Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

Every Eye Shall See Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 680: Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

After I came to know the LORD in 1984, there was a little praise song my church sang: “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the LORD”. My understanding of God’s Word was limited back then, so I was half expecting Jesus to come back during the week. It radically changed the way that I was living, because I wanted to be ready for Jesus. As the years have gone on, I look back and wonder, “Should I have been continuing with that same sense of expectation all along?” Of course the answer is “YES” for we don’t know the day or the hour. Then there’s the great question Jesus asks, “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He returns?”

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Revelation is written to both encourage followers of Jesus and to warn those who’re slipping away from a genuine walk with Him. It’s also written and available to the enemies of Jesus as a stern and stark warning; “He’s Coming BACK AGAIN SOON.”

EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM:

This is a wonderful encouragement for the believers in the major towns mentioned in Revelation; the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, but also for you and me today. We’re going to see the LORD! At that time it was dangerous to be a believer in Jesus. John was exiled to Patmos, some of the other believers were being killed and put to death in horrific ways. But John wanted to encourage them in the walk with Christ and their commitment to the end.

Who’s going to see Jesus? “Every eye shall see Him”: Believers and non-believers alike. Even those who pierced Him: The Jews and Romans who put Christ to death will see Him. However it’s also those who are opposed to Christianity in every generation, it’s as if they are the ones who are piercing Him all over again. Remember what Jesus said to Saul (Paul) when He appeared to him on the road to Damascus:

Acts 9:3-5 (NIV)
3  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5  “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

“Why do you persecute me?” Paul was involved in killing Christians and hunting them down. There have been thousands who’ve been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. This text in Revelation today shows us, that one day they will mourn.

What will they do when they see Jesus returning on the clouds? They’ll “MOURN” All peoples on the Earth who don’t know Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour or who’ve rejected the Gospel, will be grieving, mourning and wailing.

Do you know that there are TWO references in this one verse to Old Testament Prophesy. In his old age John, the Apostle and dearly loved Disciple of Jesus, was full of the Holy Spirit and steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures. He’d been given insight into a fuller understanding of their meaning, and by the Holy Spirit was able to APPLY those Scriptures to his own “Here and now”…

Two Old Testament References:

(Dan 7:13-14). The Son of Man Coming on Clouds.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)
13  “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
14  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

It is from that passage in Daniel there emerges the recurring picture of the Son of Man coming on the clouds (Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64). These are wonderful encouraging messages for every Christian, the unchanging truth that the day will come when Jesus Christ will be Lord of all and every eye shall see Him. It is that kind of hope that can keep you going through the toughest of trials on this earth. Imagine how John’s message would have been received at a time of great persecution of Christians. How much more is it and encouragement for us today as we see our own world rushing headlong into oblivion?

The Second OT reference is: “Mourning for the one they have pierced”

Zechariah 12:10 (NIV) 
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

One Day SOON: We are going to see the LORD! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!

But on that day, every enemy of Christ; every Atheist, every false religions, every wayward non-religious person and every bitter-back-slider, even the hypocrite; will MOURN: Because they’ll suddenly discover how wrong they’ve been; they’ll mourn as one does the death of an infant as Zachariah tells us, that’s a terrible kind of grieving indeed.

Read this Revelation verse again and praise the Lord, because you know HIM who’s coming back soon.

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

No matter what your circumstances are today, this is encouragement to LIVE your life every day with the expectant hope He’s coming soon. Life will be much better for you if you do.

Sing; “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the Lord”.

Praying that you’ll have an awesome week, full of exciting adventures in the Holy Spirit with Jesus your Lord. Amen.

Don.

 

 

PRIDE says, “It’s ALL about ME”

Daily Spirit & Word: 443: PRIDE says, “It’s ALL about ME” = IDOLATRY.

PRIDE says, "It's ALL abut ME" = Idolatry.
PRIDE says, “It’s ALL abut ME” = Idolatry.

Daily Spirit & Word, 443: An EXAMPLE and A WARNING.

Why Was King Nebuchadnezzar Humbled?

Because he walked in pride of his own achievements.
Let what happened to him, be an EXAMPLE and a WARNING to us today.
Good morning my friends, I hope you all had a good night’s sleep and that you are now ready to start the day with the LORD. I’m finding fresh revelation for my own life as I meditate upon these words in the little book of Daniel, because as I look back over my past and think about the times that horrible, evil and testings trials have come, I realise they’ve happened for a reason. You see our God is a jealous God; He’s not satisfied with half-hearted devotion. It doesn’t matter how loud or enthusiastic our praise and worship is, how many times we declare something in prayer or how much time we devote to serving Him, if in some way there’s an attachment to sin in our heart it means we’re NOT walking with Jesus, God’s NOT got our fullness of love.
Daniel 4:28-37 
28  All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.
29  Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,
30  he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
31  The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.
32  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
33  Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.
34  At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes towards heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honoured and glorified him who lives for ever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35  All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No-one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
36  At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honour and splendour were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before.
37  Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Pride is a foolish thing: It’s so obvious that it brings God’s righteous anger, because it’s saying to God, “I don’t need you”. and “I can do it all without your help”. King Nebuchadnezzar’s self-priase reveals our own folly sometimes;
King Nebuchadnezzar’s Folly:
“Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
PRIDE says, “It’s ALL abut ME”
Which is Idolartry: Making yourself out to be a god.
Why was he doing everything in his life?  Nebuchadnezzar was living the dream for himself. He was serving SELF. And he was enjoying the fruits of his own labours.
Why was this foolish? Because he believed with all his heart that he’d achieved it all through his own cunning, intelligence, wisdom, strength, willpower, craftiness, inventiveness and skill.

The Folly of Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

It’s a bit like Sir Malcolm Rifkin. He’d served in many high positions in Government,
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, 68, was born in Edinburgh and worked as a Barrister before being elected as MP for Edinburgh Pentlands in 1974, representing the constituency until 1997.He was appointed to Margaret Thatcher’s first government in 1979, and joined the Cabinet in 1986 as Scottish Secretary.
In 1992 he became defence secretary in John Major’s Government, implementing widespread cost-saving measures to his department, and was made foreign secretary in 1995
Having lost his seat at the 1997 election, he returned to Parliament in 2005, representing Kensington and Chelsea in London, and made a short-lived attempt to replace Michael Howard as Conservative leader
As chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the UK’s intelligence agencies, he has been heavily involved in the debate over privacy and surveillance powers.
but was caught-out because he believed he could use his position of authority and power to influence the Government for his own ends. An investigative reporter working under-cover, in the guise of a Chinese investor offered him money.
Scandal Breaks: Sir Malcom Rifkind FALLS.
Later on when the Scandal broke after a Channel 4 Investigation: Rifkin said, “I did nothing wrong, I may have made errors of judgement, I deserve my high salary, because my life-style and education and track-record of service mean that I should be highly rewarded” WOWzer! This man actually thought it was OK to break the law and be rewarded for it. A man of such intelligence and obvious charm.
Can you see any similarities between Rifkind and Nebuchadnezzar?
Only 24 Hours after making these foolish statements, Rifkind was forced to resign (but protested that it was his own decision). He should have been booted out like Nebuchadnezzar. However to save the government embarrassment he decided to do the honourable thing and “Fall on his own sword”.
King Nebuchadnezzar’s downfall happened, whist the words were barely out of his mouth and it wasn’t the voice of a BBC Reporter with a Mic and TV Camera that revealed his punishment for PRIDE, it was the voice of the LORD from Heaven that said, “The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you….”
PRIDE of LIFE: Will always lead to folly, because people get to thinking they’ve achieved it all by themselves, like Nebuchadnezzar and Rifkind and we’ll soon hear more about Jack Straw (The former Foreign Secretary also un-covered in the same investigation.). The foolishness is thinking that we’re the masters of our own destiny regardless of what God thinks. We meet so many people who’s lives reflect this attitude; “What I do has got nothing to do with God”, “The way I live is my own choice, I’m not accountable to anyone”… These attitudes are getting even more entrenched in our younger generations too, who think the world owes them and they deserve all they get without having to even work for it.
PRIDE of LIFE: Will always lead to a down-fall. 
PRIDE says, “It’s ALL ABOUT ME” 
What I want and what I want to do are OK. I’m not doing wrong. Look at the PRIDE marches in most major cities, they declaring that Homosexuality is OK and we’re proud of it. HOW FOOLISH can mankind become? When God has expressly shown it to be an abomination in His sight.
My friends, as Paul reminds us in Corinthians, let us be aware of our own-selves in this regard or we too may become conceited and think that we’ve achieved great things in life, because of our own efforts, cunning and skill too.
Rifkind, Jack Straw and Nebuchadnezzar were TEMPTED and they gave in to the temptation. But take courage and instruction from God’s Word on this folly.
1 Corinthians 10:11-13 EXAMPLES & WARNINGS.
11  These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come. 12  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
13  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
So if you think you are standing firm, that you’d never be tempted, that you’d never cave in like those mentioned above or all the other examples in Scripture, let their DOWN-FALL be a RED LIGHT warning for you today to be CAREFUL YOU DON’T FALL.
My REVELATION TODAY: It’s funny how the LORD speaks, but He’s shown me today that PRIDE is the same SIN as Idolatry. Making a God to suit yourself: Even if that god is your-own-self. PRIDE of LIFE makes you your own god. Says to God I don’t need you, I bow down to myself.
Here’s how the REVELATION came:
Ephesians 5:5-7
5  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person, such a man is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6  Let no-one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7  Therefore do not be partners with them.
God wrath comes on those who are worshipping themselves; SELF WORSHIP says, “There is NO God”, “I’m the Master of my own Destiny”. It’s Idolatry. Read this next little bit of the Bible very carefully:
Deuteronomy 8:10-18 (It’s Just like Nebuchadnezzar, Rifkind and Straw).
10  When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
11  Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
12  Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down,
13  and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,
14  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
15  He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
16  He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
17  You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
18  But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
PRIDE says, “It’s ALL ABOUT ME”. But we can see that everyone will be held accountable before God one day, because, “It’s ALL ABOUT HIM”… 🙂
 Every blessing in Jesus.
What I’m learning from this today: Is just how much I NEED Jesus every moment, every day. How I need the Holy Spirit and His help to live just one moment in this world. Oh Lord I plead with you today to keep me from the folly of PRIDE of LIFE. Amen!
Be filled afresh today. I’m seeking the LORD.
Don.
 Can also be read on St Luke’s Chruch Facebook Page.

Pride says, “It’s ALL about ME”.

Nebuchadnezzar was to be CUT DOWN

Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the Dream
Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the Daily Spirit & Word, 442: The Meaning of the Dream Revealed.

Nebuchadnezzar was to be CUT DOWN until he acknowledges God Controls Everything.

Daily Spirit & Word, 442: Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the King’s Dream.

Good morning my friends, I’m back in the study now, it’s definitely getting lighter in the mornings. Spring is on the way with all the promise of new life after the deadness of Winter. In our reading in Daniel today you’ll observe that he interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream for him, and I see some similarities between Winter and Spring or life without Jesus and the life of believer filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

 

Daniel 4:19-27

19  Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!
20  The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth,
21  with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air—
22  you, O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.
23  “You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’
24  “This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:
25  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.
26  The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.
27  Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

Devon Hedge Layering
Devon Hedge Layering

In Devon and Cornwall they have a technique that keeps the hedgerows neat and tidy for a few years, before it needs to be repeated. They cut out the long thick and straggly branches of the boundary hedges until they are almost bear, and those that are left are partly cut, then forced down and kept in place with pegs. It looks terrible, you’d believe they’d killed the whole hedge when they are finished. However, this is an ancient practice and they know that within just a few weeks those dead branches will all burst forth into life again and after about four or five years, they’ll need to come back and repeat the whole process again. Some of those hedgerows are really ancient and they are host to countless forms of wildlife.

Devon Hedge Layering
Devon Hedge Layering

When a person like Nebuchadnezzar was cut down, you’d have been forgiven for thinking he’d never make it back again. Once a person has lost the plot and gone as wild as he was going to be, you’d normally think about locking them up and throwing away the key. Notice what it says he’ll be like in Daniel 4:25 “You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven…” Total Madness… But with God ALL Things ARE Possible.

Doesn’t that remind you of the Demoniac that Jesus encountered amongst the tombs?

Mark 5:1-20. The Healing of the Demon Possessed Man.

1  They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.

2  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil (unclean) spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
3  This man lived in the tombs, and no-one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.
4  For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No-one was strong enough to subdue him.
5  Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6  When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
7  He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”
8  For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
9  Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”
10  And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11  A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.
12  The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”
13  He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14  Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.
15  When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
16  Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.
17  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
20  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. 

  • Notice the similarity: He was wild, like an animal, and he ran and fell at Jesus feet.
  • Notice also what the unclean evil spirits acknowledged about Jesus: “”What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”” They KNEW who Jesus was.

Nebuchadnezzar would be cut down and become possessed like a wild animal until: “Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.”

He’d become wild until he repents and accepts that there is a much higher power than his own.

My friends, that’s what ALL human beings are like until they come to know and acknowledge and receive Jesus Christ as LORD of their lives. They are all like un-tamed beasts, wild and out of control. Well, at least they would be if the LORD had not been gracious enough not to let men go completely. You see God is still calling all men everywhere to come to Himself, to acknowledge that there is a Creator of ALL Things. As the Holy Spirit reveals to us in Colossians: Jesus sustains the whole universe. But look very carefully at this verse, for it tells us not only that Jesus created and sustains, but what WE Human Beings are like until we come to Him.

Colossians 1:16-23 The Supremacy of Jesus Christ.

16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
19  For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him,
20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Did you notice verse 21? “Once you were alienated (cut off) from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.”

Eveil Behaviour??? That’s a bit strong isn’t it? But we need to look upon the human heart from God’s point of view. He sees every act of sin and rebellion as ‘EVIL BEHAVIOUR’. Sin and Rebellion cut us off from God.

Though He sustains and keeps in perfect order the whole Universe; He also allows Mankind to choose if we are controlled or wild. We become wild and we get worse throughout our lives, until we regain the self-control that comes through the Holy Spirit. Thank God that He’s not let humanity go completely, but the fact remains we ALL need to come to Him to be restored to our right minds, the minds that God intended Human beings should have from the beginning when He made Adam and Eve.

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, interpreted by a nervous Daniel, reveals what happens when we think we are the masters of our own destiny, that we are like a god to our own lives.

You’ll hear it many times in different ways from the Philosophers of this world: But they’re all saying the same thing: “You are the master of your own destiny”

In the film, “The Dead Poet’s Society” The well liked schoolmaster didn’t like the rules and traditions of the respected grammar school. He began to teach the boys they needed to take control of their own destiny, they looked at the existentialist poets who spouted such nonsense and the boys lapped it up with devastating consequences. It’s good story, but it reveals the world’s ways of thinking that we are better off without the shackles of faith, religion, decency, order, rules and regulations.

When a person gets renewed in the Lord Jesus Christ, the mind of Christ is imputed to us, we receive the mind of Christ, therefore we begin to think a behave as Christ did, in perfect obedience to His Father. We submit willingly to God’s order and we see His Ten Commandments differently, rather than rules to inhibit our enjoyment or life, we see them anew as liberation from the power, dominion and control of sin. When we submit and acknowledge Jesus Christ true freedom reigns in our hearts and lives.

Daniel revealed that Nebuchadnezzar would one day be restored to his position of Emperor King, once He acknowledged the KING of Heaven. We too will be lifted up once we humble ourselves before our Creator.

Life without Christ is like winter or a cut down hedgerow, but life with Jesus is truly AWESOME!

I can’t wait for Wednesday, when we go out into the streets of London to reach those who don’t yet know Christ as LORD. I want to see thousands come to experience the freedom and NEW LIFE that He brings.

Enjoy the blessings of the freedom you’ve been granted in Jesus Christ today.

Let’s endeavour to continue, as Paul reminded us in the Colossian reading above, continue in the faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Don.

 

NOTE: Can also be read on St Luke’s Facebook Page.

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 🙂 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 🙂 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) 🙂 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.

431: True Faith Manifests Itself in Obedience and Trust.

431 True Faith in Action

 

 

Daily Spirit & Word, 431: What is TRUE faith?

True Faith is Made Manifest Through Your Actions and Trust in the LORD.

Good morning everyone. What a night of Street Evangelism we had yesterday; so many different conversations with people who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus. Some of them knew about Jesus, but we didn’t meet anyone who’d trusted in Him as Saviour. We met a Philosopher who’d reached the point of total cynicism and was amazed by the lack of cynicism in others. He viewed cynicism as the only credible viewpoint. It was amazing we engaged in gentle banter and debate, but when my friends Dave began to open up God’s Law with the man, it was amazing to watch his mouth stop protesting. We observed the promise of the Lord at work and it was wonderful. Romans 3:19  “Now we know that whatever the law (God’s Commandments) says, it says to those who are under the law (Everyone who’s yet to submit to Christ as Lord), so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” When we share God’s Law, the Conscience reveals the truth, it’s awakened and begins to close the mouth of self-justification, of pride in the face of the LORD. That happened as we spoke with the Philosopher last night. And that was just one of our conversations. My friends, if you want to see that your God is real, alive and powerful, then just go out and share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know Christ as LORD.
In today’s reading in Daniel Chapter 3, we see that a Proud and Powerful King’s boasting, viewing himself as a god, will be moved to rage and anger.
Daniel 3:13-18 13  Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,
14  and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?
15  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
17  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.
18  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three young Jewish men could have compromised with King and defended their disobedience to the LORD God’s Commands by arguing, “Everybody else is doing it, so why shouldn’t we?” or “Our Position of Privilege and access to the King demands that we obey his decrees,” That was the same excuse some of the German Guards of the Concentration camps during world war two gave; “We were only doing our duty.” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could have argued, “We’ll bow our knees but we won’t bow our hearts.” They might have said, “We can do our people even more good by being respected in the king’s service, than by being ashes in the king’s furnace.” But true faith in the LORD doesn’t look for ways out of trouble; it simply trusts and obeys God and knows that He will do what is best for us no matter what the outcome may be. True Faith rests on obedience to God’s commands and faithful hope in His eternal promises, not on arguments, ways of avoiding responsibility to obey and self-righteous explanations of why we didn’t do it.
The Great King Nebuchadnezzar, who’d conquered nations and built up the Great Empire Babylon, became furious. Why? Well my friends, it was because he couldn’t subdue or conquer the faith of these three young Jewish men whom he held captive for over three years, tried to indoctrinate them and turn them to Babylonian ways of thinking and behaving, but their faith and trust in their own God, the LORD God Almighty, was still well and truly alive and kicking, even in the face of imminent death in a fiery furnace.
The King’s Threat: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
The Jewish Men’s response.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Did you notice that, “Even if He does not”. They were prepared to serve God no matter what the outcome might be.
Are we ready to serve the Lord Jesus Christ like that? He’s given us so many commands and He said “If you love me, you will obey my commands”… “My commands are not burdensome” “My yoke is easy and my burden is light”…
WOWzer! Let’s determine before we go out today, that we’re going to serve our own KING and live in trust and obedience to His commands and hope in His promises. When we do, we’ll see and know God’s working with us as we obey Him, because ALL His promises are true. The words of His WORD are reliable and trustworthy. He loves everyone who comes into His family and is with you wherever you may end up, even in a fiery furnace.
Don.

Can also be read @ St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.

430: Life or Death: You Choose!

430 Choose Eternity Over Now

Daily Spirit & Word, 430: Life or Death: You Choose!

Either fall down and worship Golden Statue or Die in the Fire.

Daniel Chapter 3.

Good morning my friends, I don’t know about you, but I can feel the days are getting longer and the earth is warming up again. After Winter’s cold we begin to look forward to Spring’s warmth don’t we? It’s the same when we get ill, we look forward to the day when we’ll begin to feel better again or when hardships come, we remember the good times and look forward to a time of ease from hard labour.
Daniel and the Jewish people in Exile in Babylon also looked forward to those good times, but a decidedly dangerous turn of events occured when the King of Babylon built a Golden Statue and told all the people to bow down and worship it. For the Jews all knew that worshipping a false idol would bring God’s swift condemnation and judgement. The edict / order of the king was; “either fall down and worship or face being thrown into the furnace and being burned alive”.
People Value Their LIVES: The Bible clearly tells us that the vast majority of human beings value their life more than all their possessions and would give up everything in order to live. Even Satan knew this when he asked the LORD to allow him to take everything from Job. Job 2:4-5 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
So when the King gave this order to worship the idol of gold, most of the people would comply, their worship was not from their hearts but from convenience and compliance, they didn’t value the statue, but the did value their wellbeing, they loved their lives. For the Jews however, this was going to prove a very testing moment during their Exile from the Pormised Land.
There were four young men who from among the Jews had been selected for service in the Empire of Babylon, they’d been promoted because of their proven abilities; intelligent, wise, bright and clever, now what will they do? We know the story, but let us look at their hearts together.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego valued their lives just as much as anyone else in the world, but there was a higher power that took precedence over their own lives, because they’d received another edict / command long before Nebuchadnezzar had issued his own;
The Commandments of God: 
Exodus 20:1-6
1 And God spoke all these words:
2  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3  “You shall have no other gods before me.
4  “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
They’d had these laws for hundreds of years by the time of King Nebuchadnezzar, they were embedded into the fabric of their being and their hearts were often tested in this area whilst they lived in Israel, they’d been sent into Exile by God (at the hands of the Babylonians) because they’d broken these commandments and had not listened or responded to the many messengers that the LORD had sent to warn them. These who were alive after the Babylonian attack, were taken back to Babylon and now they were faced with the critical choice; “Follow God’s Commands or Nebuchadnezzar’s”….
Daniel 3:1-6
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
2  He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.
3  So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4  Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language:
5  As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
6  Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

The Christian’s Choice:

Follow The Way of the World: Under Satan’s Rule.
Follow the Way of the LORD: Under Jesus Rule.
I think it all boils down to TRUST & FAITH:
We all trust different things in life; getting married we make oaths to one another and trust that we’re able to live up to those promises. We get aboard a bus, train or plane; trusting the pilot or driver knows where he’s going and can get us to where we want to go. We exercise Faith is so many areas of life, but how are we getting along at actually TRUSTING God with everything in our life today. If our LIFE depended upon it, would we be faithful to the LORD?
Hypothetical Questions like that are very difficult to answer. The devoted Christian will immediately respond, “I hope I’d have the courage of my convictions”, but ultimately until we’re put to the test we just don’t know.
However, we can determine every day just how devoted and faithful to Jesus we really are; because moment by moment throughout every day of our life, we face challenges and tests of our devotion and faith and trust in Jesus don’t we?
For instance: For those of us who live in relative freedom those tests normally come in moral and relational ways; choices to live a good holy pure life in a world that’s quickly becoming less and less concerned with moral purity and conduct. We’re faced with explicit sexual temptations through the Media, Advertising, Films, TV and the Internet, and the way that people dress and behave, even in public places today. They are all temptations and we’ve got choices every day, but we’ve also got the LORD’S express commands in the Bile in these areas too; For example read the Ephesians passage below.
How to LIVE a HOLY, PURE and MORAL life for Jesus:
Ephesians 5:1-21
1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
4  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
5  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6  Let no-one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
7  Therefore do not be partners with them.
8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10  and find out what pleases the Lord.
11  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
12  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
13  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
14  for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
21  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
But probably more of a problem is our ATTITUDES to others as Christians.
We’re challenged and tested every single day.
For instance: I’ve noticed that London is getting more and more overcrowded, the transport system is just not coping with the increase in numbers and the patience of people is wearing very thin. You’ll notice in Brixton outside the Tube Station, thousands of people every day queuing up for buses, but in days gone by, those queus were patient and we always let those who’d been in the queue first, bet on the bus first, but not these days. When a bus arrives there’s a mad scramble to be first. Fights break out often, people push one another to be first, sometimes you’ll have to wait for a few buses before you can board one of them. I’ve noticed mothers with children being left stranded whilst fit young men push in front of them. There have even been stabbings because of the overcrowding. How is a Christian going to behave in those queues? What’s our attitude going to be towards our fellow passengers? Oh yes my friends, we’re being tested RELATIONALLY every day. Patience, humility, peace, generosity, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control…
While we don’t face death decisions like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we do face the choice to be like Jesus; to die to self and live for God.
 John 12:25  “The man (Person) who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
The person who chooses to live for themselves is choosing the benefits for the short term; i.e. you’ll get on the bus first, but you’ll feel bad about it afterwards, when your God given conscience kicks in.
The person who chooses to live for Jesus; is choosing blessings for all eternity; i.e. You’ll let others go ahead of you and you’ll bless those who overtake you and pray for those who push you aside in life. “Bless and do not curse”, “Do good to those who hate you”, “Love your enemies”, “Turn the cheek”, “Walk an extra mile”, “Give your shirt off your back to one who needs it”, etc etc… My friends, choose not to live for now or for the moment, but choose to live for ETERNITY. Store up for yourselves TREASURE in Heaven.
We’ll only be VICTORIOUS if we keep close to Him, Jesus Christ and get His Holy Spirit POWER to live for Him in this world today.
Decide right NOW to live for Jesus and be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.
Choose Eternity over The NOW (Instant Gratification).
You know my friends, when you decide to live for Jesus every moment of the day, you are going to feel so much better about yourself, your attitude towards others and your heartfelt devotion to the LORD. You’ll be full of JOY and want to praise Him, even in testing and tempting situations that you’ll face.
God bless and keep you today.
Don.

428: Fiery Furnace Faith.

428: Fiery Furnace Faith.

 

Fiery Furnace Faith
Fiery Furnace Faith
Daily Spirit & Word, 428: Fiery Furnace Faith.

Good moring my friends, it nice and warm outside today, amazing after such a cold snap, but it’s like a summer’s morning. Today, we’re going to see that for the young Jewish boys in Exile their faith and trust in God is going to be tested to the limit. Read through Daniel Chapter 3 today and we’ll reflect tomorrow.
Daniel 3:1-30. 
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
2  He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.
3  So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4  Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language:
5  As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
6  Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7  Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshipped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8  At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews.
9  They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live for ever!
10  You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,
11  and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.
12  But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
13  Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,
14  and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?
15  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
17  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.
18  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
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.
They ARE proving to be faithful witnesses of the true faith in the LORD whilst they are in exile in Babylon. Praise the Lord!
You may face trials of many kinds as a Christian in the world, but be assured the LORD is able to rescue you from the all.
I’d be interested to know how the LORD has proven to be faithful when you’ve been tested in the Fiery Furnace????
How’s your Fiery Furnace Faith?
Have an awesome Monday my friends,
Don.
P.S. Please pray for the family of a young man called Jimmy. He was a resident at the British Home where I serve as Chaplain. He died whilst in Hospital on Saturday. He’d been taken ill last Sunday and was not responding to treatment. Jimmy was an awesome witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was increasingly incapacitated and could only just move his head a little, the rest of his body had been slowly shutting down for the last six years. He’d been in the home for many years suffering with MS. But what a faith in Jesus Jimmy enjoyed. Everyone who went to visit him came away as if they were walking on air. I’ll never forget singing with Jimmy, he loved all the old favourite hymns and some of the modern ones too. He had a fantastic memory, Jimmy knew the names of people even before they spoke, he remembered their children’s names and prayed for them often. He remembered all my grandchildren, and was overjoyed when he finally met Aminata after hearing about her for over five years. Oh yes my friends, we’re definitely going to miss Jimmy, but we’re so glad that he got his desire of his heart, to be at Home with the LORD. He had had enough of not being able to praise and sing properly. His favourite hymns were “What a friend we have in Jesus” and “The Lord’s my Shepherd” He really loved the modern version too.
P.P.S. Can also be read at St Luke’s Facebook Page

 

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, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.”
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.”
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—an 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—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and 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—a 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’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.” 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, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the LORD over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.”
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, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.”
4  Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”
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!”
7  They said again, “Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”
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  ‘If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed.’ So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.”
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’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.”
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, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” 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.”
24  Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”
25  Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”
26  The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
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.”
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, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the LORD over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.”
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.