Greetings from Ireland. I am typing this Adventist World Bible lesson from the beautiful city of Dublin. Last evening, during the question-and-answer period at our evangelistic meeting, someone asked, “Pastor, although I am a Christian, I am desperately afraid when I think about the coming of Jesus. I really do not understand why. Can you please help me?
>Greetings from Ireland. I am typing this Adventist World Bible lesson from the beautiful city of Dublin. Last evening, during the question-and-answer period at our evangelistic meeting, someone asked, “Pastor, although I am a Christian, I am desperately afraid when I think about the coming of Jesus. I really do not understand why. Can you please help me?”
Heroes Worth Following
By Mark A. Finley
Ours is a society of hero worship. The idols of the twenty-first century are sports stars, pop musicians, Hollywood icons, and multimillion-dollar business executives. But as we seriously consider it, one generation’s stars fast become distant memories. The shining lights on the billboards of this world fade fast. Wearing a T-shirt advertising “Superhero for Hire” is as close as most of us will get to being real heroes.
In this month’s Bible lesson we will study two biblical heroes worth following, and One who stands head and shoulders above all others. Their legacies have endured for millennia, and shine bright with each passing generation.
Daniel and Joseph are two examples of the way God blesses those who trust Him unreservedly, commit their lives to Him completely, and follow His guidance, wherever He leads, willingly. But even their dedication falls short of the ideal set by the living Christ, who reveals what it means to be truly committed to the Father’s will.
How did Daniel distinguish himself in Babylon from the rest of the Babylonian youth? Read Daniel 1:8 and compare Daniel’s attitudes as a teenager with those at the end of his life in Daniel 6:4, 5, 10.
A study of Daniel’s life reveals his unswerving loyalty to God. From the time he was taken as a teenager and brought to Babylon as a captive, until his encounter with the political princes of Persia at the end of his life, Daniel maintained his absolute, unbending commitment to the God of heaven.
How were the temptations of both Joseph and Daniel similar? Read Daniel 1:5, 8 and Genesis 39:7-9. Notice the similarity of their responses as well.
Both Daniel and Joseph faced fierce temptations that appealed to their fleshly desires. But both made resolute, unwavering decisions. They followed the counsel given later in the book of James: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Although Joseph ended up in prison, and Daniel excelled at the head of his class at the University
of Babylon, what blessing did God give both these stalwarts of faith? Read Daniel 1:9, 17-20 and Genesis 39:21-23.
Read Proverbs 3:1-10, and list all the promises God makes to those who are faithful to Him. How many promises do you find? In what areas of your life do they relate?
Both Daniel and Joseph faced enormous challenges in their lives. They both went through trials and experienced difficulties. But the blessings of God upon their lives far outweighed any challenge or difficulty they faced.
How does Daniel and Joseph’s loyalty to God find a later example in Jesus own life? Read and compare John 8:29, Matthew 26:39, and Hebrews 10:7 to discover a powerful insight on living the Christian life.
Jesus was totally committed to doing the Father’s will. His surrender to the Father’s will was uncompromised. This one basic decision is the key to living a victorious Christian life. The fundamental question is “Am I totally committed to doing the Father’s will when it conflicts with my own?”
What promise did the Father give to Jesus because of His humble obedience and submissive spirit in doing the Father’s will at any cost to Himself? Philippians 2:8-11.
What promise does Jesus Himself give to all who “forsake all” and follow Him unreservedly? Mark 10:29, 30.
Like both Joseph and Daniel, we too will face challenges when following Jesus. But the blessings of God upon our lives will be abundant. We will have the joy of His presence here, the knowledge of His daily guidance, the certainty of His provision for all our needs, and the glorious good news of eternal life through the salvation He so freely provides.
That is something worth living for.