- Ignite Hope fellowship members to stand firm in their faith in Jesus Christ.
- Encourage the seeker to try the love & faithfullness of the Lord.
How far will you stand for what you believe? Will you cling on your faith when testing comes?
Daniel 3:1 NIV
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
— in Babylon’s culture, statues were frequently worshippped. King Nebuchadnezzar hope to use the large golden image (90ft high, 90ft wide) as strategy to unite the nation by centralizing worship.
— ordered everyone who heard the sound of the band must fall down and worship the golden image or else you’ll be thrown in the burning furnace
** Would you violate the first comandment for survival – just a little compromise?
Exodus 20:3 NIV
You shall have no other gods before me.
** What would do if you were there? Will you pretend you didn’t hear the sound? Will you bow down but not really worship the image – anyway your life is worth more than any pride. You will still worship the true God in your life.
Daniel 3:8-15 NIV
At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews.  They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever!  Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,  and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.  But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”  Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,  and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
— Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego were put on the spotlight.
— King Nebuchadnezzar was very mad but he gave them another chance to bow down and worship the golden image. Everybody’s eager to find out if they would continue to disobey the king and lost their lives.
** At this point? Would you risk your life? Would you risk your friends’ lives? Would you argue that for sure God would understand?
Daniel 3:16-18 NIV
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. ”
— Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will not compromise their faith in God. They were pressured to deny God but they decided to remain faithful despite the consequence of disobeying the king’s decree – death by the fiery furnace.
— If God would always rescue those who trusts in Him, then Christians would not need faith. Christianity would hen become the biggest insurance company with many selfish people lining up ready to sign up. But why do you think Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego managed to stand firm & didn’t bow down to idols?
Principle #1 – have an eternal mindset to help you put things in God’s perspective.
Colossians 3:1-2 NIV
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
— Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego have eternal perspective. They put higher weights on their eternal destiny rather than have a temporary earthly gain. They considered God’s glory & honor more important than their earthly lives.
— They made the decision not knowing whether God would rescue them or not. Nonetheless, they are prepared to die for the glory of the eternal God.
Our earthly failure can bring as much glory to God as our earthly success does if we remain obedient to God. Even physical death can bring glory to God in eternal perspective. – Marvin Andrade
Principle #2 – Be aware of the ongoing spiritual battle. The moment you decide to seriously follow Jesus, then the enemy would aggressively attack to discourage you but take heart Jesus has overcome the world.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Daniel 3:19-20 NIV
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual  and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.  So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
- The enemies attitude changed when we become threats to the kingdom of darkness.
- The furnace was heated 7x than usual.
- The strongest soldiers thrown them to the fiery furnace.
John 16:33 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
— Do not be afraid of the enemy because we have a God who is able to protect us. Jesus has overcome the world – He is bigger than all our troubles.
— Manny Pacquiao was a womanizer, and a gambler before he personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Lord & Savior. When he became a born-again Christian, he was knocked down by his opponent and his mother blame his lost because Manny changed religion.
Galatians 6:7 NIV
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
— Some testings are allowed by God for us to grow in faith. But mostly it’s from the enemy or from our own flesh.
— Watch-out for most people the sufferings we encounter are the consequences of our sins and worldly desires. We can’t mocked God, He knows if we are hiding something bad.
Principle #3. Consecrate your life for God’s divine purpose. Learn in this world as much as you can for the glory of God without compromising our faith.
Daniel 3:28-30 NIV
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.  Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
— God was glorified because Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego stand firm on their faith to God.
— They were promoted by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel 1:8,12,17,20 NIV
 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.  “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.  To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.  In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
— Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego revolved not to defile themselves with the royal food and wine so God blesed them with knowledge & wisdom that they are 10x better than all the magicians and enchanters of the whole kingdom. They had great positions in this earth even though they didn’t compromise their faith to God.
Principle #4. Be confident in declaring God’s promises to your life.
Daniel 3:17-18 NIV
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. ”
— the three friends knew that their God is able to save them and they claimed that God will deliver them. Observe the word “will” – it means that action will surely take place. The bible didn’t say that God “might” save them but we know for sure from verse 18 that they are not sure yet whether God would intervene or not but still they say in verse 17 with 100% confidence that “God will save them.” Now that is faith!!!
1 John 5:14 NIV
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
— Let us claim God’s promises to our own life according to His will. God is sovereign and we can’t push what we want if it’s not in His grand masterplan. But God is merciful, remember how Abraham bargained with God regarding the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah – from 50-45-40-20-10 righteous people. Also note how the Lord added 15 more years to Hezekiah’s life just because he begged God for mercy (2 Kings 20)
— I claim with confidence that God would bless us with many biological children. God said children are blessings from Him and I want to participate in that. Unless God told me explicitly that I should stop praying for it, I will keep on asking God with a child-like faith until He bestows mercy on me. If that happpens, and it will by faith, all glory belongs to God alone.
Link to my life-verses.