Teaching Sermons For Pastors and Laymen

 May 26, 2006

Daniel's Band


Text: "O Daniel, a man greatly beloved."—Daniel 10:11.


It didn’t do Daniel any harm to know that he was loved by God.

Some people are always afraid that, if Christian people are certain that God loves them, they’ll become proud, and conceited.

But I don’t think we should worry about that, because I don’t know of any greater blessing that can happen to any man or woman here, than to be assured by the Spirit of God that they are greatly loved by the Lord.

Just to know that God loves you will not harm you in any way, in fact it can be a blessing in many ways.

One of those ways is that you’ll become very humble, and you might say something like this to yourself: "How could God ever love me? What was there in me to deserve His love?"

I think an awareness of God's love is even more humbling than an awareness of our own sin.

A feeling of God's love will also stir up great gratitude.

You might say to yourself, "How can I ever repay the Lord for such a great blessing?"

But, you know that you never can repay Him, and you’ll feel grateful, and a feeling of gratitude leads to obedience.

When we realize how much we owe Him, then we will seek to know God’s will for our life.

Whatever he asks us, we will be happy to do it.

A feeling of God’s love will also set you apart.

I believe that when you are certain of God’s love, you will feel that you can’t live like others do.

You can’t dip into sin.

If you live in the heart of the king, and He lives in your heart, you must be faithful to him, and you will be.

Doesn’t the Bible say, "Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's"

The knowledge that God loves us also strengthens us.

Why is it that when a person falls in love with God, and knows for certain that God loves him back, that he becomes bold and will witness to his boss or the stranger he meets on the street.

When faith is side by side with love, it—
"Laughs at impossibilities,
And says, 'It shall be done;'"

And love goes and does it; for there is nothing which the love of God will not enable us to do.

What’s more, this assurance of God's love will make us very courageous.

If you are a man who is greatly loved, and you know it, you will be a brave man.

The love of God can make a hero out of any man or woman.

He will be willing to burn to death for Christ like the early Christians had to do.

He would be willing to burn a thousand times over, once he was assured that he was the object of the love of God.

Love will make a man happy.

If we are loved by God, how can we be miserable and discontented?

You will be happy, even when there’s a lot to depress and discourage you.

The happiest man is the man who has the greatest assurance that he is "a man greatly loved."

Well, to help us think of Christ's great love for us, I am going to talk a little, first, about the case of Daniel, the man greatly loved; secondly, about the case of every believer, because every believer is a man or woman greatly loved; and thirdly, about the case of some special saints, believers who are the best of the best.

We can truly say that they are men and women who are greatly loved.

I. First, then, let’s consider THE CASE OF DANIEL, who was "a man greatly loved.”

Because Daniel was greatly loved by God, he faced trials and troubles early on, and with the Lord’s help he stood the test.

While he was a child, he was carried into Babylon, and there he refused to eat the king's meat, or to drink the king's wine.

Daniel proposed a trial period of ten days during which he would only have vegetables to eat, and water to drink.

Now, a relationship with God doesn’t rely on meat and drink; but let me say, it has become very important to many, as to what they eat and what they drink.

Daniel was tested early, and because he was a man loved by God, he stood the test.

He would not yield even in a small point to that which was evil.

If you are greatly loved, you will stand firm, even about so small a thing as what you eat and drink, or something that may be less important than that.

If you can do that, then you are greatly loved.

Afterwards, Daniel was envied by the Babylonians.

He was surrounded by envious enemies, who couldn’t bear the thought that he was promoted over them; even though he deserved all the honor he received.

So they met together to decide how to bring him down.

But they were obliged to make this confession, "We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God."

Friends, you are honored, if, when your enemies meet to devise some scheme to cause your downfall, they can’t say anything against you unless they base it upon your religion.

You may have heard about when Daniel was delivered from great danger.

He was thrown into the lions' den, because he was a man greatly loved of God.

And the Lord who loved him delivered him from the lions.

The lions couldn’t eat him, because God loved him too much.

The Lord preserved Daniel, and he will preserve you, if you belong to "Daniel's band."

It is one thing to sing:—
"Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone;"

But it is quite another thing to be a Daniel, and dare to stand alone, when you are at the mouth of the lions den.

If you are like Daniel, you won’t have to fear, even then.

If your personal trial is like going into a den of lions, and if you are a man greatly loved by God, you will come out again.

No lion can destroy you; you are perfectly safe.

The love of God is like a wall of fire all around you.

There’s something else; Daniel was a man greatly loved, and therefore he had revelations from God.

Listen to what he says: "I Daniel was early grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me;" and also: "As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me; but I kept the matter in my heart."

The revelations he received actually made him ill.

He said, "I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it."

When one man said, "You cannot see God and live," another answered, "Then let me see him if I die."

So those who are greatly loved say "Let me see visions of God, whatever it may cost me.

That’s all for Daniel’s case.

II. For the second case, I am going to speak of THE CASE OF EVERY BELIEVER, who is also greatly loved by God.

Every believer has been called out from others.

Friends, think about where you came from.

Like Abraham, you were called out from your family, and away from your father's house.

Maybe, you don’t have a godly family.

It may be that there are some here today who are the only ones in their family that ever knew the Lord, so far as they know.

Are you a man or woman that’s greatly loved?

Then appreciate the grace of God that called you, and your father, and your grandfather, and your brother, and your spouse, and maybe your children too.

Let’s be grateful, and bless the name of the Lord!

Remember, too, that you were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.

He took upon himself your nature, and on the cross he bore your sins in his own body.

He died for you in that special way which obtained your salvation.

If you have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, then you are "a man or woman greatly loved."

Also, you have been pardoned, and now you’re one of Lord's children.

Think about your sins for a moment, and then forget it, because God has blotted it out.

He has placed all your sins behind His back.

They have all been covered by the blood of Christ; there isn’t one of them left.

There is no way those sins can condemn you.

You are forgiven.

Perhaps you were a drunkard, you cussed and took the Lord’s name in vain, you were disobedient to your parents, or you were an adulterer; but whatever your sin is, the blood of Jesus has cleansed you, and you are whiter than the snow; and He has placed on you the robe of His perfect righteousness, and you are "accepted in the Beloved."

You are a man or woman greatly loved.

I remember when as a boy of nine, that I was called by God, and pulled from a pew at the back of the church by the Holy Spirit.

I cried all the way to the alter, where I knelt and asked God to forgive me, and then I asked Jesus to come into my heart. 

He took away my sin, and set my feet upon a rock.

Blessed be his name!

If there is a man in the world who can sing,—

"Oh, 'twas love, 'twas wondrous love,
The love of God to me!
It brought my Savior from above,
To die on Calvary;"

I am that man; and you can sing it, too, friends, can’t you?

You’ve been forgiven, haven’t you?

You are a pardoned man or a pardoned woman and you are greatly loved.
 
Beside that, remember that the Lord has supported you until now.

In your life, how often have you been tempted?

Worse than that, how often have you yielded to temptation; yet you’re here today.

Your character isn’t ruined, your soul isn’t lost, and Satan’s foot is not on your neck yet; and it never will be; glory to the name of the Lord!

When I think of all we’ve experienced, and the way in which the Lord has led us, I can truly say that we are men and women who are greatly loved.

Eternity itself will not be long enough to tell "the old, old story, of Jesus and his love."

But now, what I want to say is this, we shall be with him soon.

Some of us here today have been around the block several times; and our faces are wrinkled, and we tire easily.

Friends, it is only the twinkling of an eye, life is so brief, and then we shall be with him, and shall behold his glory.

Do you ever think about how great that love is that will take you to be with Christ; to live with him, and to share His glory for ever?

As surely as we are in Christ today, we shall be with Christ before long.

Friends, to have a future like this before you, ought to make you feel like you’re in heaven already.

III. Now, I want to speak for a few minutes about THE CASE OF SPECIAL SAINTS, those men and women who are in a peculiar sense greatly loved.

There are some men, as I said at the beginning of my talk, who are especially loved by God.

Remember, Christ had seventy choice men as his disciples; but out of them he had twelve choicer men, his apostles; and he had three of these, who were with him when the others were not; and out of these three he had one, John, "that disciple whom Jesus loved."

His love is so sweet, that, while I would be grateful to be even outside the seventy, so long as I might be among the five hundred brethren who saw him after he rose from the dead.

Still, I would then have the ambition to get in among the seventy; and not for the honor that it would be, but for the love it would bring.

I would like to be one of the eleven; and for the same reason I would desire to be one of the three, and I would, more than anything, be thankful if I may possibly be that one whom Jesus loved.

Do you have the same desire?

Well, now, let me tell you something, if you want to be among the outstanding saints, greatly loved by God, you must be men and women of spotless character.

Christ loves great sinners; and even those saints that fall, and stain their garments, he will not throw away

But you will never enjoy the fullness of Christ's love unless you keep your garments unspotted from the world.

You can’t find any faults in Daniel; and if you want to live on earth and be in heaven while you are here, you must watch every step, and observe every word; for our Lord is very jealous, and half a word of evil will grieve him.

If you want to walk in the light as he is in the light, and have constant fellowship with God, I beg you, be perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect, and seek after holiness.

The pure in heart shall see God.

I pray that everyone will have this type of purity!

It’s those who have not defiled their garments who shall walk with Christ in eternity.

The next point is that men who are greatly loved are men of decision.

When Daniel was facing the lions' den, because of his faithfulness to God, the Bible says that he went into the house; and opened the bedroom window that faced towards Jerusalem.

There he kneeled three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just the same as he had always done

There was no compromising in Daniel's case.

If you want to be greatly loved, do not attempt any compromise with sin.

If God uses you in his service, you must be like the tribe of Levi, and be separate from your brothers and sisters, and you must always be ready to stand up bravely for God and for his eternal truth at any cost.

Next, if you want to be a man or woman greatly loved by God, more than all the rest of His people, you must spend a lot of time in prayer.

Daniel fasted and prayed, and communicated with God with cries and tears; and God came and revealed himself to him.

He was greatly loved, because he lived close to God.

He was no far-off follower of his Lord.

He lived with God and walked with God.

If a man wants to be greatly loved by God, he must live above the world, as Daniel did.

Daniel became a prince, a governor, a man of substance and position; but when Balthazar promised to clothe him with scarlet, and to put a gold chain about his neck, if he could read and interpret the writings on the wall, he said to the king, "Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another."

Daniel didn’t want them.

When he became great in the land, he walked with God just like he had done when he was poor.

It is a dangerous thing for some people to excel in this world, because they begin to think too much of themselves.

The person, who thinks that he is somebody, is nobody.

Daniel was a man greatly loved, and God showed him His great love by setting him in high places, and keeping him there in safety.

Once more, men who are greatly loved by the Lord live totally for God and for God's people.

You don’t see any selfishness in Daniel.

He doesn’t seek to be great or to be rich.

He loves his own people, Israel.

He is patriotic.

He loves God, and he pleads with him for God's own people.

Now, if you want to be greatly loved, give yourself up to the service of God and his church now.

If you are loyal to Christ, show it now.

If you love him, and his infallible Word, prove it now.

Then you will hear him say to you also, "O man greatly beloved, go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days."

May God grant it to you for Jesus' sake!

Amen.

 

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