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Daniel 3:1-18

Courageous Convictions

Life B-P Church Worship Service, 12 February 2017

Text: Daniel 3:1-18

(Elder Ng Beng Kiong)

 

·         We have a conviction when we are fully persuaded and convinced that something is true. When a man is convicted, he acts on what he believes. Godly convictions result in Christ-like thinking and corresponding actions.

·         Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (“SMA”) displayed remarkable courage and conviction by their refusal to bow to an image in spite of the punishment of death in a flaming furnace.

 

1.   Obedience to God’s Word (v16)

·         Though the king offered SMA an opportunity to make amends, they immediately knew what their decision would be – it would be the same as their initial decision not to bow to the image. To bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar would be an act of idolatry. SMA refused to disobey God in order to please the king. Their obedience to God was clear and settled.

·         We need to make sure that our convictions are based on the Bible. Where the Bible is specific in its command we need only to obey. Always take the 1st opportunity to show yourself a decided Christian. Don’t give the devil a 2nd chance to cause you to doubt God’s Word and compromise.

·         SMA ordered their lives according to their belief in God, not the circumstances or people around them. Despite the enormous pressures, SMA refused to compromise their convictions (Rom 12:2). Convictions enable us to resist temptations.

 

2.   Faith in God’s Deliverance (v17)

·         The king had raised the issue - who is able to deliver them? Their answer: our God whom we serve is able to deliver! They didn’t know how but they believed that God is able to deliver them. They lived by faith in God (Heb 11:34). SMA could be so courageous because they knew they served a God Who is able. They knew Who God is and what God can do (Rom 8:31). Courageous convictions are built on knowing a God Who is able (Jer 32:17; Eph 3:20; Ps 50:15).

·         SMA not only affirmed that their God is able, but that He WILL deliver them: “and He will deliver us out of thine hand.” They believed in God’s deliverance (Isa 43:2). They were ready to be fully delivered, either from the fire of the furnace or from this life to heaven.

·         If God doesn't deliver us from the fire, He'll deliver us through the fire. Even if you go into the fire, God is still in control. Christian courage is the willingness to say and do the right thing regardless of the cost. 

 

3.   Submission to God’s Will (v18)

·         Even more remarkable was SMA’s complete submission to God’s will. They were willing to die rather than compromise their faith. We are only able to withstand the tests and temptations of life when we value God’s approval more than man’s applause.

·         But if not... - SMA were not voicing any uncertainty as to God’s ability to deliver but only His willingness. They accepted God’s will in advance without knowing how things would work out (Job 13:15). SMA didn’t make their own obedience contingent on God doing what they wanted or hoped for. They determined to obey even if God did not save them from the fire. God does what He wants to do, not what we expect Him to do (Ps 115:3; Mt 26:39).

·         Being courageous is about learning to step back and let God do what He wants with us, and acknowledge it as right. SMA did not regard death in the fiery furnace as failure in faith but rather an indication of God’s will for them. When God puts you through the fire, He is about to mould you into a vessel He can use for His glory! Obedience is man's obligation. Deliverance is God's option (Heb 11:32-37).

Questions for Discussion

1.      How do you differentiate between biblical convictions and personal preferences? How does God want you to live in the gray areas of life that are not specifically spelled out in Scripture?

2.      What is one area of your life where you need to act courageously to live in line with your Christian convictions? What helps you stand firm when your convictions are challenged?

 

3.      Can our Christian convictions be misused or abused?

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

December 3 & 10 - Holy Living

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 2 Peter 3:11