Cleansing Fire (Day 3) – Big Tests & Pop Quizzes

Day Three – Big Tests & Pop Quizzes
Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, into the fire?” “That’s right, O king,” they said.
“But look!” he said. “I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!” Nebuchadnezzar went to the door of the roaring furnace and called in, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the High God, come out here!” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire. All the important people, the government leaders and king’s counselors, gathered around to examine them and discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched the three men—not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on their clothes, not even the smell of fire on them! Daniel 3:24-27

There are some incredible miracles and stories of how God showed up for His chosen people in the Bible, but if they were ranked according to the “WOW” factor – this one would be near the top! These three young men took God’s plan and made it their lifestyle, and when the BIG TEST came, the daily choices they made to trust and honor God (the little “pop quizzes” that come our way each day) had laid the right foundation to stand firm when facing the furnace. And who meets them in the fire? Some say an angel (the appearance of an angel was so “other-than-earthly” that people often thought they were gods.) Many scholars say, however, that this is an “epiphany,” or a pre-Bethlehem appearance of Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus met them in the middle of their biggest test!
For us, everyday has its tests or little pop quizzes; but occasionally the BIG TEST comes, when we have to choose to say “Its God’s way, all the way.” Stand firm in faith during the daily tests, and let the truth of God be the banner over your life that says to the watching world that Jesus is Lord. And when the bigger trials come, you can have the attitude these three guys had before facing their trial: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (3:17-18) Thank God for test and trial, because it is in the trials that the watching world sees real faith and authentic Christianity. The fire is hot, but Jesus is visible in you when you stand in faith. Journal your thoughts from this.
Note: Tomorrow, Day Four is a “Fast Day.” If you are already practicing regular fasting, keep it up as it keeps you close in to Him. If this is new to you, choose to skip breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner tomorrow. Give Him the extra time with extra Bible reading, study, prayer, and worship. Make notes on your day in your journal.

All For Him – Rick


Six Part Harmony

One of the biggest struggles full time ministers and missionaries face is keeping a balance between all the roles or aspects of life. When I think of a normal (if there is such a person) missionary, this person works, leads, serves publicly, serves privately, is a student, a friend, a family member, and often also a spouse and a parent. Some ministry or missions teams may even includes people from practically every stage of life – young single, single again, older single, newlyweds, couples with no kids, couples with very young children, couples with many children (almost), couples with teenagers, couples with adult children, and maybe more.

So how do diverse team-members with all these roles and characteristics keep balance in our lives? It takes some effort, but the rewards and success are worth the work. Staying balanced is a lot like bringing harmony together. Each part of the music is different and must be in the just the right place at just the right level to make the music perfect. We might not get harmony in our lives perfectly; but we can work on each aspect of this beautiful gift of the Christian walk and ministry and, with God’s leadership, make it sing!

Centuries ago, the world looked at the stars, the planets, and everything above the earth and said they were situated within spheres. When these spheres moved, the mystics said, they created God’s harmony. I would like to present to you a model –  la SFERA – for getting balance into your life. (Disclaimer: this writer needs work on the whole balance and harmony issue more than anyone!)

Click on the link below to see the model, and comment on what makes each area of your life sphere work well. I will add verses and practical tools to each of the six areas in the near future.


As always,


Newer entries »