Summary: This sermon challenges to view life from the exemplary living of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
The theme that I wanted to highlight in this sermon is about how we live and through our living how we proclaim to the others the way we live, that is why I have titled it as, “Live God Aloud.” The scripture that I have taken is from Galatians 1:24 that states, “And they praised God because of me.” These are words spoken by Paul the apostle as a testimony to the church at Galatia since his life was wretch before his conversion and now having seen the change people begin to praise for his marvelous change. Can these same words be spoken on our behalf or will people look at us say why was this individual born? It is important for us to consider it. There are three important decisions to be made in order for our lives to be a testimony. I want to explain these decisions from the lives of three young men of the Old Testament namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
For our better understanding lets us turn to the book of Daniel chapter 3 and few verses from there: Daniel 3:13-30
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?"
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, "Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?"
They replied, "Certainly, O king."
25 He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!"
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way."
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Having read the entire passage let us get to the first decision they took:
I. Choice against Chance:
Life has wide range of chances and it is the right decision of choice that will lead us into the consequences. If we make a wrong choice we suffer negative consequences whereas if we make the right one we enjoy the positive consequence throughout. The three young men whom we have chosen was given a chance to spare their lives from the raging king but they made a very great choice of disobeying the king and was unwilling to bow to the golden image. Daniel 3:15 reads