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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2009-07-19 Lessons From The Furnace

A CD copy of this sermon is available.  Specify date & title with your e-mail request, along with delivery information.

Lessons from the furnace

SERMON STARTER

How do you keep cool when the heat is on? There are a few simple things you can do to help you get through anxiety-ridden times:

1) Take a deep breath and say to yourself slowly, “God’s in control. . .”

2) Walk it off by taking time for a brisk walk of 10 to 15 minutes, walking fast enough to breathe hard.

3) Listen to some soothing, comforting music that will lift your spirit and calm your heart.

4) Allow yourself a 15 minute “power nap” to wind down your motor and unplug from your hectic day.

5) Take time for someone in need by setting aside your own agenda for a few minutes and listening to the concerns of another.

6) Find a trusted friend and talk out your fears and frustrations.

7) Focus on God’s hand of provision and protection. Thank Him for being there when you call in distress.

8) Do the right thing even when those around you expect you to do the wrong thing and fail.

This sermon explores the Biblical example of Daniel and his associates and how to trust God in the midst of the spiritual war. Read the end of God’s Book, “We win!”

 

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

July 19, 2009

Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland

 

Lessons from the furnace

Daniel 3:1-30

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."                                                                                            Matthew 5:11-12

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy,' But I tell you ' Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven."                                                       Matthew 5:43-45

 

  1. v     TIME: Daniel’s Second Year of Captivity – 603 B.C.
  2. v     PLACE: Ancient Babylon – Babylon was situated on the Euphrates River, about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. Baghdad is located on the Tigris River, approximately 40 miles east of the Euphrates.
  3. v     BABYLON’S RULER: Nebuchadnezzar II – 605-563

 

I.   LOVING AND OBEYING GOD CREATES ENEMIES

          A. Daniel and His Two Friends Were Lovers of God

                        1. Loving God will always get you into trouble in this world

                        2. Lovers of Darkness Hate and Oppose the Light – 1 Jn. 2-9-11

                           “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light,

                             and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his

                             brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know

                             where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

          B. Nebuchadnezzar Had Testified of God’s Greatness – Daniel 2:47

                "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of

                 secrets, since you could reveal this secret."

                        1. The King “Forgets” the Past – Daniel 3:19

                            “Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his

                              face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He

                             spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times

                             more than it was usually heated.”

                        2. He has Daniel and his two friends Cast into the Furnace

                                    a. They refused to bow down

                                    b. They refused to worship the image of the King

 

II.  GOD IS NOT GOLD AND GOLD IS NOT GOD

          A. Ninety Foot High Statue Overlaid with Gold

                        1. People were expected to bow to the image of Gold

                        2. The Image was probably conceived from the King’s dream

           

LESSONS FROM THE FURNACE. cont., p.2 

            B. Gold Facts Today

                        1. A 28 pound Gold Bar is worth more than $335,000

                        2. One ounce of Gold was $1,023 in March of ‘08

                        3. In all of history only 161,000 Tons of gold have been mined

                        4. That’s only enough to fill 2 Olympic-Sized Swimming pools

                        5. Extremely dense and malleable, 1 oz. can be beaten by hand into 750 pieces 3” square

                        6. Won’t tarnish or corrode

            C. Evokes Strong Feelings of Envy and Lust

 

III. SPIRITUAL LEADERS ARE TARGETED FOR SPECIAL TRIALS

          COMMON SATANIC ATTACKS:

          A. Perversion of Faith – Isaiah 14:13,14

                 “For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt

                   my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the

                   congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the

                   heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'”

                        1. Mankind secretly wants to do God’s Job

                        2. Remember “Bruce Almighty?”

                        3. Only God is ultimately in control of anything

                        4. Many Deceivers will arise – Matt. 24:24

                           "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great  signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

            B. Compromise of Faith –

                        1. Just a quick little bow

                        2. No one will care, but the Most High God

                        3. “Don’t use the Name of Jesus in public prayer”

            C. Denial of Faith – Mark 14:69-72

                 “And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who

                  stood by, "This is one of them." But he denied it again. And a little later

                  those who stood by said to Peter again, "Surely you are one of them;

                  for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it." Then he began to

                  curse and swear, "I do not know this Man of whom you speak!"

                  A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word

                  that Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will

                  deny Me three times." And when he thought about it, he wept.”

                        1. Denial often motivated by fear

                        2. Concerned about the 3 “P’s” = Position, Paycheck, Pension

               

IV.  SALVATION IS THROUGH FAITH IN GOD ALONE

          FIVE-FOLD VICTORY OF FAITH:

          A. Loosed from bonds - verse 25

                "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the

                  fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of

                  God."

      

            B. Protected from harm - verse 27

                 “. . . they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the  hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and

                  the smell of fire was not on them.”

            C. Comforted in trial - verses 24,25, esp. v.28

                 “Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach,

                  Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His

                  servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king's word,

                  and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any

                  god except their own God!”

            D. God was glorified - verse 29

                "Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which

                 speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and

                 Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash

                 heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this."

            E. Rewarded as God's Servants - verse 30

                 “Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the

                   province of Babylon.”

 

V. GOD WILL GO WITH US, NOT JUST THRU, BUT IN THE FIRE

          A. He is with us in the Fire - Isaiah 41:10

               “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will

                strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous

                right hand.' "Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be

                ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive

                with you shall perish. You shall seek them and not find them; Those who

                contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As

                a nonexistent thing. For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand,

                Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'”

            B. We have both His Promise and His Presence - John 14:18

               "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

 

LESSONS FROM THE FURNACE:

1. God has not given us the way of PRIDE, but HUMILITY- Prov. 15:33

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.”

2. In the time of abandonment feelings, God didn't move: JUST US

3. REPENTANCE, not self-exaltation is the way of the Kingdom

4. There is a friend who sticks "closer than a brother"

5. God's "No's" help us find His mature Will

6. God's anointing is ALWAYS accompanied by His PROVISION

7. Forgiving Love is greater than slander, anger and hatred

8.Even though we don't FEEL God's Presence in trials, He's still there