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Effecting Change: A Study On Daniel

"Effecting Change through Godly Leadership: A Study on Daniel" is a weekly discussion of timeless Biblical principles of leadership specifically designed to encourage you in the work that you are called to do at the United Nations. Daniel was a man whom God used to influence kings and nations. His diplomacy and integrity before God and man in the midst of high-pressure, cross-cultural situations, combined to create a leader worthy of our emulation.

 Week 1: The Leader's God
 Week 2: The Leader's Dedication
There was lively discussion around the tables regarding this Hebrew captive, Daniel, who rose amazingly to the position of Prime Minister. If you were unable to attend, you may access a copy of the study on our website, http://www.ce-un.org/bible_study. Several observations emerged: 1. At the heart of his success as a leader was his dedication and obedience to God. Daniel "resolved in his heart" to do nothing to dishonor God, and God gave him great favor. 2. Even with his life and the lives of his colleagues on the line, Daniel negotiated a way to follow and honor his God, to respect his captors, and to still get excellent results. Daniel maintained his integrity, without alienating those he worked with. When his request for consideration, done so respectfully, was refused, he searched for a constructive course of action. Though he knew he was right and that he would not compromise, he remained respectful, diplomatic and courteous. God was with Daniel and the plan he proposed succeeded with God's gracious help. Daniel models the way effective leaders build trust. Being "right" doesn't have to mean being inflexible, tactless and confrontational. The challenge to you and me: We're called be dedicated servants of God while working respectfully and productively with those who don't always agree? When we do that, God goes to work on our behalf.
 Week 3: The Leader's Dependence (PDF)
Last week, we saw, in Daniel Chapter 1, how Daniel the Hebrew captive, had distinguished himself, earned the respect of the Babylonian King and a place of privilege in the royal court because he remained steadfast and dedicated to his God. In Chapter 2, we're struck by the contrasts in leadership: Daniel vs. King Nebuchadnezzar, and Daniel vs. the Chaldean Advisors. Of course a King has the power to do whatever he wishes. However, when Nebuchadnezzar demanded that his advisors tell him a dream and it's meaning, something they could not possibly know, he shows himself to be cruel, irrational and uncaring in his order to have them all executed. The king's usual advisors, were unable to solve the mystery – "There is not a man on earth who can do what the King asks!" They further annoy him by accusing him of being unreasonable and unfair. Self interest and survival drives their appeal to the king. Enter, Daniel – When he learns of the king's plan, he exercises "wisdom, tact, and diplomacy." He goes directly to the King (courage, conviction, no fear) and asks for some time to discern the meaning of the dream, believing his God CAN do it. He quickly mobilizes his support team to pray and ask for God's mercy, in order that they might understand the mystery and all their lives be spared. God answered their prayer and Daniel distinguished himself as the king's most trusted advisor, because Daniel depended on God. He knew God personally. He knew that God does indeed dwell among men and reveals Himself to those who trust Him and that "nothing is impossible with God". (Luke 1:37) The honor and glory of God, and a deep concern for his colleagues, drives this great leader, Daniel.
 Week 4: The Leaders Humility
There was much lively discussion around the tables. The core of this text is focused on Daniel's supernatural revelation of King Nebuchadnezzar's puzzling dream. However, the focus of our discussion was on how Daniel went about dealing with his king and with his colleagues. We're struck at once by the great contrast between how Daniel exercised leadership and how most people of power lead, today. It gets really practical, and one word best summarizes Daniel's way of leading: HUMILITY. The humility of devotion to God: - Daniel knew and he made sure the king knew that only God can reveal mysteries. - There was no self-promotion in Daniel's heart. The humility of confidence: - Daniel could be courageous, forthright and truthful, because he was confident in God and in God's ability to care for him. - The humility of compassion: - Daniel cared deeply about the confusion in his king's mind, and for the welfare of his colleagues and co-workers. He risked his own life for the protection and honor of both. For Daniel, the outcome, at least for a season, was great honor and expanded authority over King Nebuchadnezzar's entire kingdom. Food for thought: What might happen to me if I were known for my dedication and devotion to God, a settled confidence in His ability to provide for me, and a deep caring for the honor and welfare of all with whom I live and work? "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant." Jesus (Mark 10:43)
 A Leaders Transformation
Godly Leadership: A Study in Daniel The Leader's Transformation Daniel 4:1-37 Daniel Chapter 4 begins with an amazing proclamation to the nations and peoples of every language who live in the world! "It is my pleasure...," he began, "to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me." This proclamation came after living through a great trial that involved the king's losing everything…his authority, his honor and splendor, and even his sanity. King Nebuchadnezzar had reached the pinnacle of his career as perhaps the most powerful king ever. He boasted of all he had built even though his means for achieving such success was, at least in part, the wicked oppression of others. God, in His goodness, gave the king another dream to warn him of judgment if he did not acknowledge that only God has ultimate power and authority over the affairs of men and that He alone is to be exalted. As Daniel interpreted the dream to the king, Daniel pleaded with him to repent from his wicked and prideful ways or lose everything. The king's heart remained unchanged and God's judgment came: Nebuchadnezzar's authority was taken away and he was driven away from people to live with the wild beasts. At the end of that time, the king's heart was transformed. His focus shifted from himself and his greatness to acknowledging that God alone is to be exalted, that everything God does is right, and all his ways are just. King Nebuchadnezzar ends with the statement that God is able to humble those who walk in pride. Daniel's courage and love • Caused him to plead with the king to change his ways. • Teaches us to speak truth even in the face of potential personal loss. • Encourages us to want the best for those in authority over us. The King's pride and fall • Brought him the loss of all. • Warns us not to take credit for what God has done. • Encourages us to humble ourselves. God's mercy and forgiveness • Warned Nebuchadnezzar ahead of time • Restored the king after he acknowledged that God is the King of kings The global proclamation that opened this chapter finishes with these words from one of history's most powerful kings…God's "kingdom is an eternal kingdom; His dominion endures from generation to generation."
 Sustainable Spiritual Development: The Parables of Jesus