Part I of The Kingdom of God on Monday Morning highlighted two principles from Daniel 1 to help you as you seek to live out a kingdom perspective each weekday: Recognize who is in control (vs. 1-2); Pursue excellence (vs. 3-7, 17). Today I want to look with you at the remaining three principles.
Principle #3: Expect Frustrations (vs. 8-13)
Everything does not go smoothly for Daniel and his friends. They are in a place where they could have been frustrated by their situation—in order to eat they have to defile themselves. They are not willing to do that; for them to do so would be to sin against the Lord. But they respond in a God-honoring way, and God honored them in their situation.
Because you work in a fallen world, there will always be aspects of your job that will be frustrating. No matter how much you love and enjoy your job, times of futility are characteristic of work in a fallen world.
The kingdom of God is present on Monday mornings because on Monday mornings you can respond in God-honoring ways to frustrating situations. Remind yourself of it daily. Preach it to yourself relentlessly until it becomes part of your daily perspective.
Principle #4: Fulfill Your Vocation (vs. 18-19)
Daniel and his friends spent three years in this secular training that they were required to undergo (vs. 5). At the end of that time they were presented to the king for service—you might say they had a vocation to fulfill.
The purpose of your vocation is to love and serve your neighbor—a fulfillment of the second greatest commandment. It grows out of the fact that God has created you for community and the living out of that community brings a dependence on one another. Meeting the needs of others is the way you live out the kingdom purpose for your vocation. Virtually every vocation either provides a service or produces a product and some vocations do both. Living out your vocation meets the need of others.
The kingdom of God is present on Monday mornings because on Monday mornings you are fulfilling the calling of God through your vocation. Remind yourself of it daily. Preach it to yourself relentlessly until it becomes part of your daily perspective.
Principle #5: Honor Your Superiors (vs. 20-21)
Notice that Daniel and his friends don’t object to the idea of serving this pagan king or in giving him advice which causes him to prosper. The text says that they were ten times better than any of the other advisers of the king. The superiority of the wisdom of the Israelite young men was not a matter of degree it was a matter of kind—it was true wisdom which comes from the true God.
Perhaps you are in a vocation in which you serve under or work for unbelieving employers. The example of Daniel and his friends demonstrates that your attitude toward them is that you need to do your job in a way which causes them to prosper.
The kingdom of God is present on Monday mornings because on Monday mornings you are honoring the King of that kingdom by honoring your superiors; you are honoring those the King has placed over you. Remind yourself of it daily. Preach it to yourself relentlessly until it becomes part of your daily perspective.
At its heart, the kingdom of God is a lifestyle, a way of living that is centered in Christ and in the truths of his Word regardless of the circumstances, and this includes your job on Monday mornings. It is recognizing that the gospel empowers and motivates you to think with a kingdom mentality and to live with a kingdom purpose. Everyday you need to be reminded of the gospel—that you are a great sinner and Jesus is a great Savior. He is the one who will make the kingdom of God a reality on Monday mornings.