Open Heavens Daily Devotional For Today 23rd June, 2018
Theme – Defiance Is Allowed!
Memorise: But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. – Acts 4:19
Read: Daniel 3:13-26 (KJV)
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
Check Also – Andrew Wommack’s Daily Devotional
Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 1-3, Acts 15:36-16:15
The narrative in today’s Bible reading highlights one of those instances where we can go against secular and religious authority. This story tells of how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to obey the law of the land. There is time for everything under heaven. There is a time when in order to obey the law of God, you have to disobeyed the law of the land. These three young men were accused and found guilty of religious anarchism. In simple terms, they were tagged criminals because they were found guilty of breaking the law, and the penalty for this was death by burning. Nevertheless, these young men defied the threat of tortuous death in a fiery furnace. Their attitude made it seem as if they had listened to the teaching of Jesus Christ in Mark 9:45-46, where He said;
“45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
As seen in Acts 4:19, a similar act of defiance was exhibited by the early disciples. Peter stood up to the religious leaders of that time, giving them a rhetorical question to ponder on. He asked for their advice on whom to obey: earthly leaders or God. Beloved, you need to be defiant whenever you are asked to go against the law of God. The time to stand up for your faith and values is when you are asked to go against it.
If at the expense of standing up for God, you melt in the face of threats to your life, comfort or career, you cannot call yourself a Christian. Are you in a situation where you are compromising on the truth? Are you falsifying records in your office or business to make more money? Are you collecting bribes before you do your work? Are you covering up for corrupt colleagues or friends? If you find yourself in such circumstances, you need to search deep within your heart and choose whom you will serve today. Serving God means every moment of your day, every action that you take and every utterance that you make are viewed as service to Him. Always be conscious of the fact that your actions at your place of work or business counts as service to God. Your attitude towards everyone around you is also a service to God. I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict your heart and enable you to stand up for Jesus every day.
Action Point: Read Joshua 1:8 meditatively and pray for God’s wisdom to apply His law to your day-to-day activities.
Hymn 16: Stand Up! Stand Up For Jesus
1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
Ye soldiers of the Cross;
Lift high His royal banner,
It must not suffer loss.
From vict’ry unto vict’ry
His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished
And Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
The trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict
In this His glorious day!
Ye that are men, now serve Him
Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger,
And strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
Stand in His strength alone:
The arm of flesh will fail you;
Ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the Gospel armour,
And watching unto prayer,
Where duty calls, or danger,
Be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus!
The strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle,
The next the victor’s song
To him that overcometh
A crown of life shall be;
He, with the King of Glory
Shall reign eternally.