Bullies

 

Couraage

Don’t hide your faith … share it with boldness and excitement!

“Now if you are ready, when you hear the sound of … all kinds of music,

to fall down and worship the image which I have made, very good.

But if you do not worship, you shall be thrown at once into the midst of a

furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can rescue you

out of my hands?” Daniel 3:15 Amplified Bible

 

In a society that supposedly decries ‘bullying’ … there sure is a lot of it going on against Christians today. In an atmosphere of supposed ‘tolerance’ it all seems to be going in only one direction.

Many with ‘Coexist’ bumper stickers take it seriously except to those who follow the cross of Jesus.

I’ve commented before on pressure being put on followers of Jesus and reminded us that the insults, mocking and anger directed against us at times is to be expected. Jesus flatly stated that … If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15, 18,19 NLT 

Satan would always rather we join him than oppose him and that’s precisely what’s happing in the storyline above.

The chief ‘Bully-of-Babylon’ King Nebuchadnezzar erected a ninety foot statue of himself and in a narcissistic display almost beyond comprehension insists that everyone bow before it and worship him!

Included in the ‘everyone’ are three young Hebrews brought from the captivity of Jerusalem to serve Nebuchadnezzar. However, their consciences would not allow them to worship this king because their hearts were already given over to another King. So they refused to bow.

When told of their insubordination the king explains the consequences of continued refusal: either bow or be thrown into a fiery furnace. He doesn’t wait for their response because any response but caving in would be ludicrous and deadly. He assumes they’re ready to come around.

“Now if you are ready …” he says. To which they reply, “You can burn us but you can’t turn us!” The story becomes very dark when the king in anger has them thrown into the furnace, but God’s rescue becomes a miracle that changes the nation.

Today there’s pressure to fold, keep quiet about our faith, look for someplace to hide. Safety looks good in the face of the put-down. But there is a grace and strength for hard times and God’s promise has always been … “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven …” Matthew 10:32 ESV

Let your light shine!

 

 

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One Response to “Bullies”

  1. Paul Ivie October 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm Permalink

    Thanks for the good word Paul. As I meditated on this story of the three Hebrew children, I was inspired to look at a few passages in the NT for further instruction on how as Christians we are to respond to threats in our culture today. Beginning with Ephesians 6:10-17 New Living Translation (NLT)10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[d] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
    13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[e] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[f] 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
    Indeed, we see in Romans 12:17–21 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it9 to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Then we are reminded in what God says to Joshua, in Joshua 1:9 in the Amplified it says, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Now I realize it’s one thing to quote these scriptures, but in the final analysis it really takes the power of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives to have the faith & courage to live them out. Therefore, I conclude with this word found in Zechariah 4:6 ESV
    Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

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