Summary: Challenging people to build the core essence of who they are as followers of Jesus.

So hey there, good to see you and to have you with us. If you are new thanks for giving us a shot and taking a chance on us with your weekend time. We hope that you really do bump into God in your time here with us this weekend and that you want come back and do this all over again with us real soon. (As always, we want to give a special shout out to everyone taking time to tune in online right now too. Good to have you with us.) If you haven’t been with us we are continuing on today in series that we are calling Build Your Core trying to chase down a way to make 2020 a different kind of year, a better year for each of us. What we’ve been leaning into in this series is this. God started telling his people thousands of years ago that the most important thing of all is for us to love him with all of our body, mind, and soul. Jesus repeated that a few thousand years later and called it the greatest commandment of all. So, that’s at the core of who God created each of us to be and that is the core that we are focused on in this series, building that core. So, we have talked about what it looks like to begin to love God with all of our bodies and our minds. Let’s shift gears today and spend our time talking about this somewhat mysterious thing we call our souls.

ILLUST> In his new book Get Your Life Back that comes out next month John Eldredge says this. “There’s a madness to our moment, and we need to name it for the lunacy it is. Because it’s taking our lives hostage. First, there’s the blistering pace of life. I texted friends an announcement that was really important to me. They replied with little thumbs up emojis. I think to myself, that’s it - you can’t even answer a text with a text. Email felt so efficient when it replaced the letter; texting seemed like rocket fuel when it came along. We’re moving so fast through our days that typing a single sentence feels cumbersome. Everyone I talk to says they feel busier than ever. He concludes with this. These are all symptoms of a soul pushed too hard, strung out, haggard, fried. My soul just can’t do life at the speed of a smartphone. But I’m asking it to, everybody’s asking theirs to.

We live in a world that teaches us to go faster and be more concerned about the condition of our cars, houses, careers, or our portfolios than the condition of our souls. In his book Immortal Diamond: The Search For Our True Self Richard Rohr says this. “Your soul is who you are in God and who God is in you. You can never really lose your soul; you can only fail to realize it, which is indeed the greatest of losses: to have it but not have it.” Think about the song that we just sang for just a second. It is Well With My Soul. Is it? What’s really going on in and with my soul as I sit here today? My experience has been this. Most people, even church people, aren’t all that sure about or paying all that much attention to this particular piece of the core of who we are. Here’s the problem, we can’t really talk about building our core without this piece. So, let’s jump back in and spend the rest of our time together today talking about it.

If you brought a Bible we are going to be in Daniel chapter 3 today. If you don’t have a Bible they are back on the back tables that you can grab right now if you would like if you close or on you can always grab one on your way out. As always you can hit our app or the YouVersion app too. Or you can ignore all of that and read along with me on the screens. So, let’s talk for a moment about the story that we are jumping into today as we are finding our way to it however you decide to do that. Here’s what we are jumping into. So God’s chosen people Israel are in captivity in Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzer has a golden idol made and issues an order that everyone in Babylon will bow down and worship it. Three Jewish young men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to do that so they are brought before the king. He says something to the effect of obviously you didn’t hear what I was saying and repeats his order to them. He ends with this, if you don’t you will be thrown into a blazing furnace. So let’s pick the story up there with their response. Here we go Daniel chapter 3 beginning with verse 16…

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