Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
During my junior year of high school, I was dating this great, Christian guy. We’ll just call him Matt. We had a healthy relationship and got along really well, so I was surprised when I started to get a feeling that God wanted us to break up. I didn’t understand why God would want that since we hadn’t done anything wrong, but I couldn’t shake the thought so I told Matt and he respectfully agreed. So we broke up.
While we had been dating, we often hung out with Matt’s best friend who wasn’t a Christian. I had told Matt on numerous occasions that he should invite him to church, but for some reason he never did. I didn’t feel comfortable asking his friend, since I was Matt’s girlfriend, so I decided to let Matt handle it. But once we broke up, I remembered his friend and decided it was no longer inappropriate for me to invite him to my church. So I did. And he later told me that he had become a Christian.
Four years later, in college, I started dating this guy.
Today, he is my husband.
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to realize that when God takes something out of our lives, it is because he has something better for us in the future.
What do you think God would like to remove from your life today? Is there an unhealthy relationship or habit? Are you willing to sacrifice your own desires to follow God?
Reading and Questions
Was Daniel a Babylonian, or an Israelite? (v3-6)
Daniel had to leave his home country, for a foreign one. Babylon was full of riches and temptation. In addition, he was given extra. How was he treated like royalty? (v5)
Daniel knew that the royal food might be contrary to the diet God had chosen for his people to eat. What did he ask to have done? (v8)
How do you think this sacrifice was hard for Daniel and his friends?
Do you think they ever looked longingly at the food being served to the others in training?
What was the result of his health? (v15)
What was the result of his sacrifice? (v17)
What were other results of his sacrifice? (v19-20)
Daniel and his friends sacrificed tasty, gourmet food fit for a king—literally! They knew what God wanted them to do. They obeyed the food restrictions God had placed on the Israelites and, because of this, they were blessed.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” What do you think this verse means?
We can always be confident that serving God is the best route to take. Sometimes, we won’t get to see the blessings here on earth. Sometimes, the blessings come much later after we have passed. But so many, many times in our lives do we get to see the blessings ourselves.
You sacrificed your body to grow your child, and God blessed you with the child. You have sacrificed time to be with your small group or campaigners group or mentor, and God is blessing you with encouragement.
But sometimes, he asks us to sacrifice so much more. What is he asking you to sacrifice today? What things are you holding back from him?
How can you give them over to God today?
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Your labor, or your sacrifice, is not in vain. It never goes unseen. God is watching, waiting, and will bless your decision to sacrifice your own desires to seek him.
It probably isn’t hard for you to think of something you have in your life that isn’t honorable to God. In fact, it’s probably something that isn’t honorable to yourself! This week, give it to God. Be willing to let God take control of your life and trust him to give you the best path. God was willing to sacrifice his son so that you could have eternity in paradise; what are you willing to sacrifice for him?
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
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