Today, I made a detour to Decatur Seventh Day Adventist Church and was truly blessed. First let me say that in all my years after being baptized at 14 years old, I cannot remember a sermon about the three young Hebrew boys in Daniel 3. And I definitely never heard a sermon more clear and visual as Pastor Knight put it. I jotted down some notes from the sermon that specifically rang loud to my life and what I’m going through.
Pastor/Dr. C. Wesley Knight
The Image of Gold and the Fiery Furnace: The story of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego
Brief summary of the chapter:
King Nebuchadnezzar created an idol of his image so that the people of Babylon could bow down and worship it. Whoever did not bow down and worship would be thrown in a fiery furnace. The king gets word that three Jews (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) would not obey his command. Furious, the king called for them and told them that if they did not conform, they would die and no one would save them.
I just love their response in verse 16-18:
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.”
Fear is never a sustainable excuse for worship.
The reason we serve God should not be because “if you don’t do this, you will burn.”
You must have a declaration of faith.
Whenever you make a declaration of faith, the enemy will turn the fire up.
Every time you go in to a fiery trial, you go in bound. You were born in sin [bound]. The enemy calculates your bound situation so that you can lose your faith in the fire.
It’s almost as if He waits till we get to the fiery furnace to show up and say I’ve been there all along.
Then the story changes. The king, who has never seen God, noticed a fourth person in the fire. Verse 24 & 25
When Christians are in the fiery furnace but refuse to burn up, folks who’ve never seen God can see him through their faith. Verse 25.
They’ll never know your Jesus until you don’t burn up.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Fire can’t burn what’s already burn up. “But if not….” Verse 18
If you’re in a situation, know it’s a controlled burn and God will deliver you.
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.”
Some folks will never know of the Jesus you serve until you never give up.
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