Daniel's Band Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
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 altar, 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.
Besides 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 forever?
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 choicest 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!