Keep your gifts.

“Daniel answered the king, “You can keep your gifts…”  (Daniel 5:17 )

I am working through a study in the book of Daniel and I am sad I have never taken the time to really study this book in the past.  There is so much wisdom that can be obtained in these chapters.

In chapter 5 Daniel has been asked to come in and help interpret writing on the wall that’s been put there by a disembodied hand.  (I know…creepy!)  The King has offered Daniel a slew of gifts (“you’ll be rich and famous – a purple robe, the great gold chain around your neck – and third-in-command in the kingdom.”)  in response to him reading the writing and interpreting what it means.

I love Daniel’s response in vs. 17 where he tells the king, “You can keep your gifts, or give them to someone else.  But I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.”

“You can keep your gifts…”

How many times have we been offered an earthly gift in return for our spiritual gifts that God gave us?

How many times have we tried to win someone else over to earn a promotion at work, a trophy/ medal, or recognition by someone in a higher position?

How many times have we used the wisdom and gifts God has given us to gain something on earth that won’t have an eternal impact?

I know I have.  Many times.

If you move a bit down in the chapter in vs. 21 Daniel tells the king, ” the High God rules human kingdoms and puts anyone he wants in charge.”

We need to stop living for the approval of man and start living thankful for the redemption we’ve received in Christ.

Jesus died on a cross so we could live free.  Freedom means not having to gain approval and recognition in places that don’t matter.

Because of what Christ did on the cross we already have all we need.

We’ve been forgiven.

We’ve been redeemed.

We’ve been set free.

We can live our lives knowing that no matter what others think of us, our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He couldn’t stand to spend eternity without us.  So, He sent His One and Only Son to die on a Cross so He didn’t have to.

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