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.

429: Fully Relying on God: In Life Threatening Situations.

429 Fully Relying on Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 429: Fully Relying on God:

In Life Threatening Situations.

¬†Good morning everyone, sorry it’s a bit late today. We held the PCC (Parochial Church Council) here last night, didn’t finish till late and I slept like a baby ūüôā
Yesterday we read through Daniel 3, the account of The Golden Statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, he gave an order that everybody from every nation should bow down and worship the statue (idol), but some of his wise men noticed that the Jews, namely;¬†Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t comply with the order.
As I meditated upon this chapter yesterday, I wondered what might possibly have made these Jewish boys to bold? What could have made them willing to loose their lives? Then reflecting back over chapter two, when Daniel told them to pray when they were once again in danger of loosing their lives, they prayed and the LORD gave Daniel the King’s Dream and it’s meaning.
Revelation:
Then the answer came to me, it wasn’t only Daniel who got the REVELATION, but also Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, because they knew the LORD speaks to people when they pray, they knew from experience that God listens, that God is alive, that God acts when people devote themselves to His cause, His honour, His glory.
Application:
Whenever we face a perplexing or dangerous or troublesome decision, what have we go in our bag of spiritual goodies that will enable us to be bold, decisive and devoted to the LORD? We need our own REVELATION from the LORD of who He is, what He is like and how we can trust in Him.
Just like¬†Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we’ve probably all got little miracles that have proved to us God loves us, he listens to us, he acted in the past in our life and that encouraged our faith and our commitment to Him.¬†Therefore, like¬†Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we’ll turn to prayer, praise and worship for a solution in those difficult situations.
Knowing God and knowing His ways are KEY, but so is being prepared to take a stand against our enemies when they rear their ugly heads.
Think about those poor brothers and sisters in Christ in Iraq and Syria, Christians who rather than being forcefully converted to Islam chose to die rather than live a lie. They knew Jesus Christ as LORD and couldn’t deny Him. Their love for the Lord was much stronger than their fear of death. They knew like¬†Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that the LORD would either rescue them or honour them in Paradise, but even if they lost their lives they’d live forever in Heaven with Jesus.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are wonderful examples of fully relying upon God in the face of imminent death.
Well, we know the story, how they were thrown into the fiery pit but survived in such an amazing, awesome and astounding¬†MIRACLE. Their clothes didn’t even smell of the smoke of the furnace. WOWzer!
My friends, that gives me so much encouragement today. Believe me that a time is coming when the relative peace and calm that Christians enjoy here in the UK will not last forever. I’m praying for our Nation, that it will one day experience a true Godly revival, but all the sings are that we are in the End Times, the return of the LORD is imminent, the Bible warns us about these days we are living in:
The LAST DAYS
2 Timothy 3:1-17
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4¬†¬†treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God‚ÄĒ
5  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6  They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
7  always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
8¬†¬†Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth‚ÄĒmen of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.
9  But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul’s Charge to Timothy:
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
11¬†¬†persecutions, sufferings‚ÄĒwhat kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
13  while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15  and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And
2 Timothy 2:11-13 11  Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
12  if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;
13  if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
So there will be, I’m sure, times that we’ll have to take a stand and that might mean paying a price for being a true Christian who loves the LORD. Let’s make certain now, before it happens, that we’re walking closely with Jesus Christ, that we’re praying for His powerful hand in everyday situations, then make a note of His; answered prayers, moving in situations, revealing His secrets, showing and guiding us by His Holy Spirit, then when the times of testing come, we’ll be ready to show the whole world that we love Jesus even more than we love our precious life and this place that we live now, is, like¬†Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, a place of exile, a foreign land and we are aliens, foreigners and strangers here, because our real HOME is in Heaven with Jesus forever.
Have an awesome day.
Don.
NOTE: Can also be read on St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.
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‚ÄĒShadrach, Meshach and Abednego‚ÄĒwho 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, anthere 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.
NOTE: Can also be read on St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.

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‚ÄĒShadrach, Meshach and Abednego‚ÄĒwho 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