每日诗歌: O Holy Night
Daniel 3 [Read]
Daniel 4 [Read]
1 John 3 [Read]
How much are you willing to give up for your faith? Is it your time, your job, or your life? We don’t often think about this, for our focus is usually on the peace and joy God promised us. When it comes to our faith, most people still think in terms of how much we may gain instead of how much we are willing to lose. Ironically, the latter actually determines the former.
Nebuchadnezzar had a new idea. He built himself a huge statue of his god, and, as the most powerful person in the region, he forced everyone to worship this god (Dan 3:5). Of course, his real purpose is to gain the pleasure of people worshiping him through this statue of his. Man is easily corrupted by power, and the previous episode (Dan 2) is probably already forgotten by him. The three Jewish immigrants now faced an important decision, and they had to choose between being loyal to their God and giving in to the intimidating king. They chose wisely and sternly, but the way they chose is worth pondering.
“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” (3:17). Their confidence in the power of God is unshakeable under the king’s intimidation, for they trust deeply that God can rescue them from any situation, even the seemingly hopeless one before them. But even more impressive is their trust in God’s sovereignty. “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” (3:18). God can certainly save them, but they do not force God to do so. It’s all in God’s hand. They trust God’s wisdom and eternal will, and they are willing to give their lives for that trust.
How much are you willing to give up for your faith? I have heard many moving testimonies, and I have seen God’s miracles in many people’s lives. I wonder how great an army it would be if every testimony giver would sincerely say “but even if he does not”, and I wonder how much more peace and joy would be realized through such faithfulness and resolve. “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Jn 12:25).
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