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Sermon Recap, May 12, 2024

Sermon Recap: "God has not forgotten you When You Have Shattered Dreams"

Scripture: Daniel 1:1-9 (NLT)

We find ourselves in the Easter season, a time to reflect on the eternal life that Christ offers. Throughout this season, we've discussed how God is incapable of forgetting or abandoning us. God is always present (Matthew 28:20). However, this doesn't mean that God follows our every whim or, worse, condones whatever we choose to do, whether good or bad.

Let's delve into our scripture for today. A king named Jehoiakim reigns over Judah, placed there not by divine appointment but by human intervention. It was the Egyptian pharaoh who elevated Jehoiakim to power. Then there's another king, Nebuchadnezzar, who sought to conquer Judah, succeeding by besieging it. I'm certain that both had dreams, their dreams, but how many of them truly took the time to consider God in their plans?

Do you believe that those currently in charge or in control genuinely rely on or submit to God's authority or the dreams God has for them?

Similarly, consider those who crafted the Sacred Objects mentioned in today's scripture (Daniel 1:2). Do you think they had dreams about how these Sacred Objects would be used? Can you imagine how shattered their dreams must have been when they learned that their creation was used for something other than glorifying God?

Then there are the young, promising boys from royal and noble families. Surely, they had dreams of their own, dreams about their inner and outer beauty. Their families must have had dreams for them as well. And finally, consider the chief of staff named Ashpenaz, and his dream of serving King Nebuchadnezzar... What did all these people have in common? They all had their dreams, but none of them realized or considered the dream that God has for us – the dream of us not being defiled by the things of this world but remaining pure and holy.

Now, the heroes of these stories considered and allowed their dreams to die, surrendering to God's dreams for them. Daniel chose and was determined not to defile himself because that was God's dream for his life.

So, I'm here to tell you that it's natural for you to have dreams; after all, you're human. But more often than not, your dreams must die or at least become secondary to God's dreams for you. Daniel surely had many dreams; he was strong, healthy, and good-looking. But then he was kidnapped, and did he complain? No. He remembered that God had already desired for him not to be defiled by the tempting dreams of food and wine in this world.

This isn't just about Daniel; it's about the people of God. We are a chosen people, a royal priesthood. However, when our dreams die, we're quick to throw in the towel and choose the easier path. As people of God, we must realize that when our dreams die, God is preparing something better according to His will. We must remember that God's thoughts are not like our thoughts, and His ways are not like our ways. His ways are far beyond anything we could imagine (Isaiah 55:8). We must recall what the prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 43:18-19: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland."

So the next time you feel alone because your dreams are shattered and you think that God has forgotten you, remember that when your dreams die, God is doing something new, something better.

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