Carey Lewis Devotions
Sunday, October 30th, 2011
Ten Times Better
And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all... who were in his realm.
Daniel 1:20 (NKJV)
When the great king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, he brought some of the most promising young men to serve in his kingdom, including Daniel. 'God gave them knowledge and skill' (v.17). They learned the language and customs of the land, yet they did not fully conform to the Babylonian lifestyle that they 'Might not defile' (v.8) themselves. However, they were courteous, non-offensive, and found favor in Babylon. They were men of excellence.

At the end of their training period, 'The king interviewed them' (v.19). These four young Jews were found to be 'Ten times better' than all the Babylonians in this mighty kingdom. They became famous in their own time, and their stories have been told for thousands of years. From the godly words and examples of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, King Nebuchadnezzar became a man of God. His kingdom was transformed.

Consider this: Babylon was the greatest kingdom in the world at that time. Yet, God used four strangers, four young men of God, as His agents of change. How did they do it?

By being 'ten times better' than everyone else. They were ten times more attractive, ten times smarter, ten times wiser, ten times harder-working, ten times more honorable, and ten times more effective in their work. They did not denounce a heathen culture, although it was. Even worse, they were living in the nation that utterly destroyed their own.

Despite it all, they rose to fame in Babylon, and God multiplied their efforts.

Their worship of the one true God was a private matter. They conformed to Babylonian law as much as possible, but never all the way to idol-worship and never in their hearts. Each faced a moment of public trial: a moment in which God's power, purpose, and mercy were revealed.

So shall Christian performers enter the kingdom of Hollywood and change it. They must be ten times more talented, attractive, smart, kind, cool, educated, and excellent. God will multiply their efforts. The entertainment industry will change. Truly, it is changing now.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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