Words from the Pastor
I read this quote today from Brothers in Christ Outdoors: “Don’t pray for an easy life, pray to be a stronger man.” Isn’t that great? And it went right along with my Bible study that morning in the book of Daniel chapter 3. If you haven’t read this story in a while, I will challenge you to read it. It’s the story about when king Nebuchadnezzar had an image made and then commanded everyone in his kingdom to bow down and worship the image. Well, the 3 Hebrew boys, who were serving the true and living God, wouldn’t do it so king Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them in the furnace! And this is how the 3 boys responded to him: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “’King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up (Daniel 3:16-18”).’” They knew that God was able to defend, but even if He didn’t, they were not going to bow down to a graven image. That, my friends, to bow down to an idol, REALLY went against their religion! They would rather die then do something that would go against what the Lord had shown them to do. I don’t know about you, but I usually want to take the path of least resistance when it comes to things that could hurt me. I am a big chicken! But not these three. They were ready to die for their faith if that was what was required of them.
Can I believe this same way Brothers and Sisters? Can you believe this same way? I read somewhere once (And I talked about it in church last Sunday) that when we buy a jigsaw puzzle we trust that the puzzle manufacture people have included all the pieces in the box to complete the puzzle, but it is hard for us to trust that the Creator of everything has all the pieces in place to complete our lives. That when things go wrong, we somehow just know that our Heavenly Father has forgotten about us. Somehow, we just know that this situation can’t be His will for our lives, but it is. Even if we have done something really stupid and even sinned horrendously in the process, our Father can use it for good, because He is that kind of Savior (Romans 8:28). Now don’t get me wrong, we are still going to have to suffer the consequences, but our Father will make it work for our good, somehow.
Paul finished up his first letter to the church at Corinth with this: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love (I Corinthians 16:13 &14).” So next time it seems like the world is crashing down around you and it feels like the world is wanting to throw you into the fiery furnace, be on your guard, see if there is something you can do to help change your circumstances. Then, stand firm in the faith. Don’t do anything that will compromise your Christian standards or values. Be courageous, be a people that has the courage to know what you believe, why you believe it and stand strong in your beliefs. Be strong, don’t bend because the world wants you to bend and compromise your faith. And finally, do everything in love. Remember, it is always right to love.
Please let me know if you need anything. You pray for me and I’ll pray for you. Naomi and I love you all. -Pastor Steve