Colossians 1: 13
'He has rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.' Colossians 1: 13
In the book of Daniel there is the amazing story of three young guys from a youth group in Jerusalem who are taken by force and moved to a new town, and a new culture. There they are expected to toe the line and serve and obey the king. Well, God looks after them and things go ok until the king, on a bit of a power trip, decides to make everyone in the kingdom bow down and worship a big golden statue that he has made! The deal is that when you hear the sound of music playing you hit the dirt, bow and worship the great golden statue, or else you'll be thrown alive into a blazing, fiery furnace - and you're toast! So keep your ears open.
Now these three guys know the Lord God Almighty, and they know their Bibles. Back in their Jerusalem youth group they must have learned that God is the only one we should worship. They must have also heard how God looked after those people who were faithful to Him, who worshiped Him and trusted Him. So when the king says they should not worship their God but his statue they decide 'No way! We worship God alone, whatever you threaten us with!'
News reaches the king, and he's not impressed. He gives them the ultimatum - "bow to my statue and worship it when you hear the music, or else you get a one way ticket to the blazing furnace."
The answer our three guys give shows their strength of faith and character. "We'll not bow down to your statue, and God will save us from you O king" they say, "and we'll tell you this, even if God does not save us, we'll still be faithful to him and not bow down to your statue."
The king is furious, orders the furnace heated seven times hotter than
usual, and has his strongest guards throw the 3 guys into the flames.
.amazingly, the king sees the three guys walking around in the flames.
.and there is another person in there with them who looks kind of
angelic! He asks his advisers.
"Weren't there three men we threw in? How come there are four people in there now? The fourth man looks like a son of the gods! And why aren't they burned to a crisp?"
Well the story ends with the king calling them out - unharmed. He's so amazed at this miracle he orders that everyone in the land should worship the Lord God Almighty. (Why not find the story and read it properly yourself in Daniel Ch 3)
In Colossians 1: 13 we are told God 'has rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.'
You see we might not be in danger of a king throwing us into a furnace, but we have been rescued from flames, rescued from Hell and death by God's free gift of forgiveness as we choose to trust and follow Jesus. We are taken out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of God!
There are pressures around us every day - 'kings and furnaces' that will tempt us to follow the crowd and take the easy route even if it means compromising our faith. Being delivered from the power of darkness means that we do not need to follow the selfish, grabbing, power-hungry, fearfulness of the world - we belong to the kingdom of God, living in the world but not belonging to it. Transferred into the kingdom of God's son, Jesus - He is the one we follow.
So live unashamedly for Jesus, and know that He is with you when ever
you face a situation like this. It may be a real physical threat to
your life; it may just be you are a bit unpopular with your mates by
doing the right thing. If you are in the middle of a hot situation,
then know Jesus says He will never leave you or forsake you! You can
walk through it and not be burned.
What an encouragement! What a challenge!
Be as bold and reckless in your faith and in following Jesus as the three young guys in the story, declaring "God will deliver me, but even if He doesn't - know this - that I serve and worship Him alone and will not compromise!"The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
New Life Church
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