Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring
Firewalkers fascinate me. These people have a
special something that allows them to look down at
a bed of hot coals, unbuckle their sandals or peel
off their socks, and step right in. Some see it as a rite of
passage, a way to conquer fear, or a way to uncover
some hidden vein of inner strength. Whatever the
reason, something serious is usually at stake.
For Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the issue was
worship. They braved a personal encounter with fire—
not just walking over hot coals, but entering a blazing
furnace—because they refused to worship a giant totemlike
statue erected by King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3:18).
So, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, securely
tied, fell into the roaring flames” (v.23). They should have
been instantly incinerated. However, watching closely,
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “I see four men, unbound,
walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks
like a god” (v.25).
The king called the three friends out of the oven
(v.26). Amazingly, the fire had not touched the three
men; they didn’t even smell like smoke! This prompted
Nebuchadnezzar to acknowledge the one true God,
saying, “[God] sent His angel to rescue His servants. . . .
There is no other god who can rescue like this” (vv.28-29).
The Bible says, “People are born for trouble as readily
as sparks fly up from a fire” (Job 5:7). Are you in trouble
today? Maybe the flames of difficulty are leading you to a place where your
future is uncertain—maybe your “furnace” is a pending divorce, a serious illness,
or a financial disaster. No matter what it is, God’s presence with you is real. And,
if you continue to trust Him, He can use the outcome for His glory. As a firewalker,
you can bring glory to God.
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Read Isaiah 43:1 to see God’s heart for those who walk through
the fire. Read 1 Peter 1:6 to see the result of steadfast faith that has
been fashioned in the fire of persecution.
Why is it so tempting to wander away from God’s ways? How does God
respond when we return to Him after backsliding?
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