432: God Rewards Faithfulness.

432 Fire Leads to Promotion
God Rewards Faithfulness. Enduring the Fire: God is with them.

 

Daily Spirit & Word, 432: God Rewards Faithfulness.

And the World Will Stand AGOG in Amazement. 

Enduring the Fire Leads to Promotion.

God Rewards Faithfulness: Good morning my friends, Being faithful to God in times of trail, testing and fire. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego prove faithful and He rewards them.
I’ve got that Friday feeling ūüôā The weekend is coming and I’ve only got a few things to do before Saturday; A funeral this afternoon for a 92 year old man and the CRU (Youth Group) tonight, who’re making pancakes. We’ve also got our grandchildren and daughter staying for a few days whilst her bathroom is being renovated. Life is busy, but good. How’s your weekend looking?
Today is the day we finally get to see what happened when three of God’s chosen people refused to bow the knee and worship a created idol. Yes they aroused the King’s anger and rage. Yes they ended up being thrown into the fire, but WOWzer! They also get another transforming experience of God’s power over nature and the schemes of evil men.
INTO THE FIRE:
Daniel 3:19-30 19  Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude towards them changed. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual
20  and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.
21  So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
22¬†¬†The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,
23  and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24¬†¬†Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.”
25¬†¬†He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26¬†¬†Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,
27  and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28¬†¬†Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
29¬†¬†Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Firstly notice:¬†Fury, Anger and Rage will lead men to do the most evil things. We mustn’t make any mistakes, because King Nebuchadnezzar was a very powerful king. He’d conquered much of the Middle East and now commanded the obedience of millions of people, but three young Jewish men refused to obey him; no wonder then his anger was roused.
But what would have happened if he’d been less rash? What if he’d taken time to sit down and discuss this willingness to die rather than worship another person’s god? He may have discovered in a less dramatic way the God of the Universe is real, powerful and commands obedience even of great kings.
Secondly Remember:¬†Nebuchadnezzar had stated in yesterday’s reading; “What god is more powerful than me, who can rescue you from the fire?” He thought himself untouchable, above everything and everyone, even the gods. We know there is only ONE God, but this account in chapter 3 reveals just how blinded men had become, their awareness of the true and living God was much like the people of our own day who think belief in Jesus or God an irrelevance to modern living. Faith and trust in God are outmoded because we’ve moved on from superstitious things like that ūüôā How foolish the people of the world are. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride led him into the most evil cruelty in his dominance of others, thinking nothing of human life, using fear and domination to get his own way. However, his intimidation of the three young men didn’t work.
Thirdly Notice: When they are thrown into the heat of the ten-times-hotter oven, though they were bound and helpless, the next time we hear about them, they are walking in the midst of the fire and heat and smoke without being harmed. The King was obviously sitting in a position where he could observe them being thrown into the furnace. He must have imagined that death would be instant, but here they were walking in the fire.
My friends, the people of this world are often totally amazed at how believers cope when the fiery trials come. It’s because at those times, God’s presence is known more keenly than at any other times in our life. That has happened to many of my friends and countless brothers and sisters throughout history. In the heat and smoke of disaster, God comes and brings relief, comfort and courage to face the flames. They’d trusted God with their lives and He’d proven to be faithful, present and powerful.
When you trust God in the HEAT: He’s promised to be with you too. Now we know that not everyone gets the kind of DELIVERANCE Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego enjoyed; because some of God’s chosen ones died at the hands of evil men; John the Baptist lost his head to an evil King, Stephen was stoned to death for proclaiming Jesus Christ as God’s Son. So sometimes being a believer won’t mean rescue from the trial, but we can be confidently assured that when we endure with faith, hope and trust, God will ultimately deliver us; either in this life or the next. That’s the confidence the three young men had too.
It’s my hope and prayer that your trials will lead to promotion as it had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but what’s more important for us to consider is the outcome of their faithful witness; not their promotion, but that God gets the GLORY. Because of what they did, being prepared to die for their beliefs, God Himself Gets the HONOUR and GLORY and PRAISE of the King of an vast Empire, Babylon would now honour God Almighty.¬†Hallelujah. Praise the LORD!
Has there been a time in your life when you could say, “God Rewards Faithfulness?” or “The Lord has rewarded my faithful service?” Sometimes it’s just a feeling of deep peace or joy and gladness, but at others we receive great blessings from the LORD.
So our promotion or demise will both bring glory to the LORD, that’s what the Christian life is all about. When we get the revelation that it’s much more abut Him than Us, then we’ll experience the JOY unspeakable. Let that JOY flood your soul today as you praise HIM, and you sing of HIS glory, power and might. Honour God and even if the world throws you into fires and flames you’ll be lifted higher than you can ever imagine and they will stand agog in amazement.
Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.
Don.
P.S. I do hope you’ve enjoyed our dip into the little book of Daniel this week. But please do continue reading, there’s so much more, but don’t just read it through quickly, take time to meditate upon each and every even within the book, you’ll be astounded at how valuable it is to take a week to look at a single story as we have. You’ll get fresh revelation for your life as a believer in the world today by thinking things through with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Remember my motto: “No READ, No FEED” If I don’t read the Bible I don’t eat breakfast. Why because going hungry reminds me I’ve skipped my ‘spiritual’ breakfast. I need God every day, and I’m not ashamed to admit I can’t do anything apart from Jesus, so I need to come to Him, to be filled afresh and fed by Him every day. If I skip Bible devotion I know I’m going to get hungry spiritually, I’ll feel the darkness creeping in, and it really does in tangible ways. Come afresh to Jesus every day and you’ll continue in the light of life.
Finally (Again) ūüôā¬†I’ve been left with a Question that’s been bugging me all week. I’ve been pondering over it and wondering. “Where was Daniel when his friends were being thrown into the fire?”
Perhaps, because the King knew¬†Daniel¬†would never bow the knee, he’d sent him away to protect him from his own decree. Let us not forget that Daniel had¬†already¬†won the king’s favour, because he’d recounted and interpreted the dreadful dream.
What do you think my friends, where was Daniel?
You can also read the Daily Spirit & Word @ St Luke’s Church Facebook Page:
Post God Rewards Faithfulness @ St Luke’s Facebook Page.
Over the next few weeks¬†I’ll be moving over 400 Daily Devotions for you to enjoy at your leisure.
It’s difficult to archive on Facebook, but a website allows so many more ways to search through and find the articles that may be of help.

426: The Meaning of the Dread Filled Dream.

Daily Spirit & Word, 426: The Meaning of the Dread Filled Dream.

426 Empires Dream Meaning
Daily Spirit & Word, 426: The Meaning of the Dread Filled Dream.
Good¬†morning¬†my friends, before moving onto chapter 3 of Daniel next week, I wanted to move from talking about Daniel’s rise to prominence in Babylon to reflecting upon the Dread Filled Dreams of the King.
First let’s just remind ourselves of the situation:¬†The King’s Dream:
Daniel 2:1-3.
1  One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep.
2  He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king,
3¬†¬†he said, ‚ÄúI have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.‚ÄĚ
So far we don’t know what the dream was, all we know is that it was disturbing enough for the King to gather every wise man in his kingdom to explain it to him. Only one problem, he wasn’t going to tell them what the dream was, they needed to tell him his dream and what it meant: Impossible right? He threatened to kill them all if they couldn’t do it. After all what use is a magician, sorcerer etc if they can’t perform magic for a King?
Anyway, Daniel and his friends ask the LORD for the dream and it’s meaning. After the revelation Daniel breaks out into praise. Daniel 2:20-23
20  He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.
21  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
22  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.
23¬†¬†I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,¬†for you have given me wisdom and strength.¬†You have told me what we asked of you¬†and revealed to us what the king demanded.‚ÄĚ
When you seek the LORD for His ways, He’ll always give you far more than you’ve asked of Him. Daniel doesn’t just get the meaning of the Dream, but a Deeper REVELATION of the Nature of God and His POWER.
Here then is what God reveals to Daniel; The King’s Dream:
Daniel 2:26-35¬†The King’s Dream Revealed.
26¬†¬†The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”
27¬†¬†Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,
28  but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these:
29¬†¬†“As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
30  As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
31¬†¬†“You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue‚ÄĒan enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.
32  The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
33  its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
34  While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.
35  Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing-floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
Next Daniel Explains the Meaning of the King’s Dream:
Daniel 2:36-45¬†36¬†¬†“This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.
37  You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;
38  in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39¬†¬†“After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.
40¬†¬†Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron‚ÄĒfor iron breaks and smashes everything‚ÄĒand as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.
41  Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.
42  As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
43  And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44¬†¬†“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure for ever.
45¬†¬†This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands‚ÄĒa rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.¬†“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.”
The Kingdoms:
1) Golden Head: Babylon.
2) Silver: Medes and Persians
3) Bronze: The Greek Empire.
4) Iron & Clay: The Roman Empire: Divided East and West, Weak and crumbling, mixed and feeble.
5) Rock: The Kingdom of the LORD Jesus Christ. The Rock that the builders rejected.
Rock Cut from the Mountain: The Son came down to earth from the Father.
God was going to set up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed: The Kingdom of the KING of Kings. Can you see now why we call Jesus the King of Kings?
Praise the LORD, for as Daniel prayed and praised; He knows the future, the past and the present. He knows what’s going to happen in human history long before the events took place and He revealed it to Daniel. How awesome is that. Hundreds of years before the Romans came, Daniel knew about it. No wonder the King fell at Daniel’s feet in awe and fear.
What was it that was revealed? Not just the Kingdoms of the Earth, but that God KNOWS and God uses them for His Glory.
Daniel Explains King's Dream
Daniel Explains The King’s Dreadful Dream
Trust in the LORD who know all things.
Praise the LORD who knows all about your life, before one day comes into being, he knows all the rest as well.
That’s Divine Knowledge: All Knowing God.
My God really IS    A W E S O M E!
 
Later on in the book of Daniel, he will reveal more about the Son of Man (The Messiah, the Rock) who’s Kingdom will never end, but today let’s just hold this TRUTH in our hearts today; God Knows Everything.
I hope you all have an AWESOME Saturday too.
Don.
NOTE: Can also be read on Daily Spirit and Word: https://www.facebook.com/stlukesnorwood
St Luke’s Church Facebook Page:¬†

425 Mission Impossible

426 Mission Impossible Small

Daily Spirit & Word, 425: The Impossible Made Possible.

God can and will do IMPOSSIBLE (Miraculous) things in your life.

Good morning my friends it’s Friday already and the weekend is upon us. I hope you enjoyed reading and reflecting upon Daniel chapter 2 yesterday. Was there anything in God’s Word that spoke to you? Sometimes it’s just one word or one verse, but for me it was the whole story, because although the King is powerful and sees the light in the end, and Daniel and his friends prove, against all the odds, to be faithful to the LORD, but it’s God Almighty who is the Hero for me.
Years ago there was a series on TV that I loved, “Mission Impossible” it was also made into a series of Hollywood Films. Each week a task would be set that seemed impossible for an ordinary human being to perform, but the team (like all¬†heroes) were always successful. Today we’ll see the¬†magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers; who were all the wise men in Babylon¬†were also given an impossible mission.
  • God gave the King an impossible dream.
  • The King gave an impossible order.
  • and Daniel did the impossible.

The Impossible Dream: 

We all get dreams, some are easy to understand, because they’re the human’s way of making sense of the world subconsciously. Often we’ll dream about things that happen during the day or things we’ve got in our life that we’re worried about. Often God will speak in our dreams and give us answers to our problems.
However, there are times when dreams a puzzling and we wake up thinking, “what on earth was that all about?”
The Great King¬†Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream was troubling him a great deal. But he also knew unless there was a revelation from God, he’d never know what it meant.
The Impossible Order:
¬†He knew that if he’d simply recounted the dream to his ‘wise’ men, they come up with different interpretations about what the dream meant. He didn’t want that, so he devised an impossible solution, they’d first need to tell him what his dream was all about, before they began to give it’s meaning.
The¬†magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers in Babylon came to the brilliant conclusion; “IT’S IMPOSSIBLE” and so it is, for no one can tell what’s going on inside another person’s head. Even though the King threatened them with death, the task was impossible because as the wise men of Babylon concluded, “The king‚Äôs demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.‚Ä̬†Dan 2:11.
The King was consistent with his promise that unless they tell him the dream they’d be put to death. Daniel and his friends, pleaded for time and consulted with God.
The Impossible Answer:
After prayer and seeking the LORD, the answer to the IMPOSSIBLE was given.
Daniel and his friend’s lives depended upon God giving them the content and meaning of the king’s dreams.
It’s no wonder then, that as time went on in Babylon: Daniel could be thrown into a Lion’s Den and survive. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could survive the¬†fiery¬†furnace, because they’d learned over many years to trust in the LORD of the IMPOSSIBLE.
God gave Daniel the King’s Dream and it’s Meaning.
Notice the King’s response: He knew when Daniel spoke it could only have come from Daniel’s God.
The king said to Daniel, ‚ÄúTruly, your God is the greatest of gods, the¬†LORD¬†over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.‚ÄĚ
Who revealed the secret? Not Daniel, but God. The King knew, Daniel knew and now because of the King’s response all of Babylon, the Great World Empire, would know that there IS a God in Heaven. He’s real, He’s alive and He speaks to people in the world today.
My friends, if ever you doubt God or your faith is growing dim, just turn to these chapters in the book of Daniel in God’s Word. Read them out loud, because “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God”… Your faith will be lifted and God will once again speak to your soul and encourage you in your walk with Him. He’ll give you the confidence to ask for the IMPOSSIBLE. There will of course be testing and trying times in your life, but they are only sent to build you up in the faith.
My IMPOSSIBLE list:
I’m sure, like me, you’ve got a list of IMPOSSIBLE things you are bringing to the LORD in prayer. These are things that you’ll know it’s a MIRACLE if they’re answered. I’ve been ticking off my list, God CAN do it my friends.
This weekend it’s my hope and prayer that you’ll all see mighty IMPOSSIBLE things with God.
Talk with the LORD today about any issues you have in life. Do it with others and I’m convinced that like Daniel and his friends who desperately sought the LORD when their life depended upon it, so your Heavenly Father will reveal His ways.
Proverbs 3:5&6 just jumped into my head right now;
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
He truly is the God of the IMPOSSIBLE.
Mission IMPOSSIBLE: Faith’s RESPONSE:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Will you trust Him today?
Have an exciting weekend walk with Jesus.
Don.
P.S. Can also be read @ St Luke’s Facebook Page.

424: God Gives Dreams.

Daily Spirit & Word, 424: God Gives Dreams.

God Gives The Meaning.
424 God Speaks Small
Good morning everyone, today I’m not going to say much, tomorrow I’ll give the meaning, but I just want you today to SOAK in God’s Word, because it’s an awesome account in it’s own right.
Daniel 2:1-49 (NLT)
1  One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep.
2  He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king,
3¬†¬†he said, ‚ÄúI have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.‚ÄĚ
4¬†¬†Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, ‚ÄúLong live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.‚ÄĚ
5  But the king said to the astrologers, “I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble!
6¬†¬†But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!‚ÄĚ
7¬†¬†They said again, ‚ÄúPlease, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.‚ÄĚ
8  The king replied, “I know what you are doing! You’re stalling for time because you know I am serious when I say,
9¬†¬†‚ÄėIf you don‚Äôt tell me the dream, you are doomed.‚Äô So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I‚Äôll know that you can tell me what it means.‚ÄĚ
10  The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer!
11¬†¬†The king‚Äôs demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.‚ÄĚ
12  The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed.
13  And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.
14  When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.
15¬†¬†He asked Arioch, ‚ÄúWhy has the king issued such a harsh decree?‚ÄĚ So Arioch told him all that had happened.
16  Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.
17  Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened.
18  He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.
19  That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.
20  He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.
21  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
22  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.
23¬†¬†I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,¬†for you have given me wisdom and strength.¬†You have told me what we asked of you¬†and revealed to us what the king demanded.‚ÄĚ
24¬†¬†Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.‚ÄĚ
25¬†¬†Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, ‚ÄúI have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!‚ÄĚ
26¬†¬†The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), ‚ÄúIs this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?‚ÄĚ
27  Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret.
28  But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell youecause I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.

31  “In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight.
32  The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze,
33  its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.
34  As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.
35  The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
36  “That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means.
37  Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor.
38  He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold.
39  “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world.
40  Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes.
41  The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron.
42  But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay.
43  This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.
44  “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever.
45¬†¬†That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.‚ÄĚ
46  Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him.
47¬†¬†The king said to Daniel, ‚ÄúTruly, your God is the greatest of gods, the¬†LORD¬†over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.‚ÄĚ
48  Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men.

49  At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court. your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.
29  “While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen.
30  And it is not b
May the LORD give you dreams and their meaning tonight.
Don.

422: God Sends Helpers.

 422 Helpers
God Sends His Helpers.
When we are determined to live for Him.

Good morning my friends. Oh it’s very cold out this morning, a little peppering of snow on the grass, but lovely to look at. It’s funny how just a little sprinkling of snow changes the whole landscape and reveals things previously unnoticed ūüėČ
Yesterday we finished with a question, “Will the young Jewish boys be able to sustain their faith in an alien culture?” and also applied it to ourselves, “Will we be able to maintain the Christian faith in a culture that’s¬†becoming¬†increasingly intolerant of committed, Bible believing and evangelistic followers of Jesus?” Last night at our prayer meeting, that prayer was somewhat answered, there’s a growing determination and desire to bring about REVIVAL in our people, in our church and in our Land. Praise the LORD!
How did the Jewish boys fare? Well first we read yesterday how the Babylonians changed their names;
Daniel 1:7   The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names:
Daniel was called Belteshazzar.
Hananiah was called Shadrach.
Mishael was called Meshach.
Azariah was called Abednego.
It’s funny to me how we remember the other three boy’s new Babylonian names; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but the best name is Daniel’s; Beltshazzar, yet we still call him Daniel ūüôā
Let’s play a game this morning; We’ll have a go at changing the Babylonian name. Let’s break it down; Baby and Lonian… The first part is easy; Baby and the second part brings a smile to my face; Loonies… So we have Baby-Loonies… ūüôā I know, I know, “What a weird sense of humour you have Donald”, but let not forget that they really did change those boys names. They repeatedly called them by their new name and over the years they started calling one another by their new Babylonian names.
Today, we’ll notice that not only were these boys;¬†without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace, they were also determined to preserve their individuality, integrity and faith in the Lord God Jehovah too.
Daniel 1:8-16
 8  But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.
9  Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.
10¬†¬†But he responded, ‚ÄúI am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.‚ÄĚ
11  Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
12¬†¬†‚ÄúPlease test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,‚ÄĚ Daniel said.
13¬†¬†‚ÄúAt the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king‚Äôs food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.‚ÄĚ
14  The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days.
15  At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.
16  So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.
It was an immense privilege to be given the exact same food as the King of the Babylonian Empire every day. They ate the food from the King’s table… WOWzer.
Reminds me of a time when I was in the Royal Navy and the Queen came aboard my ship, HMS Ark Royal in 1977 during the Silver Jubilee Year. She had a banquet¬†on-board. I was not invited though ūüôā but I was in a position to observe proceedings because I was standing by in case something¬†happened¬†to the Electrics during the event. I could see the queen at her table with hundreds of other people all over the Hanger. I asked one of the Stewards to bring us some food from the Queen’s table, she didn’t eat much, so we had the Queen’s lobsters, they tasted awesome, we had the food the Queen didn’t eat…
Those boys were given the privilege of actually being¬†victualled¬†in, they were expected to eat the King’s food, so the chief steward was frightened when Daniel and his friends refused to eat it. Daniel was very wise though, as stated yesterday, they were wise enough to choose their ‘spiritual’ battles wisely. In verse 12 we read, Daniel said, “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water”. It was a suggestion that seemed reasonable, a period of testing, to see if they fared well without the King’s food.
Why did Daniel refuse to eat the King’s food? Well he probably knew enough about the preparation of the food, that it would have been sacrificed and offered to the Pagan gods of the Babylonians first, by eating it,¬†Daniel¬†believed he’d be contaminating or defiling the temple of his body. He was part of God’s chosen people upon the earth, they Jews had strict¬†dietary¬†prohibitions and Daniel and his friends knew the LORD’S commands regarding unclean food. They were determined to remain pure in this regard.
Notice how God had prepared the way for Daniel and his friends: Verse 9 “Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel.” Respect and Affection: The chief steward had respect for Daniel, that must have included Daniel’s faith and trust in the LORD. Obviously over the long journey from Jerusalem to Babylon, it would have taken many days to travel, he’d built up a relationship and Daniel had earned his respect and affection.
You’ll notice this same thing happens time and again in the Bible, when God’s people are in great need, He’s there for them, He sends his helpers alongside His chosen people: Moses had Aaron to help him speak, Eli was sent Samuel when his own sons didn’t perform for the Lord, David had the respect and admiration of King Saul’s son and 50 fighting men, Elijah had his Elisha, and our Lord’s Disciples were sent out in twos… You ARE NOT ALONE in an Alien Culture my friends.
My friends, don’t be surprised by this, the LORD can prepare the way for you in this alien world, He can give you friends and support from places you’d never choose yourself. People will come to your aid and you’ll be astonished how the LORD moves in your life sometimes. I had that so many times now, that though I’m always overjoyed and thankful, I’m not totally surprised. The LORD has promised good to you, those who love the LORD Jesus Christ and are determined to serve Him with their lives. Be prepared to be looked after, to win the affection and respect of some of the people in the world, who don’t yet belong to the Lord’s family.
Even now the LORD is putting in place in Government people who’ll speak up for Christian rights, He’s bringing people into your life whom He’s prepared many years ago, they are strategically placed and positioned by the LORD to help you in times of need. But don’t trust in them, keep your focus upon the LORD.
For me the moral of today’s focus is this; Though this world may seem like an alien place, God has not left you completely to your own devices, skill or strength. God will prepare the way for you when you determine to live your life for Jesus Christ in the world. He will make provision for you when the time of¬†crisis¬†comes, but all you have to do is trust in Him and live for Him as Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did.
Think back over your Christian walk and you’ll soon see how the LORD has been watching out for you too.
Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit for the walk and work He’s given you today,
Don.