This morning, while snowblowing the yard and driveway, I had the perfect New Testament scripture reference to match our Old Testament Story from the 2nd of February. Unfortunately, as is often the case, even though I had this post planned and written in my mind while outside working, because I did not write it down it is now lost. So I apologize that today’s post lacks the clarity and vision of the one I did not write.
Last night, we met as a church and Ms. Peg told us the story of Nebuchadnezzar, his golden image, and how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stayed true and did not worship Nebuchadnezzar’s false golden image from the Book of Daniel 3: 1-30. Being the good witnesses that they were, when confronted for not worshiping the idol and threatened with being thrown in the fiery furnace, these young men replied to the king as follows,
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.(Dan 3- 17-18)”
Oh, if only all Christians were willing to stand their ground today as those young men stood theirs. They held true to their faith, informing a powerful man they would not bow to his pressure, believing God would deliver them from his hand. The real beauty of this stand though is they also say if God chooses not to free them or protect them from the furnace, and they die as a result, they will still not serve another god or worship a false idol. They would be true to the one true God.
How easy those words pass by our soup coolers, yet how difficult they are to live. I suspect many a person has not mentally prepared themselves through Bible reading and prayer to face their own Nebuchadnezzar’s, damaging their own witness as a result. Ms. Peg did an excellent job telling this story and discussing the importance of staying true to God and our witness. This life is fleeting, the next one is eternal. Why would a believing Christian damage their witness today, possibly hampering another person coming to faith, simply to improve an earthly existence that is temporary and shallow?
The Gospel of Mark 8: 35-37 says this, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?
I leave you with this thought. Please prepare yourself in advance, through prayer and personal Bible study, to stand your ground as a believer, so your witness can lead others to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Nebuchadnezzar recognized the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego because of their witness, even though they disobeyed his commands, making a decree that no people, nation, or language shall speak against God or the king would them torn limb from limb and ruin their homes because, and this is a biggee, “there is no god who is able to rescue this way (Dan 3:29).” The witness of these three reached Nebuchadnezzar, imagine who your witness might reach?
So, if you live in the vicinity of Ironwood, please come join us on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. We have seats available and you will enjoy studying the different stories in the Bible.