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Shadrach

Faith in the Furnace

James Montgomery Boice

Excerpt from: Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions

Daniel 3:1-30

There were three things that gave Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the strength to stand firm in this great test of their commitment.

1. They knew that God was sovereign. …It is firm conviction of the sovereignty of God in the midst of all things contrary. These men knew that God is sovereign, and therefore it was not foolish but wise for them to entrust their lives to him in this matter.

2. They knew the Scriptures. If we are to do the right things in similar circumstances, we must know the Word of God, because only the Word of God will cut through such ambiguity. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego triumphed because their minds were filled with Scripture and because they kept coming back to Scripture as the only fully trustworthy and inerrant authority in all matters.

3. They were willing to die for their convictions. It is possible to believe in a sovereign God and know from Scripture what that sovereign God requires yet fail to do the right thing because you are unwilling to pay the price of obedience. Many fail because they will not pay the price of a loss of popularity or loneliness or ridicule or persecution or economic hardship. Only those who are willing to pay such prices make a difference.

God does go with his people in their trials. Countless believers have testified to that. So let us be confident in the promise of that presence and be strong. Let us stand for the right and do it. Let us refuse to compromise. Let us stand with unbowed heads and rigid backbones before the golden statues of our godless, materialistic culture. Let us declare that there is a God to be served and a race to be won. Let us shout that we are determined to receive God’s prize, which is far greater than this world’s tinsel toys, and that we are servants of him before whom every knee will bow.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us.”

Daniel 3:17

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Can you imagine never being “anxious about anything?” It seems like an impossibility – we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school. There are many times when the pressures and needs of life feel overwhelming and make it almost impossible to be happy. But Paul did not tell his readers to be happy. He encouraged them to “pray.” Surely there are many circumstances in which Christians cannot be happy, but we can always pray and rejoice in the Lord.

The busier we are, the easier it is to worry. If we want to worry less, we need to pray more. Prayer results in an indescribable and immediate sense of peace. Christ’s peace allows us to continue with what we need to do, in the confidence and assurance that God will work everything out.

Unlike worldly peace, the peace of God “transcends all understanding.” It is beyond man’s ability to comprehend. Like soldiers assigned to watch over a certain area, God’s peace “guards the hearts and minds,” that is, the emotions and thoughts, of His children. This peace is confident assurance in any circumstance (John 14:27).

True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control. Our citizenship in Christ’s kingdom is sure, our destiny is set, and we can have victory over sin. With God’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future.

The most effective way any believer can prepare for the stress of the day is to begin with God. Spend time alone with Him and make your requests known to Him. Tell God the issues and concerns weighing you down. Anticipate the stressors in your schedule and ask God to give you peace in the midst of them. When stress comes, and it will, claim His promises.

Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt, and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offers comfort in place of worry. The end result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives is deep and lasting peace. Jesus says He will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace.

To break the habit of worry, Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayers. It is there that we gain the perspective and peace we need to handle the stress of life without sacrificing our relationships and health along the way. The heavier the burdens, the longer it may take, but when we give our worries to God, we will feel relieved and at peace.

SOURCE 

Originally sent to E-mail Ministry Subscribers on 7/31/2000

 source:  James Boyd on facebook

THE ANT AND THE CONTACT LENS

A true story by Josh and Karen Zarandona

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although

she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite

cliff. In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the

rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge

where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the

safety rope snapped against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact

lens.

Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below her and

hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked,

hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn’t there.

Now far from home on a ledge, her sight blurry, she was feeling

desperate and began to get upset. She prayed to the Lord to help her to

find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her

clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found.

She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the

rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff. She looked out across

range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says,

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She

thought, “Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone

and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help

me.”

Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there

was a new party climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of

them shouted out, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” Well,

that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An

ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it!

Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the

incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a

picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, “Lord, I

don’t know why You want me to carry this thing. I can’t eat it, and

it’s awfully heavy. But if this is what You want me to do, I’ll carry

it for You.”

At the risk of being accused of being fatalistic, I think it would

probably do some of us good to occasionally say, “God, I don’t know why

you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it’s

awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.”

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

           

***The service, a routine meeting, was scheduled for 50 minutes. Instead, it lasted 185 hours non-stop, 24 hours a day. Intermittently, it continued for weeks. Ultimately, it spread across the United States and into foreign countries. Some say it is being felt even today.***

 ________________________________________________

Lately it seems many of us have been sharing many concerns and comments about the latest debacles and the latest false revival.   There are  many occurring presently and I have watched so many videos of people falling to the ground with false anointings that my head is spinning, my stomach is sick, and my heart hurting.The burden many feel for the church is immense. So many are being deceived and loving it.

I have searched the web for true revivals and the result has been  dismal to say the least. Then I was sent a link about the asbury revival. I was skeptical because the link was surrounded by new-age articles. But thank God I was persuaded to watch it anyway. The footage is old and the sound poor to begin with, but it improves in a minute or so.

The Asbury Revival – February 1970 – Wilmore, Kentucky

Dr. Dennis Kinlaw was in Canada, away from the college when he received an emergency message to call the Dean….

I have some quotes from this amazing video. Here goes:

The Dean  – “I have a problem…and I don’t quite know how to handle it.”

Kinlaw  – “What is it?”

The Dean – “It’s chapel..it’s not over yet.”

Kinlaw – “It isn’t over yet? The morning chapel isn’t over yet? What do you mean it isn’t over yet? It is 7:00 at night. (Chapel starts at 10 am) What happened?”

“GOD IS HERE!”

“…the response lasted until the next Tuesday morning, a week later, at 8:00 when we began classes again.”

More quotes:

“Dr. Kinlaw..I am a liar..what do I do?”….”That was the kind of thing taking place. An honest, candid dealing with personal sin and with personal disobedience and personal problems.”

“It is interesting to me to know what the emphasis was…Holy Spirit in those days. There was an amazing openness and transparency.”

“The emphasis was never upon the gifts of the spirit. The emphasis was upon..sin. The need for repentance, need for restitution, the need for repairing relationships, human being to human being and the need for bringing alive into obedience the need for the highest and the best.”

“The amazing thing was a person would tell what had happened, it would be recapitulated, as a person would go somewhere and tell what God had done in his auditorium … it would take place in the church where the person was telling it!”

“The less impressive the student was the more effective an instrument he was”

“How did it come? What called it?…Our need.”

“We had some students interested in prayer. In October before the Spirit came in February six students came together, banded together in what they called ‘the great experiment.'”

“They covenanted for 30 days to take 30 minutes every morning and spend in prayer with the Word, writing down what truth they got from the Word. They were to obey that day, sharing their faith somewhere in the course of the day, and meeting once a week for those 30 days and checking up on each other to see that each one had done his disciplines that week. So for 30 days they met that way and they worked that way.”

********

Did you get that?  What a recipe for revival…… and it is no wonder why there are so few….

Take 30 minutes daily….add prayer while in the Word of God.

Search for truth in the Word of God and apply directly to self in obedience.

Take faith and share daily.

Check weekly for compliance.

DAILY PRAYER       DAILY READING THE BIBLE        DAILY WITNESSING     OBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD

It is no wonder why the church is in crisis and we have false revivals with false gospels with false anointings. 

Here is the video….It is about 37 minutes…Please take the time (just over 30 minutes, hint…hint) to prayerfully watch and compare with the revivals of today. The quotes cover the basics but i left out the ending.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoID=1343001998

Actually, I long to attend some of the so-called revivals of today. I want to be in the back of the room, kneeling on the floor with my Bible on the chair. Or just standing at the back, head down in prayer, Bible in hand. First, one should be totally armed with the spiritual weapons of Ephesians before stepping one foot into a demonic meeting.  Please pray with me that those who are truly seeking God will be protected from the evil spirits at these meetings. Pray that the Lord will prick their heart with fear, and warn them with the knowledge that something is wrong and that they need to leave immediately.

Now for that 30 minutes each day… You will set this time aside won’t you? Daily, pray in the Word, obey it  and share your faith.

God Bless…. 

 

 

 

 

 

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