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Today's Devotion: The Perils of Prominence

Pop star Justin Bieber told an interviewer, “I wouldn’t suggest being a child star. It’s the toughest thing in the world…. Look at the statistics on how many child stars have crumbled…. It might seem awesome from the outside, but I’m struggling."1

Few can withstand the temptations that come with power, position, fame, wealth, or prominence. In an egotistical world, our sinful natures don’t behave well in the spotlight. But when God gives us a platform for serving Him, He can supply the maturity we need. Instead of our head being inflated with pride, our hearts should be inflated with humility and servanthood.

The Old Testament patriarch Joseph is a good example. When he rose to prominence in Potiphar’s house, he didn’t lose his commitment to purity. And when he rose to fame in Egypt, he didn’t lose his commitment to maturity.

Whatever our place in life, it belongs to Him who does not share His glory with another.

Every tear of sorrow sown by the righteous springs up a pearl.
Matthew Henry

Complete audio message as heard at Shadow Mountain Community Church

Modern Europe. . . Ancient Rome

Complete audio message as heard at Shadow Mountain Community Church

The last great empire on earth, impacting the most people, was the Roman Empire (27 B.C.-A.D. 395). Since then, some leaders have tried and failed to rule the world. But the day is coming when a revived one-world empire will become the stage for the coming Antichrist. Covers Daniel 2:31-45

Some 2,600 years ago, God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a dream. In this dream, the king saw a five–part statue made of five different metals (see Daniel 2). Each section represented an empire, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. Four of these empires have already risen and fallen in history—a clear fulfillment of Daniel's prophetic interpretation. The fifth and final empire indicates a future Europe—a ten nation coalition that will unite under the Antichrist's rule.

You can read about the King's dream and Daniel's interpretation in Daniel 2, but let's take a quick visual look at what you will find:

The Colossus
  1. King Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon

    Daniel's words to the king are clear. "You are this head of gold" (Daniel 2:37–38).

  2. Medo–Persian Empire

    The Medo–Persian Empire conquered Babylon in 539 BC and remained in power for approximately two hundred years (Daniel 5:28).

  3. Grecian Empire

    Greece's Empire succeeded the Medo–Persians (Daniel 8:21).

  4. Roman Empire

    When the Grecian empire was conquered by Rome, all the lands and peoples of the previous kingdoms were assimilated into the Roman Empire through the strengths of the "iron legions of Rome" (Daniel 2:40).

  5. Future European Coalition

    This empire has not yet risen. Daniel foretells a time when the Roman Empire—Europe—will consist of ten kingdoms or leaders. The future Roman Empire will be present on the earth when God sets up His earthly kingdom (Daniel 2:44).

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1:37 / 3:48