Tag Archives: and Abednego

Greg Laurie – With Us in the Storm

 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33

When the Bible says that God will keep us, it doesn’t mean that He will always keep us from trouble. But it does mean that He will keep us while we’re in the midst of trouble.

When the Israelites saw the Egyptian army closing in on them at the Red Sea, God had allowed them to get into that situation. Why? It was so they would pray and see His glory on display. And then, when He answered them by opening up the Red Sea so they could walk through on dry ground, they saw that God walked with them through their difficulties.

God could have kept Daniel from the lion’s den. Instead, God kept Daniel in the lion’s den. God could have kept Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace. Instead, God walked with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Jesus could have kept the disciples from all the storms on the Sea of Galilee. Instead, He was with them as they went through the storms.

Maybe you are in trouble right now. Maybe you are frightened and unsure about your future. You don’t know what is going to happen next. Know that you’re not alone. God is with you in the midst of your troubles.

Sometimes I think we believe that we have the right to live easy, tranquil lives, and then one day we will die in our sleep. Everything will be nice, cozy, and comfortable. But the Bible doesn’t promise that. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). But He also said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Sometimes God will keep us from a problem. And sometimes He will let us go through the problem and will be with us in the midst of it.

John MacArthur – Having a Faith That Responds

John MacArthur

“Faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

True faith goes beyond assurance to action.

When the writer said, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, he used two parallel and almost identical phrases to define faith.

We’ve seen that faith is the assurance that all God’s promises will come to pass in His time. “The conviction of things not seen” takes the same truth a step further by implying a response to what we believe and are assured of.

James addressed the issue this way: “Someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’. . . But are you willing to recognize . . . that faith without works is useless? . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:18, 26). In other words, a non-responsive faith is no faith at all.

Noah had a responsive faith. He had never seen rain because rain didn’t exist prior to the Flood. Perhaps he knew nothing about building a ship. Still, he followed God’s instructions and endured 120 years of hard work and ridicule because he believed God was telling the truth. His work was a testimony to that belief.

Moses considered “the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Messiah wouldn’t come to earth for another 1,400 years, but Moses forsook the wealth and benefits of Egypt to pursue the messianic hope.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when faced with a life- threatening choice, chose to act on their faith in God, whom they couldn’t see, rather than bow to Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see all too well (Dan. 3). Even if it meant physical death, they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs.

I pray that the choices you make today will show you are a person of strong faith and convictions.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Ask God to increase and strengthen your faith through the events of this day.
  • Look for specific opportunities to trust Him more fully.

For Further Study

Read Daniel 3:1-20. How was the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tested?

 

Alistair Begg – From the Jaws of Death

Alistair Begg

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said . . . ‘Be it known to you, O King, that we will not serve your gods.’ Daniel 3:16,18

The narrative of the manly courage and marvelous deliverance of these three holy children, or rather champions, is well calculated to engender in the minds of believers firmness and steadfastness in upholding the truth in the teeth of tyranny and in the very jaws of death. Here is a wonderful example especially for young Christians, teaching them that when it comes to faith in action they must never sacrifice their consciences. Lose everything rather than lose your integrity, and when everything is gone, still hold fast a clear conscience as the rarest jewel that can adorn the bosom of a mortal. Do not be guided by expediency but by divine authority. Follow the right at every hazard. When you see no obvious advantage, then walk by faith and not by sight. Honor God by trusting Him when it comes to matters of loss for the sake of principle. See whether He will be your debtor! See if He does not even in this life prove His word that “there is great gain in godliness with contentment,”1 and that for those who “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . . all these things will be added to you.”2

Should it happen that in the providence of God you are a loser for conscience’s sake, you will find that if the Lord does not pay you back in the silver of earthly prosperity, He will discharge His promise in the gold of spiritual joy. Remember that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of what he possesses.

To wear an honest spirit, to have a heart void of offense, to have the favor and smile of God is greater riches than all the gold and diamonds in the world. “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”3 An ounce of contentment is worth a ton of gold.

11 Timothy 6:6 2Matthew 6:33 3Proverbs 15:17

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.

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The family reading plan for June 24, 2014 * Isaiah 56 * Matthew 4

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Alistair Begg – Abide in Me

Alistair Begg

Abide in me.

John 15:4

Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill. Whether it be the woodworm of sadness or the smothering impact of earthly treasure, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one and excess from the other. Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is a matter of secondary importance whether you live on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation. Living near to Jesus, you are covered with the wings of God, and underneath you are the everlasting arms.

Let nothing keep you from that hallowed communion that is the unique privilege of a life hidden in Christ. Do not be content with the occasional meeting, but always seek to retain His company, for only in His presence will you find either comfort or safety. Jesus should not be for us a friend who calls us now and then, but one with whom we are in constant touch.

You have a difficult road before you: Make sure, pilgrim, that you do not go without your guide. You have to pass through the fiery furnace; do not enter unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have the Son of God to be your companion. You have to storm the walls of your corrupt heart: Do not attempt it until, like Joshua, you have seen the Captain of the Lord’s host, with His sword drawn in His hand. When you meet with many temptations, do not rest upon the arm of flesh. In every case, in every condition, you will need Jesus, but most of all when the iron gates of death shall open to you.

Keep close to the Captain of your salvation, lean upon His strength, ask Him to refresh you by His Spirit, and you will stand before Him at the end, without spot or blemish and at peace. Seeing you have lived with Him, and lived in Him here, you will abide with Him forever.

The family reading plan for March 9, 2014 Job 38 | 2 Corinthians 8

 

 

John MacArthur – Having a Faith That Responds

John MacArthur

“Faith is . . . the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

When the writer said, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”, he used two parallel and almost identical phrases to define faith.

We’ve seen that faith is the assurance that all God’s promises will come to pass in His time. “The conviction of things not seen” takes the same truth a step further by implying a response to what we believe and are assured of.

James addressed the issue this way: “Someone may well say, ‘You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’. . . But are you willing to recognize . . . that faith without works is useless? . . . For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:18, 26). In other words, a non-responsive faith is no faith at all.

Noah had a responsive faith. He had never seen rain because rain didn’t exist prior to the Flood. Perhaps he knew nothing about building a ship. Still, he followed God’s instructions and endured 120 years of hard work and ridicule because he believed God was telling the truth. His work was a testimony to that belief.

Moses considered “the reproach of Christ [Messiah] greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward” (Heb. 11:26). Messiah wouldn’t come to earth for another 1,400 years, but Moses forsook the wealth and benefits of Egypt to pursue the messianic hope.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, when faced with a life- threatening choice, chose to act on their faith in God, whom they couldn’t see, rather than bow to Nebuchadnezzar, whom they could see all too well (Dan. 3). Even if it meant physical death, they wouldn’t compromise their beliefs.

I pray that the choices you make today will show you are a person of strong faith and convictions.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God to increase and strengthen your faith through the events of this day.

Look for specific opportunities to trust Him more fully.

For Further Study:

Read Daniel 3:1-20. How was the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tested?