Is it hot in here....or am I just on fire????

One of the most amazing stories in the Bible is the one about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If you ever went to Sunday School as a child you more than likely have heard this story a time or two. Or maybe you saw the Veggie Tales version of it? I have learned a lot about the Bible from watching that cucumber and tomato! Just kidding-well, sort of. Anyway, for those of you who are not familiar with the story here is a summary for you; King Nebuchadnezzar was a ruler over Judah and God allowed him to gain power, people and land. The king also had Daniel as his interpreter of his dreams and advised him on what to do. Even though God had allowed the King Neb these things, the king still doubted God's existence. The King had a large golden statue built and ordered everyone in the Kingdom to bow down to it when they heard the musical instruments play. There were three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused to do this. So, the king ordered that these three men be thrown into the blazing furnace! What is amazing to me at this point in the story is that these men could have easily thought, "Ok, I will bow down just this once and pretend to worship this idol. God knows I don't really believe in this way, so He will understand-right?" Wrong. These three men still refused to bow down, even after the king had his men make the furnace 7x hotter than usual! The kings own soldiers who threw the three men in died because of the flames and the heat of this fire! Once these three men were thrown in the king noticed something. I can almost picture him leaning on his throne to get a better look, maybe he even stood up and got on his tippy toes. He looked and then he looked again and asked, "Didn't we tie up only three men and throw them into the fire?" "Oh yes, King." But as they all looked again toward the blistering heat, the king saw someone or something else. There in the flames was a vision of God, one of his heavenly angels. All at once the king realized what was happening and commanded the three men out of the furnace. In Daniel the King says this, "Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their God has sent his angel and saved his servants from the fire! These three men trusted their God and refused to obey my command. They were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god other than their own." (Daniel 3:28)
The king's decision to take the lives of these three men had actually saved his own. This king became a believer because these three servants of God refused to comply with the ways of the country and their country's leader, even if it meant losing their own lives. Many times we are put to the test as Christians. Many times we feel the pressure of this world. Many times we may even feel the heat of sin on our backs. During all of these times however, we too have God looking out for us. God is here to save us just as he was there for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. If we stand strong and are willing to step into the furnace of this world in order to defend our beliefs in God, then He will reward us. The reward may not be in saving our earthly life, but it will be in giving us life eternal. There is always going to be those who will fan the flames of doubt and there will always be those who are standing by ready to throw the "living water" on it to douse it out. Which group will you be in? You have to stand up for your faith and your belief in God, because if you don't you might just get burned.
Blessings-Nicole

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