The Fourth Man in the Fire

Screenshot 2013-03-10 at 2.19.14 PMIn Daniel chapter 3, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were called to appear before King Nebuchadnezzar. They were charged with not worshiping the gods of Babylon nor bowing down the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar himself. He is willing to give them another chance, and if they will bow down then all will be well. But instead:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”  -Daniel 3:16-18 Continue reading

Lessons from Jonah

There is old saying about quality over quantity.  The old testament book of Jonah is only 4 chapters long, but it has much to teach us.

Lesson #1: Listen to God

Many people spend a lifetime “searching” for God.  Even those who know God still spend much time seeking his will.  God plainly speaks to Jonah, telling him exactly what he wants done.  God has ordained the events of history.  Paul says we see through a glass darkly, so it makes sense to listen to the one who sees all things clearly.  Consider Genesis 50 and Acts 2 when pondering free will.  Man does what he wants, God always gets what he wants.  God had plans for Nineveh, and Jonah was to be the instrument God used.  We could save ourselves a lot of pain (and wasted time, energy and effort) if we would just listen to God in the first place, especially when he makes it that clear. Continue reading

What About the Sailors?

UPDATE: This post was my first impression while reading Jonah.  My 3-point sermon, after revising this post, is called Lessons from Jonah.

So I was reading Jonah yesterday.  Despite Veggie Tales getting a 2-hour feature film out it, there’s actually very little material.  The entire book is only four chapters, and one of those is really short.  Okay, here’s what I noticed. Continue reading