiles and the future history of God’s people.

But this isn’t just an ancient story of how God worked long ago. Today God gives gifts to the right people to do his work. Sometimes the gifts that he gives are closely related to natural abilities, but often they are not. He gives gifts of caring, speaking his word, administration, healing, listening and prophesying. We need to be open to receive God’s gifts, however big a surprise they may be to us. And when we receive them and start using them, we need to remember that they aren’t the result of our own personal brilliance, but a love gift from God who deserves all the praise.

Question: What special gift has God give you and how are you going to use it today?

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for your generosity and love. Help me to treasure every gift that you have given to me. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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