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Daily Devotionals

Day 66 – Issue 41

todayMay 1, 2015 7

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Be Still Know

Daniel 3.16-18 NLT

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego declared, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Living in exile is bound to present many challenges. When Nebuchadnezzar set up his enormous golden statue and demanded that everyone fall down and worship it, these Jewish young men knew that they had to draw a line. They couldn’t possibly obey the King’s law. The consequences couldn’t have been more severe, and they were all thrown into a great furnace. But before they were thrown into it, they had the opportunity to state their position and they pointed out to the King that their God was so mighty that he could save them but, even if he didn’t, they would refuse to worship the gold statue.

We also live in exile. This world is not our true home. In his first letter, Peter reminded his readers of this fact and encouraged them to remember that their true and lasting home was in heaven. They therefore needed to live very carefully in this temporary residence. And since this isn’t our real home, it isn’t surprising that, from time to time, our beliefs and practices clash with the society in which we find ourselves. We may not confront the problem of our government erecting a giant statue and demanding that we worship it, but we need to remember that there are still many parts of our world where worshipping God is not permitted. Open Doors, one of the Christian organisations that supports persecuted Christians, identifies North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya as countries where the most extreme persecution occurs.

When any government calls upon us to act in a way that is contrary to God’s law, we are bound to act in the same way as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. We must stand firm and refuse to bow the knee with the same courage and conviction that they displayed. And, as we do so, we need their strength of conviction that our God is mightier than any government and that, whatever happens, we will keep true to our faith in him.

Question: In what ways are you aware of the fact that you are in exile?

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you that you are always with me, giving me your strength and wisdom, however great the problems I face. Amen

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Written by: Matt Weet

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