WHAT IS A MARKETPLACE MINISTER?
- In ancient times, the market was where large crowds would usually be.
- Early Christians would preach the Gospel openly in the markets.
- Unofficial term to refer to someone who shares the Gospel at the workplace.
WHO IS DANIEL?
- Daniel 1:3-7 ESV – Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful beyond all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.
- A prophet during Israel’s exile to Babylon in about 605 B.C.
- Chosen among the young men of Israel to be a Chaldean, a sort of mystical advisor to King Nebuchadnezzar.
- Served over 60 years under different rulers who died or went mad.
- Received dreams and visions that would later be echoed by John in the Book of Revelations.
FAITHFUL & RESOLVED
- Daniel 1:8 ESV – But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.
- The chief of the eunuchs was afraid he might get in trouble, but Daniel was steadfast in his decision (Daniel 1:10) and his faith allowed him to be vindicated with a test (Daniel 1:11-20)
- King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream (Daniel 2:1) then challenged the Chaldeans to not only tell him the interpretation, but they must first be able to tell him the dream itself (Daniel 2:5-6).
- The Chaldeans could not tell the dream, and so King Nebuchadnezzar ordered all of them to be killed (Daniel 2:10-13)
- Daniel 2:14 ESV – Then Daniel replied with prudence and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon
- Daniel 2:16 ESV – And Daniel went in and requested the king to appoint him a time, that he might show the interpretation to the king.
- Daniel 2:17-18 ESV – Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
- Daniel understood the principle of Matthew 18:20.
- Daniel 2:24b ESV – He went and said thus, to him: “Do not destroy wise men of Babylon; bring me before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation.”
- Daniel 2:49 ESV – Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.
- Daniel shared the rewards of a victory.
- Daniel 2:19 ESV – Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
- Daniel praised God for all of the good things in his life (Daniel 2:20-23), and would not take any credit, but gave all honor to God.
- Daniel 2:27-30 ESV – Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.
KIND & CONSIDERATE
- King Nebuchadnezzar had a second dream (Daniel 4:4).
- Daniel 4:19 ESV – Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for awhile, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies!”
- Even though Nebuchadnezzar had almost killed him and his friends before, Daniel still felt concern for his king.
- Daniel 4:27 ESV – Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.
- Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s son, was having a great feast with his lords and praising idols (Daniel 5:1-4) when a hand appeared and wrote on the wall (Daniel 5:5).
- Daniel was summoned to translate the writing on the wall (Daniel 5:25) because he was known to be in favor with King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 5:11-12)
- Belshazzar offered the biggest reward he could (Daniel 5:16)
- Daniel 5:17 ESV – Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation.”
- Daniel had his focus not on earthly things, though he held a high position in the kingdom and was daily exposed to palace-life and much the king’s wealth he understood that his number one audience was God. His great “rewarder” was not the king but the King of kings!
- With Belshazzar’s death, King Darius became king and he loved Daniel to the point that he made Daniel one of three presidents that all other officials would report to (Daniel 6:1-2)
- Daniel 6:3-4 ESV – Then this Daniel became distinguished above all other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complain or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him.
- The only way they could trap Daniel, was by persecuting his faithfulness to God (Daniel 6:12-13)
- We too have been given the Spirit of Excellence, the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. Like Daniel, we can live excellently before a God who does all things excellently. (Find a verse to make this into a homerun. – great point!)
- Daniel 6:10 ESV – When Daniel knew that the document was signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed before his God, as he had done previously.
- Even knowing full well the consequences, Daniel refused to stop praying to God.
- Daniel clearly had a consistent relationship with God.
- Prayer must be our first resort not our last.
HOW DOES DANIEL’S LIFE APPLY TO ME?
- Faithful & Resolved
- Kind & Considerate
These are all character traits that each of us can obtain, or possibly already have.
The difference between where we are now and how Daniel lived is in the purpose; we must live our faith with intention regardless of where we are: at home, at work, in school, in the mall, everywhere.
Colossians 3:12-17 ESV – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him.
2 Peter 1:5-11 ESV – For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Christian life is a call to be progressive, not stagnant. Daniel possessed these qualities that set him apart in the work place. We need to welcome the work of the Lord to develop character in us; having a progressive life (possessing these qualities in increasing measure) is key to a steadfast life. That is why Daniel served faithfully for so many years.