Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011 … Integrity Is A Powerful Witness

Passage of the Day: Daniel 3: 26 – 27 … 24 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.

My Journal for Today: You probably know the story; and as one might expect, the outcome of the three Hebrew lads being taken from the fiery furnace, unscathed and not even singed, had a profound impact on Nebuchadnezzar. He immediately, as we will review tomorrow [I read ahead in MacArthur’s devotional], declared that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego served a very powerful “God,” even ordering his kingdom to worship their God [see Dan. 3: 28 - 29].

Now the king’s conversion to real faith in the one true God as the ONLY God would not happen until later (see Daniel 4); but the witness of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as well as God’s deliverance of these boys from the fire certainly laid the groundwork for that later conversion experience. We see here that any time we stand in faith against the odds, we become a living display of God’s hope and promises to others; and we become witnesses of God’s power in the world, which is what we are commanded to be by our Lord and Savior (see Acts 1: 8).

Jesus taught (see Matt. 5: 14 – 16) that His disciples should be lights that reflect His Father’s glory into a darkened world; and when and where we do that, the prevenient grace of God will draw the lost to God like moths to a light in the night. And when unbelievers really see Christ’s light radiating from our lives as Christians, they will want to come to that Light. That was Bill Berry in 1982-83, responding to the witness of real Christians when I was walking in a fog of agnosticism, searching for light in my darkness. And when I saw the light of Christ shining in and through the witness of these Christians, I finally relented, repented and surrendered to THE LIGHT, Who is Christ.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were lights shining their integrity and faith into a world darkened by idolatry and pride (sound familiar?), even from the hell fires of life, allowing the world to see their faith, which, in turn, glorified their Father in Heaven (see again Matt. 5: 16).

My Prayer Today: Let me be a beacon, Lord, shining Your light into the darkness even today. Amen

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