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Courage in Babylon

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2021 6:00 am

Courage in Babylon

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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May 9, 2021 6:00 am

As we continue our series through the book of Daniel, Pastor J.D. takes us to the fiery furnace of Daniel 3. Through the famous story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we will see an example of courage that could only come from faith in God. These three young men knew that God was bigger than anything life can offer us. And more importantly, that God was better than anything death could take away.

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Limit showing other campus pastors and telling you mother's happy Mother's Day for all of our moms in any capacity for those you have a mom that you can have a chance to be able to say happy Mother's Day to you.

I hope hospice of you guys out there. This is not an announcement news to you. If so, then you got some work to do right after service but we are grateful for all of you and and my own mother have the privilege of having her here is a part of our churches in the 9 o'clock service and so she told me that her one disappointment is that I did not wear a full suit. She's like a Mother's Day I should get that. So I apologize to my mom for that. But after all you mothers is that we love you very very much Daniel took three of you got your Bible. I love you take it out. Daniel three Daniel three. You may not recognize the name Desmond Dawson but you might've seen the movie about his life. It was called hacks all rich.

Desmond DOS was drafted into the U.S. Army in World War II, but he was a pacifist the way he interpreted the Bible would lead him to believe that yet he couldn't cause any balance anybody else ever so you can bring himself to carry a gun, but he also loved his country and wanted to serve it, so he accepted a position as a medic in squadron and as was depicted in the movie. His pacifism made him the subject of all kinds of ridicule and then one evening he was serving the end in the midst of a battle in Okinawa when the Japanese pinned his unit down on top of the cliff and cut down nearly every man.

Many of the men were only wounded however but DOS knew that if they stayed wounded overnight that the vast majority of them would die so I'm have their net cliff. There was a rescue operation were not was accessible to anybody. Anybody you try to climb up the cliff would be shot down by the Japanese. So DOS rig up a stretcher that can be lowered by a series of ropes and pulleys to the ground and then by himself crawling around the battlefield under withering sniper fire. He retrieved every single wounded soldier in his unit one at a time and lower than the safety below. Pres. Truman recognized Desmond DOS is one of the bravest warriors of World War II, claiming that more than 75 men owed their lives solely to his courage, and Pres. Truman did something that had never been number 4C awarded DOS the medal of honor, a very prestigious honor to a soldier who would never picked up a gun. Courage. Courage is what causes incredible things to happen to the world. Many of us have good intentions but it's courage that makes those intentions come to fruition.

How many of you think of yourselves as naturally courageous people you is that you put a preamp that is not me. I am usually the Veronica, did you have that noise downstairs. You should go check it out guy, really. Better yet, the act like I'm still asleep to see Phyllis go down and do it our own guy. Courage is something that most of us have to learn to budget to possess and Morgan see in Daniel three is that this courage is an essential quality of any of those of us who would shine in Babylon Daniel three contains one of the Bible's most famous stories in it, you're gonna see the soul of Christian courage both its substance as well as the fuel that sustains it is the story of Shadrach me shack Bendigo or as I prefer rack shack invented.

Here's what I'm going to show you is that courage equals confession plus conviction courage Christian courage equals confession right confession plus conviction money show you what I mean. Daniel three verse one we walking to the store. Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold's height was 60 cubits of its bread, six cubits, thinking Nebuchadnezzar said to gather all the officials of the provinces and to come to the dedication of that image. The king Nebuchadnezzar and set up in the Herald proclaimed allowed you are commanded old peoples, nations and languages very very important little phrase right there. You might notice there in your Bible might come back to it that when you hear the sound of the horn, the pot pipe in the liar and the trigger-happy pronounce that the harp bagpipe guitar the kazoo, the harmonica Hammond B3 organ the hammer, dulcimer, and every other kind instrument you are to fall down and worship the golden image he Nebuchadnezzar has set up whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a fiery furnace now person. We got a notice is that old there is a little hardheaded you members that help chapter 2 ended. It ended with Nebuchadnezzar coming to this moment where we recognize God was the only one who could interpret the dream and he had this dream of this gigantic statute in the statute. You never had a head of gold that represented him in a body of silver, bronze, a mixture of iron and clay that represented the kingdoms that would come after the Babylonian kingdom and would conquer its kingdom. And that's how can the world kingdoms will go and then in his dream.

The stone that was made without hands suddenly came down from heaven and smashed the statue into a billion pieces in the wind blew away in the lives not a trace left that stone.

Daniel had explained was Jesus and interpretation was that Jesus would abolish all earthly kingdoms that are erected in independence of Jesus and Jesus would establish his own. Whichever two ended like a set with Nebuchadnezzar responding in amazement.

Truly, Daniel, your God is the God of God sees the Lord of all kings and threes reviewer mysteries. Good evening to tell me what my wise men have not been able to tell me but here we are separate three opens, Nebuchadnezzar has got a 90 foot statue of himself gold from top to bottom, requiring that everybody bow down to. In other words, not only has he forgotten the lesson from the dream. He's actually made it worse.

The five minutes goal from top to bottom means that in his mind. His kingdoms don't last forever not just a temporary head of gold. It's gold through and through. I'm on the whole thing. The fact that the fact that he's having everybody bow down to it means that he believes his kingdom is the most important thing on a server, Nebuchadnezzar what you're about to see is come around to between him and got please note, if you will the little phrase that I directed your attention to in verse four, all the peoples, nations and languages we see why that's so important reason that is important is because it indicates to you that something epic is about to take place.

You see, the last time that the peoples, nations and languages were altogether was in Genesis 11. The human race had united in setting up another tower, another statue declaring their independence from God, it was called the Tower of Babel and God had immediately in that moment in mercy, scattered them into different people's nations and languages and then in the next chapter of Genesis 12 God had called a man named Abram and promise to make of him a great nation that would bless all the peoples of the earth all the peoples languages and nations of the earth and bring them back together in unity around the throne of the Messiah, the fulfillment of that is going to happen in the book of Revelation when John the apostle looks and sees a vast throng of people that no man can number people from every tribe and tongue and nation on earth that are gathered around the throne of God proclaiming worthy is the Lamb who was slain. That's how it's coming in, but here in Daniel three you got Nebuchadnezzar who is a usurper attempting to bring the nation back together united around his greatness. And here's the irony. He is doing it on the exact same spot of the Tower of Babel have been known to point out man in Daniel one, it's all happened in the same spot. The point is, this is not a little sideshow. This is the epic battle. This is the battle of the Bible. It is the history of the human race. In one story times ago has over 70 the instrument start to play with honor, but he bows down were not exactly sure how many people were there that they must dollars, able to bend them around a million people don't just imagine for a moment. This scene but you got a million people either you see Middle Eastern people bow bow faces to the ground where it ends up in the air yet a million people bow down and homage acceptance of what is that about 200 yards back. It's three men know it's three teenage boys others.

The Hebrew boys there they are, Shadrach me shack Bendigo standing there. I'm sure little awkward later 16 years old.

There center there from a million people answer the little nervous there.

They are bull up right with everybody else around them on their faces. Now I know some you are right now. Same where exactly was Daniel is a great question. Some of speculated. Maybe he and you lapse in faith that he was bowing down to everybody else but that is a thing likely based on the rest of the stuff that happens in Daniel others of speculated that maybe Daniel was out traveling on some have international omission but I don't think it's a great answer is the best interest on the last verse of Daniel to look whether he gets Bible of Daniel 249 says that Dana was put on the Kings court which means that Daniel would have been exempt from participating in this display and if he were anywhere in the scene, he would been up on the stage with Nebuchadnezzar. Rights of these three Hebrew guys are the only ones out there in the whole crowd of the million that are not bowing down.

Daniel three verse 13 the Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage, commanded that Chad represented Bendigo be brought to him they brought these men before the king Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, is it true all shattering. He said Abednego that you're not serving my gods or worshiping the golden image that I've set up as he has what I'm looking at the chance I may be in here. I can like you guys holding the one thing with the other in the vegetables out pretty awesome on your buddy Daniel.

You interpret my drama get another chance. This time when you hear the sound of every kind of music bow down and worship the image that I've made. If you do that well and good but if you do not do this and worship you will immediately be cast into a burning fire furnace and who is the God is a God, then it will deliver you out of my hands. I know I love how these three teenage boys answer all Nebuchadnezzar racks Jack and Betty say right back to the King old Nebuchadnezzar. We have no need to answer you in this matter and other words we don't talk about it.

We will need to huddle with only deliberate.

We need a few seconds to think about it committee meeting is only one possible thing for us and it is God that we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hands. Okay phone that I love these next words we do this is it. This is every part of courage right here. For safety, but is not be known to you all. King, that we will never serve your gods and we will never worship the golden image that you have set up what you do dots literally everything you know about Christian courage is right and this reverses number one courage is confession is that Jesus is the only Lord courage is confession is a Jesus is the only Lord I have a theory as to why Nebuchadnezzar was so ticked off. Do you remember when I showed you how chapter 2 ended. Chapter 2 ended with Nebuchadnezzar saying hey your God is legit your God is not just one of the regular God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings Nebuchadnezzar acknowledge their God. So it only seems fair that he that they now recognize his authority here this. It was not their faith in God that cause the problem. It was their refusal to also acknowledge the divine authority of Nebuchadnezzar. That was the problem here this. Nothing is changed. Today in our Babylon in our Babylon, the triangle of United States of America world and our Babylon your faith in Jesus is not the problem. It is your insistence that he is the only way of salvation and only source of authority that is the problem you will never get in trouble for saying that Jesus as your personal savior.

But you will get in trouble when you say there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. You will be in trouble when you say that there is no other Lord except for him and that that means that he alone sets the rules about what is right and what is not right about sex or morality or marriage or money or anything else. He speaks about UCR society says, for example, that you know what you Christians are free to get married in a traditional way that you want.

You can even reserve sex for the marriage bed is strange that seems abstinence is your thing. But how dare how dare you label somebody else's choices of sin. How dare you not bow down to my sexual freedom. How dare you not prostrate yourself, turn my pride week, for example, affirming that my way is just as valid as Jesus is way and if you don't do this, our culture will punish you commit to be throwing you into a fiery furnace right now but businesses will boycott you or they'll take things that the NCAA tournament with All-Star game if you will not conform if the sample spirit Nebuchadnezzar work in our day.

You can do what you want but you also get about my authority will know small small companies that have been literally sued out of business for refusing to participate in ceremonies and practices they got objection to interview my readings about these things of the person do it rudely or negatively or to the person say like hey I don't think people should be allowed to do this we live in a free country understand that men do what they want this person to said what I respect arrives free citizen to do what you're going to do, but I would also ask you to respect my right to not be involved in it. Personally, since it goes against my convictions because they would not bow what they were supposed to bow. They were sued and shut down one of Pres. Biden's advisors ident as indicated that this equality act was passed, which mandates societal acceptance of these things.

The religious organizations and churches who don't honor it in their own practices could face substantial tax penalties even finds the words you have your convictions but you better keep them in the closet because the moment you failed but failed to bow down and homage where you're supposed to wear some kind of fiery furnace that awaits to see you don't think I'm going to pick on the on on the political level recommended from the other side there a lot of people in our society. You say how dare you criticize America say that America will be judge for it.

Since America special Americans chosen by God and that means a strong man with a history of abusive and misogynistic behavior is good for America. Who are you to question his integrity if he's good for America than God. Gotta be on his side. Another way you find out that Jesus just make sure that you bow down to my guide to our society says it were find to say that Jesus is our Savior. How dare we say that Jesus is the only way to heaven.

I heard Oprah say a little while, but I hope write you since America's pastor is underway, minimal house of God and Christianity. She said I'm a Christian, Christian, freethinking Christian who believes sincerely in my way about 6 million people on the planet. It can't possibly be the only way what kind of backwards person would believe that there's only one way to God. A gene years ago at Stanford University forced a group of Christian students on the campus to stop his work proselytizing others try to convince others that they should come to faith in Jesus and he said you your your fine to be Christians in the gather together weekly for worship that you are not allowed to try to convince others that they can only be saved through Jesus for, and I quote all faiths are equally valid as religions. In other words, it is fine to worship Jesus, you can have them as your personal savior. But you still need to bow to the stature of pluralism or our version of the fiery furnace awaits you in conversation with Saturday is that it was a Nebuchadnezzar today there fond of you following any Christian teaching so long as you still bow your first about what you have an edited Bible. Every generation was an edited Bible and the Smithsonian in the Smithsonian Museum of there and in Washington DC they have Thomas Jefferson's Bible is very famously edited because in Thomas Jefferson's day. It was very unfashionable to believe that that that God actually did miracles and so the Enlightenment thinkers like hey, Jesus is morality is awesome sermon on the Mount greatest treaties, morally speaking, ever written by this whole stuff about United raising from the dead and multiply Lowe's and they have some of the garbage took Jefferson literally cut out of his New Testament.

All the things that were supernatural. But Jesus that we could just have a nice clean addition of Jesus's moral teachings. Interestingly, the other side of the mall on DC is a new museum called Bible Museum which, if you have not seen it, I would highly encourage you to go in there.

They have a little the slave owners Bible slaveowners. I was also edited because it was the Bible. The slave owners would give to their slaves to read and in it they had cut out. I kid you not.

All the sections in that in the Bible old and New Testament that would lead a slave to think that he was of equal value with his master, or that would lead him to yearn for freedom and so they had an edited Bible that they gave the slaves.

The point is every generation has their version of an edited Bible if they were to do this today. We cut out Jesus's teachings on the sanctity of sex and marriage but we keep his miracle stories and put in some of the stuff on generosity and forgiveness. Our culture says it's fine to worship Jesus but you have to edit him to fit your prayer are preferences you still got a bow where you're supposed about what you hear me you know that for a follower of Jesus who understands anything about what Jesus says that's not an option. He is Lord of all that we often say that right he's not Lord of all, he's not Lord at all income is a coaching guru to give you suggestions about how you good life coaching ways to live becomes the authority on all things and if you don't recognize his authority.

I don't understand what the word Lord means coming to Jesus is not like signing one of his rental car on contract for you to leave all certain options not always try to get you to sign up for a bazillion things you want. You know when navigation your prepaid fuel your prepaid tolls. How about a ridiculously overpriced insurance package that will give you a zero deductible the space station pulled out of the skies measures your car right you know how I was in Oklahoma few weeks ago at the person was like a joyous insurance with your part $18 a day, but I will cover you for anything, literally anything even flood damage have a lot in Oklahoma like a lot of flood stuff but I say no I don't really want to take. I will pay that people think they can do that with Jesus. We can accept the parts of him that we want and postpone the others till later. I'm home one college girls women Time Machine accepted Jesus as Savior but plan to accept him as Lord. After college, you can't bifurcate Jesus the Lord, or he is not beautifully surrendered to him. Living in rebellion know you understand that if God is the only God meant for us to say anything different is cool that's wrong it's cruel because you are obscuring the one way of salvation, I feel, hear the since to share with you what I call classic story of Summit punisher about 18 times, but every 1460 monthly know what about your new software. Can you do it for you okay this takes place all way back when I was in seminary for many many years ago I was my first year seminary I just graduated from Campbell University and I was on my way from Fort Lauderdale Florida to Raleigh because of serving as youth pastor and in Fort Lauderdale and I went to one of redeye flights were there, you know, hardly my own claimant in the waiting area and there only two people in the entire gate area. There's a guy you're my left was like 194 years old, you know, let me just whatever 1 foot.

But never mind that he inside of you. Here was this again.

I was married on this just drop dead gorgeous Hispanic girl and I was like Lord, what do you want me okay your ice cream, spinach, and so not sit next to this girl turns out she was from somewhere in South America and she was on her way. Returning as a student to Harvard University. Okay. So immediately I thought we had a connection that is graduating Campbell and I felt like you like, and asserted to share with her. Her name was buttock.not birth… And so I structure my testimony with and I thought was going really well on the call to scale the plane. We sat next to each other was told all about Jesus and I change my life and I was going to go on the wall but got a call me into into the ministry was to share with her and she just sat there just soaking it up. She would nod her head and she said no.

I said she got a bounce rate. She said I'm up at Harvard University and the smartest moves driven men on the planet. They say go to that university, but I don't hear anybody talk with the conviction that articulates what they believe and where they're going out of a vexing anybody there that talks as clearly as you would sit.

That's is very very attractive. I was like that yeah like you're getting it save working to get married this awesome story one day and so I'm sticking share my test with. I do, somewhere, probably. I know you over LAN, I would suppose. I asked her to check with her like Nguyen Walker three Bible verses about how Jesus is the way the truth and the life I was liking about the have you ever received Jesus now is not me Jesus. That's not my thing.

She said I'm really glad it works for you or no work for a lot of people but it's just not when I thing I was like… But you understand I don't like it to my thing or your thing up like it's you know everybody thing because you said no one comes about accepting me and she said no and Tony just at work for me and that works for you, and I was I but I don't think you understand how they want to read this verse right here in the Bible to read John 14 six and and she looks at me and she says are you trying to tell me and also like her attitude totally flipped to me. She said you can't tell me that that if I don't come to Jesus the way that you're saying the Bible tells me that you're saying that there's no possibility that if there is a heaven, that I will not go acid but without an attorney that I think the Bible study that and and she said I think you might be the most close minded, arrogant, bigoted person I've ever talked to.

I can't believe somebody in the 21st century would actually say that I don't have this conversation anymore. She sat back as I heart weddings off I can receive and salvage the situation and I was I said the sword in stunned silence for like a minute or two and then the pilot comes on your pizza 70s like they were your initial approach Raleigh-Durham and I spent our members and I think I can reset it but I remember hearing so I say so I leaned over to her house. Okay just right.

I know under the conversations done, don't you, you won't talk anymore but I just want tell you that I'm really glad the pilot of this airplane doesn't look at the runway the same way that you do have it, she said, what emails I was to say that he comes on is that you know what I am sick and tired of that arrogant little control tower tell me where and how handling this point, I'm a freethinking open-minded pilot and I prefer to land upside down in the Walmart parking lot. I want to know and trust men knows to do it on the top of the PNC building downtown Raleigh like no need to go on that little mirror runway because that's what the control tower says he's got a do in order to bring this plane and you would need safety and I'm glad he looked to the runway different than you do.

Truth she said that's not fair I suggested this as table 1, Harvard zero by the way, if you're keeping score, the point is you maintain the confession is the only way because if God is the only God. It would be cool to not do it otherwise, you understand, listen, that this generation depends on us telling the truth about just like the generation shutter mission. Abednego they need in these three guys to stand not just to worship God in private, but they do it in public and say I can't bow because of their courage and entire generation might there including Nebuchadnezzar got to see that there is only one Savior, and by the way scholars say that the faith of the wise men who came to see Jesus can ultimately be traced back to this encounter is because they stored in that moment and said we can't bow these, not just my Savior needs everybody Savior. I'm not talking about not letting people be free of course not.

We live in a free country value that I'm just saying that our confession is there is one Lord and one Savior, and there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved and if I don't tell you the truth about that. I bow along with the statue of pluralism like everybody else does my generation parishes because I didn't have the courage, the substance of Christian courage. The confession Jesus is the only Lord the only Savior and I can only bow to here is the second encourages conviction. I believe that God can I expect that he will but I trust him. If you encourages conviction.

That's a lot double with the one at a time, but encourages conviction says that I I believe that God can I expect that he will I trust you to be that what impact this phrase is one of the time to Christian courage believes that God can know the first thing I notice from the three Hebrew teenagers answer is that they were in no doubt about who the biggest that he was a missile drama. Verse 17 are God we serve is bigger than you is bigger than your fiery furnace and so you can Jabra you want. Ultimately he's in charge now you everybody else. All other million people out there on the plane are thinking. Look how small, empathetic, those three teenagers look. Next, Nebuchadnezzar and all his mighty soldiers bear standing there thinking, look how puny little man looked next to God.

That's where Christian courage becomes so simple that a child can get it right.

God is better God is bigger. He's bigger than your problems I will and this is a kid and so did you memo my favorite hymns and I grew up as it did help me help me sleep safely at night and not be afraid God is bigger than the bogeyman bigger than the monitors on the Godzilla and the monsters on TV all my nobody else God is bigger than the humanity is not enough for you and is arguing as a kid and essentially I got some version of that in every situation. I go into the most basic principle of faith got bigger than your problem all these bigger than cancer he's bigger than a lost job is bigger than a broken marriage is bigger than your friends is bigger than your sin. He's bigger than you are saying he is bigger than the grave and if you are his child, there's nothing that happens to you without his permission. Not even a hair falls in your head. He said without his knowledge and express permission. So why the hymn writer says why should I be discouraged, why should the shadows come.

Jesus is my portion, my constant friend to see if his eyes on the sparrow, I know he watches me Christian courage believes that he can. That's all. I believe that he can't. Our God is able and he's bigger than you turn your neighbor right now say I believe that he can believe anything that's it right now.

The other two thirds of UK turn your names.

I believe that he can I Christian courage.

Ask believe that he can to Christian courage expects that he will believe you can expect to do a lot. This is subtle crazy important and he will deliver us your handle came.

How did they know that little secret that it pretty phrase her safety, but if not I do know this is going turn out. They did not know there been no little no huddle were double massage like it is down the phone to save in this and in none of that. They just have this suspicion in their heart that God would deliver them because they understood God's goodness they understood God's willingness to showcase the glory of his name. Cannot tell you a little Bible secret. Many of the greatest feats of faith in your Bible were not done in response to a direct command of God with any kind of promised guarantee of how it was all going to turn out to be just one example, when my favorite was noncitizen because there little he doesn't like a chair but this is one is less well-known and is one of the best for single 14, the Philistines enemies of Israel there pressing Israel may take away all the swords in Israel to swords in the whole country, and Jonathan, who is King Saul's son David's best friend has one of those two sorts when he comes upon a garrison of 20 Philistines and assist him and his armor bearer. Two guys, one sword 20 on soliciting soldiers on the little cliff above them joy for single 14, six, and Jonathan says to his young armor bearer, let us go over the outpost to the outposts of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf.

Perhaps if I meant armor bearer about a sword on my bro. If you're trying to persuade me to attack 20 men and I got a sword you have to do better than perhaps right. Jonathan just expected.

Nobody is expected that God would show up and glorify his name.

It didn't deaden Jonathan's words sound like what his best friend David said in Psalm 2713 recorded right here in some a lot. I'm convinced that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

In other words, I know that one day we get to heaven everything to be awesome and I know that there have wipe away every tear and I know I don't have a lot of direct promises about how this or that situations don't work out, but I just expect that a good God will actually do something in the situation and I want to take a chance on boldly asking him to actually do it because yes I'm willing to wait to heaven to see the goodness of God. But I want to see it right now the lives of my children. I want to see it in my marriage. I want to see the life my friends I want to see in our community and I want to see in our church, and so perhaps the Lord will respond and I'm just gonna take a chance on it because I expect that he will think about the miracles of Jesus in your thought about how many of the miracles of Jesus came about because somebody without a promise without a guarantee just to get there on Jesus's goodness.

Maybe you just want to think about a woman with the blood disease who comes up behind Jesus, thinking that she could just touch his garment and she be healed blue writer who records a story makes it very clear that Jesus was not planning. It was unexpected that he was actually on his way somewhere else and this woman was the farthest thing from his earthly mind.

And then, unexpectedly, she just kinda reaches out audaciously taken a Garrett deer in his goodness and Jesus stopped and said scarcely have I seen faith like this anywhere daughter your boldness in taking it there on my goodness is rewarded.

Any healer bold faith doesn't just believe that he can bold faith expects that he will because they understand the goodness of God in court. That is not to say is not safe for God like a magic week Jeannie Lambert if you run just the right way to give you what you want your opinion out of if you watch him hard enough with faith. He's a little mechanic and I'm not saying that I think sometimes God, in his goodness, yes, sometimes double tell us know or tell us to wait.

I'm simply saying that in this story as you see multiple times throughout the Bible God rewards those who take a day or on his goodness he rewards those who expect that he will our God is able and he will deliver us. I don't know for sure, but he will do it. My question for you is where you need to get there on God. Where is it right now you need to take a day or not. Maybe just reaching out to share your faith at work or at school.

Even though it's super awkward and even though you say about me. But the Holy Spirit is put in my heart to take a deer on him, but maybe he'll show up to work in this person's art. Maybe it's in you taking a courageous stand at work even though it looks like it's a cost you big in the short run or maybe if you serve in politics maybe sustainable. What's right even though the media is a nine-year-old parties throw you in the fiery furnace. Every time you do maybe to persevering in a prayer request and not giving up a continuing to come back to God's throne and say God I believe that you good enough to do something here and I want to see your goodness in the land of the living and perhaps her to do this and I'm not going to go away until you do maybe is submitting that application to be a foster parent. Even though you were scared about how it's gonna change your life comes perhaps got to show up and do something to somebody in an announcer, boldly choosing to keep the kid even though you're young and pregnant and you feel all alone or maybe choosing to impress on the marriage even though it's difficult maybe to call Matt a strange family member today even though you aren't sure how there to respond to your offer of forgiveness.

Maybe it's just confessing that pornography habit to a trusted friend, even though you rather keep it concealed your lighthouse one put it out there and I want to put it out there so that that God can work in this minute starting a ministry sit here and there's something God's put in your heart you like a little work. He knew not to get a guarantee but maybe you say God I believe you'll be good here. I expect that you work you nothing but this is like the entire history of the summa church are both planting thousand churches that in combat a little scroll in heaven with the divide. You know what is like eight perhaps God will bless us in this we thought about it years ago when got put on a heart reach college students human cultures are to come to our church community colleges were a lot of awesome software church money. One of them right 2002.

L started to come milking like August to begin the school year and during that time our tenants like tripled and our average weekly giving went down during that same time. You and I were in that we were like certain Russell's leadership team I God brings all the students we got in larger facilities but there are bring the money are giving is down. I think maybe they're taking money out of the offering plate when it goes by.

I'm not sure what's happening here, but we were like, well, God, your God, would you bless us if we were tempted to stretch to expand, would you bless us. Even though the people were expanding to can't pay for one. I gag you literally dozens of these one small token. The guy was like I got you the it was like the next year. Guy shows up in our services. I never actually looked in the face of Nautilus. I could never shake his hand, spoke to Catherine Nevada. She heard about what was going on. Our church came in was so moved by the amount of students and young people he saw in our church.

The next week he sent me a check for hundred and $86,000 I messed it up there the next week at the church.

Unlike all covered right does God sent somebody seminational because he was like perhaps I said perhaps God said, I'll do it maybe got put in your heart some sacrifice some financial gift or system they ministered you to death. Will you take a day or we take in their you're told your neighbor that that you know that he can.

Once you turn your neighbor right now and say I'm not sure, but I expect that he will. I'm not sure but expected.

He will tell your neighbor I just have the Pentecostals are we going to Pentecostal things and I like you to talk to each of actually doing Pentecostal services. I'm not sure, but I expect that he will find the Christian courage trust him. If he doesn't Christian courage trust. I'm the greatest words in the story. Verse 18 but if not being known to you will king that we will not serve your gods.

We will not worship the golden image that you have set up. Like I said, these are my favorite words in the Old Testament, even to be done, deliver us, and he might let us die in the furnace. We still want you to be clear all Nebuchadnezzar that we would rather die in the flames were just him and we would live in a palace with just you. They believe that God was not only big enough to protect them from Nebuchadnezzar.

They believe that knowing God was better than anything they would have to give up without it you want to write stuff down.

Courage believes not only that God is bigger than the opposition. Courage also believes that God is better than the alternatives. God is bigger than the opposition is also better than the alternative.

You see, listen, sometimes God is glorified when sick people get well and God shows it is bigger than the cancer but sometimes God is glorified because sick people die. Well, they show that God is better than even life itself sometimes take a stand and got delivers like Jonathan like David the nonstick stand and he lets her suffer like Jesus.

The question you gotta ask is if you let you go through the fire. Is he enough for you see, the only way that you can have the courage to suffer for what is right is if you know that Jesus is enough if you know enough dressing real quick and the story why he's enough not to sleazy predicts 33 redeeming for you see this story is a good promise that is directly for you when just about nemesis about me and you watch us. Verse 19 the Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and expressionless face was changing Chevron agenda Bendigo you're the furnace heated seven times more than is usually needed through men so hot the next verse says that the heat coming from the furnace is now to kill the soldiers who were carrying the bound teenagers on the throne in the Nebuchadnezzar naturally expect to see them burst into flames. Verse 24 the King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished when he rose up in haste he declared to his counselors hate then we cast in three men in the fire mansard and settle yeah troll King. He replied, but I see more man unbound, not bound, unbound, and are all walking in the midst of the fire and not on the heart thing. In other words, burned on them were the ropes that bound them in the appearance he says the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the God's pay from our perspective prep in the New Testament is pretty safe to say that was the son of God. Verse 26, the Nebuchadnezzar came near the door. The burning fiery furnace. He declared Chevron agenda Bendigo service of the most high God come out and come here and they came out and the kings counselors got together and they saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men that hair of their heads was that since her clothes were not harm not even the smell of smoke to come upon them, they would make this whole scene prefigures Jesus going to the cross Jesus wants this Jesus was thrown into the fires of judgment with us were the three neighbor teenager, Jesus gets thrown in with us and because Jesus got thrown in there with this we came through judgment totally unharmed. There is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.

That means the hair on my head is not been sent by judgment, not close have not been burned. He took the flame so I could emerge from in safety could not trace or smell of judgment anywhere on my body even on my clothes.

It was only the chains of my bondage that were burned away see and what that means and what that means is this list. What that means is this is that the God who kept me in the fire but she knew the God who went through the fire for me, that the God who can keep me in the fire if he went into the ultimate fires of judgment for you if you went to the cross and he kept you totally safe and free from harm. There don't you think he'll keep you in whatever lesser fire you're going to go into now the God who died for you in the fire is the God who will keep you in the fire, but a friend of mine says don't search for a faith that keep you from the fire search for God that will keep you in the fire so you come to church again for God.

You are the fire happened. There is a God, he will keep you in the fire because he went into the fire judgment for you. The presence of Jesus was with me three neighbor teenagers and their furnace nemesis presence will be with you in any furnace in which he put you also the God who died for you and the fire is the God who can keep you now in the fire to show you how this whole thing ends. Verse 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered.

Blessed be the God of Shadrach me shack Bendigo said his angel and delivered his servants he trusted in him.

Set aside the king's command to love their bodies rather than serve and worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree any people nation language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach me shack Bendigo shall be torn limb from limb and the house is laid in ruins. For there is no other God is able to say the rescue.

In this way this story ends with Nebuchadnezzar commanding all peoples and nations, and languages to gather in unified worship of God's power to save it as a picture of the future is a picture of what happens at the end of time, and I love the apostle John said in their there before me was a great multitude that no man can account people from every tribe and people and nation language under heaven stand before the throne before the Lamb, are wearing white robes which meant they were unchanged and unharmed by the fires of judgment in their own palm branches apiece in there and they cried out in a loud voice.

Salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb of God who sits on the throne as worship, not Nebuchadnezzar. The wall that's good. The walls can be unified, not by the greatness of some earthly sovereign, Babylon, or Great Britain or America or the UN or otherwise is to be unified by a Savior who went into the flame of judgment for his people and Them all hundred percent safe from all harm and that flame and you and I can help move the world to that worship by determining the wording about only the Jesus is Lord and I getting up every single day, believing that he can expect and that he will trust in them. If you that's courage much about your heads. If you would, let's listen to the Holy Spirit from right now you wavering in your testimony about Jesus you feel yourself paddling about Jesus but like I had a bowel bursitis tell me about what you asking for the courage to Jesus and he went in that flame for me. I know that you keep me in preserving the asking for that courage about this where you taken a day or on God's goodness right now where you take it.

Where's the Holy Spirit right now in your heart attack and they are in his goodness – something Bolinas I got a believe that you cannot expect that you will trust you know just a moment all the campuses just to listen to what the Holy Spirit might be saying this moment in our worship teams, the league

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