Most of us have heard the story of the widow at the funeral, who, while listening to all the wonderful things being said about her deceased husband, whispers to her son next to her, “Son, step up to the coffin and see if that’s your daddy in there.” She said this because all the nice things being said were the opposite of what she knew about him. But that would not have been true for Daniel. He had lived a life of integrity, dedicated to doing the will of God. As a teen living in exile, he chose to reject the king’s diet to keep his body pure. He did his work with integrity, praying twice a day, even when he knew he could be thrown into a lion’s den for doing so. Then as an aged man, he begged God to keep His promise to let his people go home from exile. In Daniel chapter 10 an angel appeared and gave him God’s view of his life: “Daniel, you are very precious to God.” Of all the things God might say about the way we live on earth, perhaps none can match His affirming word to each of us, “You are precious”–saying it not because we are perfect, but because we have diligently sought to live a life that pleases God.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More