Summary: What to expect in times of societal change as a person trying to live a godly life and how to prepare yourselves for those times
Fireproof your Future - Preparing for times of uncertainty
A godly life brings opposition
A godly life brings hard choices
A godly Life requires that we know Who we believe in
A godly life brings blessing and peace
We are living in very uncertain times.
We have a financial system that cannot seem to find its footing.
Homes are being foreclosed on
Retirement savings have been decimated
Jobs are being lost by the thousands
The Cost of living continues to rise
This is not only in America, but across much of the world
We are in for a change of administration for sure
We are certain to have a president that scares a lot of people, whether that is John McCain or Barak Obama.
We live in a different society that we did 10 years ago.
Terrorism affects all of us now.
Our country has always been a bastion of liberty.
Liberty is freedom with responsibility.
One of the greatest things about our country was that people understood and took their responsibilities seriously.
Freedom = License, not Liberty
We now live in a world that doesn’t view freedom as a liberty but as a license – a license to do whatever I want to do and you can’t do anything about it.
Maintaining liberty in that environment is very difficult.
Even more than 150 years ago, French Historian Alexis De Tocqueville saw that. As he travelled America to discover why the American experiment was so successful, he noted, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
And he noted that “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”
When America believes that
freedom is more of a license to do what we want rather than a liberty that carries with it responsibilities, or
when those responsibilities are not defined by a faith based morality,
we will see the nation cease to be great, because she has ceased to pursue goodness by the power and strength of the Living God.
We see the struggle today to maintain liberty in the face of a society that no longer has a faith based morality.
We struggle with things like the Patriot act, which gives the government unprecedented powers in denying what were once constitutional freedoms, so as to protect us from terrorists, from abroad as well as from home.
To be safe in a society that is not good, means limiting freedoms and giving authority over to others to protect us.
But if we have a government that is “of the people, by the people and for the people” (Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address), and the people as a whole are not good or do not have a faith based morality, do we expect them to wisely use, or at a minimum to not abuse, the unprecedented power they have been given?
Challenging and uncertain times are certainly what we are living in.
As we view these things, it is easy to focus only on these changes and uncertainties and become discouraged.
We may even wonder where is God in all of this?
Well, often it is in times of hardship and uncertainty that God shows up in unbelievable ways in the live of His people.
We have been talking over the past month about how we fireproof our relationships.
We need to have a relationship with Christ and keep our eyes on him if we are going to
experience a great marriage, if we are going to
overcome temptations against things that will be parasites in our relationships and
Forgive others so we do not wind up in the prison of an unforgiving and bitter heart.
This morning I want to talk about how we can Fireproof our Future, not just in our relationships, but in all of life.
We are going to take a look at 3 individuals that lived in very challenging and changing times but, as we will see, they had Fireproofed their future.
Turn with me to Daniel 3 (p. 627)
A little bit of Background before we get to Daniel 3 and our main characters Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
They were Jews who were taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
Nebuchadnezzar was a king who was about himself, surrounded by many advisors who were concerned about themselves.
Anyway, in the first chapter of Daniel, we find that Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, refuse to dishonor God by eating food from the kings table.
These men, even in this less than ideal circumstance, kept their eyes on God.
And God blessed them.
Now in chapter 3, these three young men are striving to follow God the best they can as foreigners in this pagan society that worshipped multiple gods and was filled with people that were all about themselves.