“The Fire Had Not Even Touched Them”

27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!— Daniel 3:27 NLT

Daniel 3:25-30 NLT

Shadrach, Meschah and Abednego had refused to bow to the ninety foot statue of Nebuchadnezzar.  They, instead, chose to remain faithful to their God. They told the king that whether God chose to deliver them or not, they would always remain faithful.  For their faithfulness, they were thrown into a fiery furnace that burned so hot, the soldiers throwing them into the furnace were killed.  Rather quickly, Nebuchadnezzar learned that his plan to destroy the three men did not work.  God joined them in the furnace and delivered them so completely that their clothes did not even have the smell of smoke on them.  An amazing miracle!  So, amazing that even the king gave the praise to the God of these three men.  He also quickly promoted them to a higher position in the government.  They were saved from the fire because they had more work to do here on earth.  Contrast this to the deaths of the apostles whom God chose to deliver in a totally different way. He allowed them to die and to come on home to heaven.  Their work here on earth was finished.  I wonder which of the two methods of deliverance the three men in the furnace would have chosen, if the decision had been left up to them.  Paul might have wondered the same thing.

.Philippians 1:20-24 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-23-2019

A New Heart

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51 “You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! — Acts 7:51 NLT
Stephen has just recited a short summary of all the things God had brought the Israelis through and the miracles He had performed in bringing them to the Promised Land.  Stephen also reminded them that God did this for them in spite of their unbelief and unfaithfulness.  He did it as a fulfillment of His covenant with their ancestors. Even though God was faithful, the Israelis were not, refusing to listen to Moses and any of the prophets God sent to them with messages warning them to repent and be obedient to God.  Instead they persecuted and murdered the prophets choosing to remain in their sinful ways and worship idols made by human hands.  The people Stephen was addressing were still following in their ancestor’s paths, choosing to kill the Messiah rather than to give up their worldly ways and repent.   If Stephen were here today, he could add the history of our country to his discourse and the accusation would still be true.  After all the years of God blessing this country with His abundance, we are still a “stubborn people, heathen at heart and deaf to the truth”.  More and more, as each day passes by, we become a more sinful nation.  We refuse to believe that God will punish us just as He punished the Israelis.  We must pray that God will have mercy on this nation of ours, that He will replace our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh and write His name upon our hearts.

Even though this was a promise God made to the Israelis, His chosen people, may He see fit to extend His mercies to us because, as Christians, we are a people chosen by Him as well.
 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-17-2018

Divine Assignments

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47 All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation 48 numbered 8,580. 49 When their names were recorded, as the Lord had commanded through Moses, each man was assigned his task and told what to carry. — Numbers 4:47-49 NLT

When it was time for the Israelis to leave a place in the desert and move forward, the Tabernacle had to be completely disassembled.  Moses and Aaron would assign each member of the Levite tribe a particular task to achieve this,   The things that were in the Holy of Holies could not be touched by anyone but Aaron and his sons.  If anyone else touched these things or even looked at them for a moment they would die or be put to death.  Each person had a specific job to do and a specific way to do it.  Some carried the Holy objects and others carried the poles and skin coverings.  Aaron and his family were chosen by God to be the priests and the Levite tribe was chosen by God to be their helpers.  If the move was to be successful, each person chosen by God must accomplish his task in the manner prescribed by God.  God never changes.  He has the same plan in place today and if the Church, His body, is going to move forward, each of us must do our job.  Just as Israel was called out of Egypt and Aaron was chosen to be the priest and the Levites were chosen to carry the Tabernacle, we are called out of darkness and chosen to be priests and a holy nation.  We may not feel a calling to be pastors, missionaries, choir directors or teachers in the congregation where we worship God.  But in the Church, the body of Christ, each of us has a specific task to do.  Just as the Levites were chosen to help Aaron and Moses, we have been chosen to help our local pastors and the Church staff.  God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives.  The Holy Spirit abides in each of us so we are not restricted as the Levites were.  We can touch every area of our world with the Word of God.  Ask the Holy Spirit what task God has assigned you and do it diligently.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-15-2018

“God’s Special Possession”

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9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Think back to a time in your life when there was a particular group that you wanted to be chosen to be a part of.  Do you remember the joy and exhilaration that you felt when you saw your name on the list or heard it called out?  Multiply that feeling by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the joy that we should feel every day because God has chosen us.  Knowing that we are God’s special possession should fill our hearts to overflowing and cause us to shout praises from the mountaintops or in the deepest valleys.  In the best and the worst of times, we, the chosen, can proclaim:


31 If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8:31​b​

Think back to the time when you were a child and you were afraid of the darkness and how great it felt when Mom or Dad walked into the room, turned on a night light and took time to comfort and encourage you.  Or as they stayed, held you and you drifted peacefully off to sleep.  Multiply that feeling and that peace by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the feeling of peace and the brightness of the light that comes when we answer the call of Jesus to come out of the darkness into His wonderful light.  And think of this, they left the room when you drifted off to sleep, but we have the added assurance that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  He is here to comfort and protect us all day and night, every day and night.

 

8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” — Deut. 31:8 NIV

No matter what circumstances are surrounding us or what situation we find ourselves in, we should be filled with joy because we serve a God who has been there, is there now, and will always be there.

 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. — Phil. 4:4,5 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 08-24-2018

Living Stones

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As you come to him, the living stone who was rejected by people but was chosen and precious in God’s sight, – 1 Peter 2:4 ISV
 
 

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was rejected by His own people.  He could do very few miracles in His own hometown because the people there thought of Him as just a carpenter, the son of Joseph and Mary.  We can expect to be rejected as well, the created should not expect better treatment than the Creator received. Just as Jesus was ridiculed and rejected by those who knew Him only as a human, so can we expect to be treated the same way.  This rejection did not keep Jesus from loving and ministering to those around Him who accepted the words that He spoke. Neither should ridicule or offensive remarks keep us from loving and witnessing to those around us.  Jesus was chosen by God to give up everything, come to earth and live among humans who would not welcome Him as the Son of the Creator.  We are chosen by God to give up nothing to receive everything and live among humans as holy priests.  Our sacrifice is spiritual, we speak the words that the Holy Spirit gives us.  This is acceptable to God.  The ultimate end of the earthly ministry of Jesus was not shame but glory.  If we trust in Him and remain faithful, our ultimate end will not be shame but an eternity in heaven praising Jesus because He was faithful and was chosen to rule the universe.

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
​ “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
​ be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” — Rev 5:13 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-23-2018

Chosen, Called, Befriended

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17 It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him.
– Hebrews 11:17A NLT
Abraham had lived for years waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son through which he would become the father of many nations. The son, Isaac, finally came when both Abraham and Sarah were well past normal child-bearing age.  Now, after a few short years with Isaac, God is asking Abraham to kill the dream. How could this possibly be?  Surely, Abraham had misunderstood what God said.  But, no, Abraham had completely understood what God said.  God knew how much Abraham trusted Him but Abraham needed to know that as well. If God has given any of us a vision or a dream in the past and it has not yet happened, do we trust God enough to let it die? Do we trust Him to bring that vision back to life, even if it takes a miracle?  The birth of Isaac was a miracle and the ram being caught in the bush was a miracle. Ah, you say, but Abraham was a chosen person, a friend of God’s.  God might do that for Abraham but not for me.  But, you would be wrong.  We are all chosen by God and we are all friends of God. God has not changed and He is still doing miraculous things on this earth.  If it takes a miracle for God to fulfill His promises to us, there are plenty of miracles left and more than sufficient power to make those miracles happen. We must believe. God does not always respond to every need, but He always responds to faith.

 

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. — Prov. 18:24
2​8 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them,“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” ​ ​“Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you” — Matt. 9:28, 29

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-17-2018

“I AM” The Son of God

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36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world. – John 10:38 NLT
 

The Jewish leaders just could not grasp the fact that Jesus was the Word incarnate, God in human flesh. Even though they knew that a Messiah was coming, this was not at all what they had expected. When Jesus truthfully claimed to be the same as God.
6​ ​ I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.—Psalm 82:6 (NASB)​
Because of their spiritual blindness, this made no sense to them. Christ was first to be chosen. Those that hear God’s message, receive it and believe it become the sons of the Most High God. God had chosen Jesus to be the first-born of many sons and daughters to be raised and glorified..
28 We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.​ ​They are the people he called, because that was his plan. 29 God knew them before he made the world, and he chose them to be like his Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. 30 God planned for them to be like his Son; and those he planned to be like his Son, he also called; and those he called, he also made right with him; and those he made right, he also glorified.—Romans 8:2​8​-30 (NCV)
The message is still the same today, God is still calling others.Those that answer “Yes” will be made like His Son and those that are made right will be glorified. This resurrection and glorification is the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Paul says that without it. We Christians, of all people, would be most pitiful.
19 If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world.—1 Cor. 15:19 (NCV)
12 Be joyful because you have hope.​–Romans 12:12a (NCV)​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-08-2017