Summary: Boldly choose God over all competitors.
Th: Choose the Fire
Pr: BOLDLY CHOOSE GOD OVER ALL COMPETITORS.
TS: We will find in our study of Daniel 3 three reasons why we are to choose God.
The ____ reason is for…
I. CONSCIENCE’S SAKE
II. TESTIMONY’S SAKE
III. HEAVEN’S SAKE
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Don’t compromise your beliefs.
• Make a stand.
• Trust God over man.
RMBC 20 April 08 AM
How are you at making a choice?
In our marriage, Dondra likes to take some time before making a choice.
Like when we bought our dishwasher.
After three weeks of looking at dishwashers, she finally narrowed it down to two.
Fortunately, the two models were at the same store.
So she finally brought me along, because up to this point of time, I wisely stayed out of it.
We looked at the first.
She showed me all the features.
Then we looked at the second.
Again, she showed me all the features.
Then asked me what one I liked better.
So I picked one.
Then she proceeded to tell me all the reasons why we should pick the other.
So I wisely said, “OK, let’s get that one then.”
Then she told me all the reasons why we should take the one I chose in the first place.
And as you can imagine, my eyes rolled.
This was not going to be as simple as I hoped.
Making choices can be tough.
Some of us like to make them quick, and move on to other things.
Some of us like to be more thorough, and be sure it is the right choice.
Regardless of these differences, I wonder if we can be like the main characters in today’s narrative?
1. Are you able to choose the fire (4-6)?
In Daniel 3, we find this proclamation:
And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”
We are not sure what this image looked like.
It may have been of Nebuchadnezzar or something that represented the spirit or religion of Babylon.
Even though we don’t know what it looked like, we do know this.
It was huge.
It was massive.
You could not miss it.
And everyone was supposed to bow down.
And for those that refused – the lunatic fringe – it was fire.
You choose to obey Nebuchadnezzar, or you choose the fire.
Now, I think it may very well have been that Nebuchadnezzar did not expect there to be any opposition.
It would have been crazy.
After all, worshipping the huge statue would have put everyone on the same page.
It would bring unity to their nation.
Who didn’t want that?
But for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, a line is drawn in the sand.
For them, there is a choice.
They can either obey Nebuchadnezzar or obey God.
They can choose to worship the idol or choose the fire.
Those are their choices.
There is not a third choice, though I am sure they wished there was.
They know that they cannot bow down.
That leaves fire.
And we know what they do.
2. BOLDLY CHOOSE GOD OVER ALL COMPETITORS.
And that is our challenge as well.
Do you choose God over all the competitors?
Think for a moment…
What in your life is competing with God?
What is demanding your attention and distracting you from having a relationship with Him?
What is diverting your mind away from God?
Could it be sports…or cars…or hobbies…or prestige…or success…or music…or knowledge…or a pristine lawn…or an immaculate house…or another person?
Well the list could go on, could it not?
And it is not that any of these things are bad in and of themselves.
But they can become competitors with God when they occupy our full attention.
A line gets drawn in the sand.
And there are two ways to go.
Will you choose God?
Will you boldly choose Him, even if it is an unpopular decision?
Will you boldly choose Him, even if it is a socially unacceptable position?
Will you boldly choose Him, even if it brings caustic remarks from family and so-called friends?
You see, that is the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
3. We will find in our study of Daniel 3 three reasons why we are to boldly choose God.
The first reason is for…
I. CONSCIENCE’S SAKE