Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Fire Scare

      Today, we had a big scare at our house.  As we were returning from a walk, I thought I heard our smoke detectors going off.  The closer I got to the front door the louder the sound became.  Sure enough,  when I opened the door, smoke poured out of our house.  I ran inside to find that I had a pan with burned chicken on the stove which was making all the smoke.  Fortunately, our house did not catch fire as a result of this oversight on my part.  Having turned down the chicken to a simmer, I thought I would be fine until we returned.  However, I was wrong.  Normally,  I would laughingly say that its my "burnt offering" unto the Lord!  But today was different.   We all know how dangerous fire can be and how badly we can be burned both physically and spiritually.
     In Scripture, we also learn about a very real, hot fire and some young men who experienced it
.  Read Daniel 3:19-28.  I know we have all read this story before, but it bears repeating.
Our son Nathan a firefighter with his niece Rilyn.
     King Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego because they would not bow down to worship his statue.  Since they defied him, he heated up the fire seven times hotter than before in the furnace where he would throw them.  He bound these men and had his soldiers send them into the flames.  The men who threw them in were even killed by the fire.  Now that's hot!  When the king looked in to see them, he saw four men walking about in the fiery furnace.  "Look! he answered, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."  When the king released these men, he was a believer that their God could deliver them.

     This story illustrates something very practical in our lives as well.  Who was with these three in the fire? Jesus.  Who will be with us in our fiery trials of life?  Jesus.  Were these men doing something wrong that they deserved to be burned?  No.  In fact, they were serving the Most High God and honoring Him...yet, God allowed them to go into the fiery furnace.
     Sometimes, in our lives, we face some pretty difficult circumstances, heartaches and trials.  But who is there with us through them all?  Jesus.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  Furthermore, just because we go through the fire does not mean that we are being punished...rather we often are being refined in our trust.
     When Nebuchadnezzar asked the three young men who will deliver them from this furnace, I love the answer given by them:  "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King.  But if not, let it be known to you, O King, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."  I don't know about you but that gives me goosebumps just reading this reply.  What faith in these men!  May our faith be as strong and determined.
     So today, if you are facing any trials, remember that Jesus is there beside you all the way.  If you belong to Him, you are in good hands and He is able to deliver you!  Selah!

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