Week 32: Blessed Be the Name

Today’s Text: Daniel 1-6

Key Text: Daniel 2:20-21

Daniel said: “Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”

Daniel was an amazing young man.

Taken in captivity, away from his own land, immersed in a foreign culture, he remained true to his God.

He was also given, by that same God, extraordinary abilities – among them the ability to interpret dreams.

He could have easily been caught up in some arrogant celebration of his own capabilities – especially since his captors were so impressed with them – and lavished rewards and status upon him.

Daniel remained humble, however.

He remembered to pray, “Blessed be the name of God from age to age…”

He remembered how and why he had been gifted.

Most of all, he gave all the glory to God.

Do we do the same?

When we recognize – or are recognized for – our own God-give abilities and talents – do we swell up with pride – or do we give God the glory and thanks for them?

Daniel is a good example of how to stay humble – and let God use us in extraordinary ways – as God determines.

And to God be the glory – forever.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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